Health risks may outweigh the low calories of diet sodaBy Heather Combs | 09/23/2013 11:00pm
Which is better – diet soda or regular soda? That is the big question. Diet soda versus regular soda has been an ongoing debate for as long as I can remember. I have always been on the fence about the notion that diet soda is “healthier” because it has fewer calories. Turns out I was right all along. So before you pop open that can of diet soda, stop and think about what you are about to ingest.
Many people fall victim to the idea that just because diet soda may have less calories, or even no calories, it is better than regular soda. The best beverage option will always be water, but I am not naïve. I know soda will be around for a very long time. However, if you are going to drink soda, you should only drink it in moderation and you should know the facts. Did you know that soda is the leading source of calories in Americans? On average, we consume about two cans of soda a day and most of us are under the impression that because diet soda is low in sugar and calories, it is the healthier option. That is wrong.
Research studies have proven diet soda is in fact just as harmful as regular soda, if not more. Studies show having as little as one diet coke a day can cause weight gain and increase your risk of developing metabolic syndrome, diabetes and heart disease. There have also been multiple cases of people suffering from serious conditions such as strokes, heart problems and low potassium levels. With each case, simply ceasing the consumption of diet soda relieved the symptoms almost immediately.
One of the main problems with diet soda, such as diet Coke, is the artificial sweeteners. The artificial sweetener tricks your body into believing it is the real thing, which basically means your body no longer knows how to process real sugar. A popular artificial sweetener used in diet soda is aspartame. Continuous ingestion of aspartame can have toxic effects on your body.
Some health conditions associated with aspartame are headaches, weight gain, increased blood sugar, degeneration of brain cells and cancer. Manufacturers and supporters of aspartame continue to claim the amount of aspartame used in diet soda will not cause harm to the consumer, but it is interesting that studies have shown the opposite. In actuality, it may be safer to just avoid the product containing aspartame, which in this case is diet soda, because you do not want to be the one to experience the negative side effects firsthand. As a matter of fact, it is better for you to use regular sugar in moderation than to hook your body onto artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, which is also found in NutraSweet and Equal.
Please do not take this newfound information as “let me drink all the regular soda I want,” because I will never promote that. Your body is sixty percent water, so I encourage you to always pick water as your beverage of choice and enjoy soda in moderation. However, if you are going to consume soda, my challenge to you is to decide if skipping out on a few extra calories is worth the risk of exposing yourself to the harmful side effects associated with artificial sweeteners.