Diet soda is a very common item in beverage stores today and is usually sought after by people who want to cut down on calorie/sugar intake. A lot of us usually pick diet sodas over others when ‘dieting’.
Most popular carbonated drinks have their ‘diet or lite’ version e.g. diet coke, pepsi max, sprite zero etc. The difference in them is the artificial sweeteners like aspartame, cyclamates, saccharin and sucralose that are used in place of sugar during production.
Diet soda was first brought to light in the 1950s as an option for people with diabetes. As time went on, it was also marketed to people trying cut sugar intake or check weight.
The effects of diet soda on health is however contentious despite it being sugar/calorie free.
- Diet sodas contain no nutrients
Diet sodas supply the body with little or no nutrients as they contain mainly carbonated water, artificial (sometimes natural) sweeteners, coloring, flavors, preservatives and extra food additives like caffeine. A vast variety of these sodas have insignificant amounts of calories present; a plus for those of us trying to run away from calories.
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- It has a conflicting effect on weight loss
As was earlier stated, diet sodas are calorie-free, they are therefore expected to aid a reduction in weight but studies have shown that this might not be so. Research has made it clear that artificial sweeteners and excessive drinking of diet sodas are somewhat linked to the risk of being obese or having metabolic syndrome because they increase the appetite of a person by stimulating hunger hormones etc however, experimental studies say for a fact that opting for diet sodas can positively result in weight loss.
- Might be associated with heart diseases
It has been brought to our knowledge through observations made by individuals that a diet soda might be associated with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high stroke risk. Information is not however sufficient to detect the causes but a preexisting risk factor such as being obese can raise suspicion.
- Development of kidney diseases
An association between excessive drinking of diet soda and having different chronic kidney diseases have been observed. Suggestions claim that this might be as result of an increment of acid load on the kidneys because of its high phosphorous content.
A diet soda can have several effects on our health, both controversial and direct, however, put in mind that it does not add any nutritional value whatsoever to your diet. Instead of opting for ‘diet sodas’, we should try healthier options like milk, herbal tea, coffee and fruit-infused water.