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No More Diet Pepsi

8/14/2015

The latest controversy surfing the Internet – Diet soda is bad for you? After years of switching from the sugar-filled drinks to the diet alternative, are the diet options now unhealthy too?

The headline: Diet drinks lead to weight gain in the long run 

Diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners that provide 0 calories as opposed to the regular soda filled with an average of 150 calories worth of sugar. These alternatives aim to cut down our sugar and calorie levels. Research has been studying the effect of artificial sweeteners on our bodies.

Some studies have found that drinking diet soda leads to an increase in weight, waist circumference and possibly diabetes.  One theory suggests that the sweetness of artificial sweeteners and their lack of calories disrupt the food pathway system, tricking our body and it’s signals and increasing sugar cravings. 

Wait, there’s more!

When studying weight gain in humans, the habit of eating while drinking diet soda can also play a role in gaining weight. You may be drinking diet soda along with their high energy and fat meals (the diet coke and big mac idea), which can lead to weight gain. This could also be psychological where you choose to eat an extra burger since you know you are going light on the drink. In both cases these aren’t good for your health, however it’s not the diet soda causing the weight gain!

On the other side of the spectrum a recent study has found that ingesting artificial sweetener did not increase blood sugar levels or insulin levels significantly in humans.

We should also consider that a majority of the evidence comes from studies on mice, which do not directly translate to humans. Therefore, more evidence is needed to study the effect of artificial sweeteners on our functions.

 The verdict

This has been mentioned before that water is the best and most nutritious choice of hydration as it is needed for bodily functions and has 0 calories. Although diet soda may be a better alternative to shed off some sugar, both regular soda and diet soda (although calorie-free) do not provide any nutritional value. Additionally they both contain other ingredients that can affect your teeth and bones. Remember, moderation is key when wanting to indulge in your favorite drink! 

Author: Massar Dabbous


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