You’re out to lunch or dinner with friends. Everyone orders a coke, but you order a diet coke think you’re being kind to your waistline.
Diet soda doesn’t actually help you lose weight, nor is it good for your body. In fact, public health officials are considering issuing a warning to tell people to avoid diet soda much like they do with regular, sugar-sweetened soda. In fact, they say no-calorie sweeteners are just as bad as regular sweeteners.
Artificial sweeteners confuse the body’s natural ability to manage calories based on tasting something sweet. People tend to overeat when they drink diet soda. And get this: People who consume artificial sweeteners are twice as likely to develop metabolic syndrome, too.
Health Issues Linked to Diet Soda Consumption
Beyond that, there’s a lot of research linking diet soda drinking to all sorts of health troubles.
Soda is one of the most significant factors leading to serious dental erosion, according to a new survey published in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry.
Dental erosion is when enamel – the hard, protective coating of the tooth – is worn away by exposure to acid. The eroding of the enamel can result in pain – especially when eating hot or cold food – as it leaves the sensitive dentine area of the tooth exposed.
Drinking more than four cans a day of soda is linked to a 30 percent higher risk of depression. On the flip side, drinking four cups of coffee a day seemed to offer protective effects, lowering depression risk 10 percent. The risk appeared to be greater for people who drank diet soda compared to regular soda.
Harvard researchers found long-term diet soda drinking causes a 30 percent greater reduction in kidney function. The study looked at people who regularly consumed diet soda over 20 years.
Type 2 Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome
A 2009 study published in the journal Diabetes Care found drinking diet soda daily is linked to a 36 percent higher risk of metabolic syndrome and a 67 percent higher risk of type 2 diabetes compared to non-diet soda drinkers.
University of Miami and Columbia University researchers followed more than 2,000 adults for 10 years and found that those drinking diet soda daily were more likely to suffer a stroke or heart attack. They were also more likely to die from cardiovascular disease.
Drinking soda, including diet soda, increases your risk of developing asthma and COPD symptoms. The more soda a person drinks, the higher the risk. (That’s called a “dose-response relationship.”)
An Australian study found that 13.3 percent of surveyed participants with asthma and 15.6 percent of those with COPD drank more than two cups of soda each day.
A Less Protected Brain
Aspartame can chip away at the brain’s antioxidant defense system.
Aspartame is also linked to:
- migraines & headaches
- short term memory loss
- multiple sclerosis
- hearing loss
- weight gain
- brain tumors
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- birth defects
- Alzheimer’s disease
- arthritis (including rheumatoid)
- chemical sensitivities
Yes — diet soda is bad for you.
No — diet soda is not a healthier alternative to regular sweetened soda.
Yes — diet soda can cause major health problems and erode your teeth.
If you’re in the mood for a fizzy drink, consider a much healthier option like kombucha.