Is diet soda bad for your health?

Out of all the habits I needed to kick on my journey towards a healthier lifestyle, drinking diet soda has been the hardest to give up. I had a huge addiction to diet soda for very, very long time. At one point, I would go through 4 to 5 Diet Cokes pretty easily without thinking twice.

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As soon as I would wake up, my craving for diet soda would kick in. Once I had that first sip in the morning, it was it was like “Ahhhh” now I can get on with my day. But it wouldn’t stop there! To get through my tiring day of work sitting at the computer, I would lean on diet sodas for extra energy.

At the time, I didn’t think much of it. There isn’t any sugar in diet soda, so what is the harm right? “At least I’m not drinking regular soda,” I would tell myself. But then a friend of mine who is a holistic doctor opened my eyes. He told me that out of all the food and drinks in my diet, diet soda was actually the most harmful.

But why? After a little bit of research I knew he was right and I was absolutely convinced. Diet soda had to go.

Ditch the soda!

Here are just a few reason to think twice:

  1. It is a chemical cocktail full of artificial sweeteners, aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose.
  2. It confuses your body. The artificial sweeteners in diet soda have more intense flavor than real sugar, so over time products like diet soda dull our senses to naturally sweet foods.  
  3. Artificial sweeteners can trigger insulin, which sends your body into fat storage mode and can lead to weight gain.
  4. It has been associated to increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes.  According to a University of Minnesota study, drinking one diet soda a day is associated with a 36% increased risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes.  Metabolic syndrome describes a cluster of conditions which include high blood pressure, elevated glucose levels, raised cholesterol, and weight gain.  With that being said, these conditions can put people at risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
  5. When you are drinking diet soda you may not be taking in any calories, but you also aren’t drinking anything that does your body any good.
  6. Studies tracking aspartame and anecdotal suggest that this artificial sweetener may trigger headaches in some people.
  7. Excessive soda drinking could leave your smile not looking so pretty.  A study comparing the mouths of cocaine users, methamphetamine-users, and habitual diet soda drinkers and found the same tooth erosion in each of them.  Scary!  The culprit for this tooth decay from diet soda is citric acid, which weakens and destroys the tooth enamel over time.
  8. Diet soda may hurt your heart.  Just drinking one diet soda a day could boost your risk having a vascular event such as a stroke, heart attack, or vascular death.
  9. Drinking diet soda has been linked to depression.  Research has shown that people who drank 4 cups of diet soda a day over the course of more than 10 years were 30% more like to develop depression.
  10. Using diet soda as a low-calorie cocktail mixer has shown studies as being dangerous effects of getting you drunk faster than a sugar-sweetened beverage, according to research from Northern Kentucky University.  The study revealed that participants who consumed cocktails mixed with diet sodas had a higher breath alcohol concentration than those who drank alcohol blended with a sugared beverage.  Researchers believe this is because our bloodstream is able to absorb artificial sweetener more quickly than sugar.
  11. Diet Soda can be bad for our bones, especially for women. Since women over 60 are already at a greater risk for Osteoporosis than men, researchers at Tufts University found that drinking soda only compounds that problem.  Women with a history of drinking soda had a nearly 4% lower bone mineral density in their hips than women who did not drink soda.

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