Whether it’s to lose weight or for some other health reason, a lot of people are forsaking sugar in their diet.
As part of this move to a healthier lifestyle, many of them are including diet sodas, thinking that the fact that they are sugar free automatically means they are good for them.
Yet reality is that these sugar free drinks contain ingredients like saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose, which can be just as harmful.
Diet sodas have actually been around for quite a while now. Many of them were developed during the 1960’s and 1970’s. It wasn’t until the late 1980’s and 1990’s that they became very popular as people became more weight conscious and were made aware of the dangers of the sugar content in soda.
While artificial sweeteners in zero calorie and sugar free drinks are enticing, they may not always be the best options for us.
Here are 5 reasons drinking diet sodas can be dangerous:
Diet soda desensitizes your taste buds
You may be surprised to learn that those same artificial sweeteners that makes it possible for you to continue to enjoy sweet-tasting drinks can also deadened your taste buds sensitivity to naturally-sweet foods like fruits, which are really good for you.
And what may be even more disheartening to the dieter is that artificial sweeteners have the same deleterious effect on your body as regular sugar.
Artificial sweeteners can trigger insulin production, which can cause the body too store more fat, which translates into more weight gain.
Diet soda drinkers tend to gain weight
Surprisingly, recent studies have shown that people who drink diet sodas regularly, as part of a weight-loss regimen, tend to gain weight, instead of losing those extra pounds.
And the paradoxical trend seems to get worse the more diet sodas the person consumes. Simply put, the more diet sodas one drinks, the more inches they adds to their waistline.
Researchers aren’t quite sure why this is, after all many of these drinks label themselves as zero calorie or low in calories. Some nutritionists and researchers attribute it to artificial sweeteners’ ability to confuse the body.
However, others attribute the paradoxical effect to basic psychology.
The dieter assumes that, since they’ve reduced their calorie intake so much by drinking diet sodas, they can afford to splurge on other foods like burgers and fries. Thus, in the end, they end up consuming more calories than they otherwise would.
Diet sodas also pose a diabetes risk
Studies have shown that drinking as few as one diet soda a day can increase metabolic syndrome and diabetes risk by as much as 36%.
Metabolic syndrome is a medical description used to describe a number of high-risk conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high glucose levels, and bulging waistlines, all of which can be detrimental to people with cardiovascular disease.
The results of these studies actually contradict the theory behind drinking sugar free drinks, at least for those conscious of their sugar intake.
Their main goal was to avoid the damaging effects of sugar by opting for sodas with artificial sweeteners that don’t spike blood sugar like white sugar does. The studies do show however the opposite effect.
Sugar-free sodas are also nutrient-free
This is probably the most surprising revelation of all, seeing that one of the reasons people consume diet sodas in the first place is because they want to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Yet, what we are actually doing when drinking diet soda is pouring a liquid down our throat that has zero nutrients. To add to that, the delicious tasting liquid is loaded with potentially harmful chemicals.
While not as tasty we would all be much better off if we drank plain water instead.
Some artificial sweeteners can have side effects
Although not definitive, recent studies have shown that artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, have been known to cause headaches in some people. In fact, some subjects were able to trace the origin of their migraines back to the time they started drinking diet sodas.
The fact of the matter is that you’re pouring a bottled liquid into your body that has no medicinal or nutritional value, but contains chemicals, the effect of which isn’t fully understood.
Depending on the sweetener used in the drink, these chemicals can have serious short term and long term health effects.