So you are trying to lose weight but find it hard to resist the urge for the bubbling sodas? Or perhaps you are a diabetic and looking for sugar free alternatives of your favorite carbonated beverage. With zero calories and no sugar, diet soda may appear to be the perfect choice for guilt free soda indulgence….Right? Think twice.
Agreed, diet sodas contain lesser calories and sugar than their regular fizzy buddies, but they are not as diet friendly as commonly perceived to be. Before you pop open the can of the ‘diet’ Coke or Pepsi, understand that these drinks come with their own share of side effects and may impact your waistlines and health adversely.
Here are top 5 reasons to say ‘no thanks’ to the chemical cocktail in diet soda and switch to healthier alternatives.
1. Weight loss Confusion- Staying away from excess calorie and sugar consumption is always a good idea. Although choosing diet soda over regular drink may help to save calories in short term, there is no evidence indicating that switching sugar with artificial sweeteners will prove beneficial for preventing obesity or losing weight faster. It is a common tendency for weight loss seekers to drink more diet sodas and also get tricked into overeating on the assumption that they can allow more calories in the diet since the drink is ‘calorie’ free. The fake ‘sweet’ taste without any sugar actually coming in the bloodstream further confuses the metabolic cycle and interferes with body’s hunger signals and feelings of cravings and satiety.
2. Caffeine Dependence- Avoiding sodas may also help to cut the unwanted caffeine from the diet. Excess caffeine consumption is associated with anxiety, mood swings, sleep problems, headaches and dizziness.
3. Weakening of Bones- The high phosphate content of sodas disrupts the calcium- phosphorus balance in our body, putting our bone health at risk. Also the regular soda drinkers are more likely to be drinking less of calcium rich milk or orange juices than non drinkers.
4. Tooth Decay – Diet soda contains a substantial amount of phosphoric acid, making it an acidic drink. The acidic pH coupled with heavy consumption of diet sodas on regular basis may dissolve the tooth enamel; resulting in tooth erosion, decay and even tooth loss.
5. Kidney Disorders – Drinking more than 2 cans of diet sodas daily is shown to alter the normal functioning of kidneys and increasing the risk to kidney disorders.
Studies indicate that consuming diet sodas as low calorie cocktail mixers may perk up the alcohol concentration in our blood stream and make us feel drunk and drowsy. This is attributed to the fact that artificial sweeteners in diet sodas get absorbed quicker than regular sugar, thus allowing the alcohol to enter the bloodstream faster, leaving us with a spinning buzz and terrible hangover.
Diet sodas come under the category of nutritionally void beverages. Besides being calorie free, diet sodas are also without any nutrients, fiber or minerals– all of which are abound in healthier beverage choices such as buttermilk, fruit juices, vegetable drinks, green tea, low fat milk and coconut water. Drinking a glass of plain water would also be wiser.
Having said that, it is also true that drinking diet soda occasionally will not hurt anybody and there is no need to ‘kick the can’ for good. We can surely enjoy our diet sodas once in a while but let’s not get fooled by the word ‘diet’ in it and make it a habit.
Originally published in B Positive Magazine by Panchali Moitra