If you want to enjoy your beverage but still reduce your calorie and sugar intake, you might consider taking diet soda. However, this drink could be bad for your health.
Do you love diet soda? You are probably avoiding too much sugar or calorie intake. However, you still want the sweet feeling. In most cases, artificial sweeteners are added to these drinks to achieve this. This way, users with a sweet tooth can enjoy it when they consume it. It is, therefore, not a surprise to find many sugar-sweetened beverages with extra diet and light versions of the same. To find out more if these beverages are good or bad for your health, keep reading.
What is Diet Soda?
Diet soda combines carbonated water, sweeteners, either artificial or natural, flavors, colors, and food additives. It has very few amount of calories. However, if you want to get nutritional benefits, you won’t get anything significant from this drink. Additionally, preservatives, such as potassium benzoate, are added to it during its manufacture to make it last longer on shelves.
You probably are aware that the normal soda contains some caffeine. Well, this is the same for many brands of diet soda. Also, since many people crave healthy drinks, some manufacturers ensure they add some vitamins and minerals to the drink. This markets their products as better alternatives.Therefore, the ingredients used to make diet soda can vary from one brand to the next. However, some are common to many and perform significant functions.
Effects of Diet Soda
When you drink diet soda, you can experience any of the following;
- Risks of Obesity
Since diet soda is calorie-free, you might be using it to help you lose weight. However, the link between diet soda and weight loss isn’t clear yet. On the contrary, when taken in high amounts, this drink is thought to increase your chances of becoming obese.
How can it lead to weight gain? According to scientists, this drink stimulates hunger hormones and alters your sweet receptors. These result in an increase in appetite, where you will take in more sweet food or those rich in calories. What are the results? You will end up gaining more weight.
As much as there are theories and suggestions linking diet soda to weight gain, more research is still needed. Moreover, the ideas on the same are conflicting. Some argue that you can lose weight if you replace sugar sweetened drinks and take diet soda instead.
Therefore, the results on the effect of diet soda on weight are still confusing.
- Risk of osteoporosis
Diet soda contains caffeine and phosphorus. The two can interfere with how your body absorbs calcium. When this process is tampered with, your bone health suffers.
In the case of diet soda, taking it too much can lead to a decrease in women’s bone mass. However, men are safe from this effect.
- Tooth Decay
In the manufacture of diet soda, acids such as citric, malic, or phosphoric are added to give it some flavor. Therefore, the drink ends up having a high pH level. When you take it daily, your teeth can suffer since they can be eroded.
- Risk of Preterm Delivery
Have you ever wondered why pregnant women are advised against consuming sweetened or drinks containing sugar? This is because they can increase the risk of having a preterm delivery or other negative outcomes.
However, such conclusions were arrived at after an observational study. This means that there is no exact explanation on how diet soda is linked to preterm delivery.
- Childhood obesity
Other than the risk of having a preterm baby, when you consume drinks with artificial sweeteners when pregnant, you increase your chances of having an obese baby. According to one study, at the age of 1 year, your child might be overweight.
Therefore, as much as more research is necessary to back up this, why not avoid taking such drinks when you have the little one growing in your womb?
Studies conducted by observing those who drink diet soda daily have found that such individuals are at a greater risk of getting depression. However, there is still more to be done to determine if this is true.
- Can cause breakouts
If you always want flawless skin, then you better avoid diet soda. As much as it is not sugary, has no calories, and isn’t greasy, you can still experience breakouts if you consume it.
The drink can make your skin dry. Then, your chances of developing acne are increased. Therefore, individuals with acne-prone skin can opt for a glass of water or any healthier drink to replace the diet soda.
How Much is Too Much?
With the above potential side effects, you probably are wondering what amount of diet soda to consume. Well, a reasonable consumption, one can or two, can be okay. Since most artificial sweeteners in the drink are safe for most users, you can take them considerably.
How to Reduce Diet Soda Intake
What can you do if you are used to taking diet soda but would want to change your habits? The following are some steps you can take to reduce your intake and probably get over it completely;
- Be gradual. You can start by going for a few days without the diet soda. During these periods, you can have a healthier drink instead. Please don’t be hard on yourself; take it slow.
- If you have a specific reason for taking diet soda, look for an alternative, preferably a healthier drink or beverage which leaves you with the same effect such as those with natural sweeteners.
- Ensure you have enough sleep so that you don’t crave the caffeine in diet soda. During the day, you can have a healthy snack.
- Let your workmate, spouse, or friend know your intentions and urge you to quit the using this drink. The help and support for these people can help in your battle.
- If you slip, don’t give up. Ensure you accomplish that goal.
Diet soda is a drink normally consumed by those who want to reduce their calorie and sugar intake. However, there are health effects the drink has on your body. There are studies conducted to show how it is linked to certain health conditions you might experience. However, more research is necessary to get conclusive evidence. Additionally, you can reduce your diet soda intake and quit it completely. As much as it can be hard at first, you can do it.