Diet soda – that feel good factor when you need to drink something tasty. However you know it’s bad for you, you just do.
No nutritional product that is the result of intense marketing from a global conglomerate is ever going to be natural, wholesome and just what your body needs (maybe peas – but they have to be organic – and that’s not going to happen with that global conglomerate) – we dare you to prove us wrong.
But being the naturally curious and intelligent person that you are (and good looking with great taste – we can see that from here) you want to know just how diet soda is going to ruin your life. Because we like you we did the research. You’ll never touch a can of the stuff again – we guarantee you (and we’re not a global conglomerate – yet).
Your tongue will betray you.
If you keep drinking stuff with artificial sweeteners
So without further ado here’s why you shouldn’t be drinking diet sodas:
1. It confuses your body
Artificial sweeteners have more intense flavor than real sugar, so over time products like diet soda dull our senses to naturally sweet foods like fruit, says Brooke Alpert, RD, author of The Sugar Detox. Even more troubling, these sugar substitutes have been shown to have the same effect on your body as sugar. “Artificial sweeteners trigger insulin, which sends your body into fat storage mode and leads to weight gain,” Alpert says. According to a University of Texas Health Science Centre study downing just two or more cans a day increased waistlines by 500 percent.
2. It messes with your skin
Studies have shown that a regular soda habit has been linked to accelerated aging. If the long-term effects aren’t enough to scare you, diet soda lowers your pH levels, which can cause acne and leave your skin looking terrible.
Diet or regular, all colas contain phosphates, or phosphoric acid, a weak acid that gives colas their tangy flavour and improves their shelf life. Too much phosphoric acid can lead to heart and kidney issues, muscle loss, and osteoporosis, and one study suggests it could trigger accelerated aging. The study, published in a 2010 issue of the FASEB Journal, found that the excessive phosphate levels found in sodas caused lab rats to die a full five weeks earlier than the rats whose diets had more normal phosphate levels and soda manufacturers have been increasing the levels of phosphoric acid in their products over the past few decades – not good news.
3. It alters your mood.
The aspartame found in diet soda has been linked to headaches, dizzy spells, and even mood swings. It’s especially potent in people with a predisposition for anxiety or depression. That’s the last thing you need in today’s fast track, stress filled world.
4. It increases your risk of heart attack and other health issues
One University of Miami study found that folks who drank diet soda every day were 44 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who cut the soda out of their diet.
Researchers from Denmark discovered that drinking non-diet soda leads to dramatic increases in fat build up around your liver and your skeletal muscles, both of which can contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes.
The study showed that people who drank a regular soda every day for six months saw a 132 to 142 percent increase in liver fat, a 117 to 221 percent jump in skeletal fat, and about a 30 percent increase in both triglyceride blood fats and other organ fat. Their consumption also led to an 11 percent increase in cholesterol, compared with the people who drank other beverages such as water or even milk.
5. You’re not getting any thinner
It’s not surprising that drinking all the sugar in sodas would cause weight gain, but what is surprising is that even diet soda will pack on the pounds. A study by the University of Texas Health Science Centre monitored 475 adults for 10 years, and found that those who drank diet soda had a 70 percent increase in waist circumference over the ten-year study when compared with those who didn’t drink any soda at all.
Those who drank more than two diet sodas per day saw a 500 percent waist expansion. A separate study the same researchers conducted on mice suggested that it was the aspartame, which raised blood glucose levels that caused the weight gain; when your liver encounters too much glucose, the excess is converted to body fat. The rule here is don’t drink (or eat) anything with aspartame in it.
In 2011, the non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest asked the Food and Drug Administration to ban the artificial caramel colouring used to make Coke, Pepsi, and other colas brown. Why? Two contaminants in the colouring, 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, have been found to cause cancer in animals, a threat the group says is unnecessary, considering that the colouring is purely cosmetic.
According to California’s ultra-strict Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, just 16 micrograms per person per day of 4-methylimidazole is enough to pose a cancer threat, and most brown colas, both diet and regular versions contain 200 micrograms per 20-ounce (in places outside the U.S. that’s a little over the standard 500ml bottle) bottle.
7. Hormone Unhappiness
If you’re drinking anything out of a can it’s bad news. Nearly all aluminium soda cans are lined with an epoxy resin called bisphenol A (BPA), used to keep the acids in soda from reacting with the metal. This epoxy has been linked to everything from infertility to obesity and diabetes and some forms of reproductive cancers. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have fingered soda cans, along with restaurant, school, and fast-food meals, as a major source of exposure to the chemical.
The big two – Pepsi and Coke are currently fighting it out to see which company can be the first to develop a 100 percent plant-based-plastic bottle–which they’re marketing as “BPA free” however neither company is willing to switch to BPA-free aluminium cans.
The upshot of this is that you really are better off drinking water (out of a tap) or unsweetened fruit juices. They’re better for you and they’re better for the environment.