Is Diet Soda Really Healthy?

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • Diet soda

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    OMG, TaB has turned fifty years old and I forgot to bake a cake. Still in all, I salute you old friend. Imagining my teen years without my go-to beverage would be like forgetting my first kiss. It just ain’t gonna happen.


    The memory of that colorful pink can and chemical flavor are with me still. And that clever name, why it…actually I have no idea what the name means, nor have I ever  met anyone who does. Never mind that though. Hoorah and happy birthday TaB!


    The iconic pink can hit the market in 1963, when diet soda was nearly unheard of. Now, all these years later, it is making a comeback although it no longer tries to attract a primary audience of weight watching females.  Whether this is by design or by coincidence, it’s all good because current studies show that diet soda actually promotes weight gain.

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    Oh well, happy birthday anyhow TaB.


    Sorry, Diet Cola Drinkers


    For those among us who drink diet soda as a weight loss or weight maintenance aid, two new studies show that diet soda is hardly a healthy choice.


    One study followed diet soda drinkers for ten years and found that diet soda drinkers experienced a 70 percent increase in waist size compared to those who did not drink diet soda at all. Research suggests that the reason for this is that artificial sweeteners may trigger appetite, as well as inhibit brain cells that make you feel full.


    Purdue University professor Susan Swithers maintains that drinks which contain chemicals like aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin promote excessive weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease


    A multi-ethnic study of 5,000 men and women found that the drinking of diet soda was tied to a significant risk increase for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.  


    In addition, the San Antonio Heart Study showed that for each diet soft drink that subjects drank daily, they became 65 percent more likely to become overweight in the next seven to eight years.


    Some research suggests that artificial sweeteners cause the brain to actually want more sweet treats and promote additional sugar consumption that results in weight gain.


    Finally, some scientists have also discovered that artificial sweeteners can be toxic. Some countries have gone as far as posting health warnings on products that contain such sweeteners.


    Carbonation


    Yet another factor for weight gain might be carbonation.


    Italian researchers have found that specific amounts of carbonation prevents the brain from being able to distinguish between the sweetness from sugar and the sweetness from artificial sweeteners. This can help to facilitate an attraction for diet sodas. The problem here is that carbonation seems to decrease the general perception of sweet in the brain.


    Should diet soda become the brain’s beverage of choice, the result might be the stimulation of sucrose and food consumption because the brain perceives less sugar intake and a disruption in energy balance.

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    Want more? Learn the scandalous history of America's favorite sugar substitute, read Aspartame: Sweet or Misery?

     

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    References:
    CBS News 
    Gristmill
    Huffington Post
    Kentucky.com 

Published On: December 22, 2013