As reported by the Centers for Disease Control, most of the Americans drink a can of diet soda every day. Over the years, several studies have linked drinking of diet soda with weight gain, dementia, stroke, diabetes, and other health problems. While this may be worrying for the diet soda drinkers, many researchers and health professionals have claimed that drinking a moderate amount of diet soda is okay.
Does it Help with Weight Loss at All
Some studies show that choosing artificially sweetened soda over regular soda may be useful for weight loss if you make healthy food choices and give up high-calorie foods.
In 2012, a research was conducted on two groups of overweight teens, wherein one group continued to drink sugary sodas while the other switched to diet soft drinks. After one year, the diet soda drinkers were found to have lost some weight as compared to those who drank sugary sodas. However, after two years, people from both groups weighed nearly the same. Still more research is needed to draw any conclusion about its benefits for losing weight.
Six Ways How Over-drinking Diet Soda May be Harmful for You
Despite being free of calorie and sugar, diet soft drinks in large amounts can have a negative impact due to the following reasons:
1. Low/no nutritional value
Diet soda is an artificially sweetened beverage with ingredients like carbonated water, acids, caffeine, flavors, colors, and preservatives. It does not add any significant nutritional value to your diet.
2. Risks of diabetes
A research review published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 2015 found that one serving of diet soda per day increases the risks of diabetes in diet soda drinkers by 8%. Another study conducted with 2,037 male factory employees in Japan showed similar results.
3. Weight gain
The artificial sweeteners in these beverages could trigger your appetite so that you want to eat more sugary treats. A 2014-research showed that overweight people who had diet sodas consumed 100-200 more calories of food on a daily basis than those who had regular sodas.
Additionally, they may dull your taste buds, which make healthy foods like fruits and vegetables less appealing.
4. Dental health
Diet soda contains citric, phosphoric, and malic acids, which can damage your teeth. The acid attacks with every sip of the drink, thereby weakening your gums and teeth. Kids are more likely to be affected because they do not have fully-developed tooth enamel.
5. Heart disease
Consumption of diet soda has been associated with high blood pressure, increasing the chances of heart disease. Research has shown that each serving of these sugar-free beverages can increase the chances of high blood pressure by 9%.
6. Mental Health
Researchers from the Boston University examined ten years of medical history from 3,000 Americans over 45 years, and 1,500 Americans over 60 years to know how many had a stroke or developed dementia. It was observed that diet soda drinkers were three times more prone to stroke and dementia than those who did not consume diet soda.
Should You Stop Drinking Diet Soda
While these studies have found some link between drinking diet soda and certain health conditions, more clinical trials are needed to raise a concern about these beverages. The American Beverage Association still considers drinking diet soda to be safe.
However, if you want to replace regular soda with a healthier low-calorie drink, try something like skimmed milk or unsweetened tea instead.