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How bad are diet sodas, really?

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Old 02-16-2011, 06:30 AM   #1
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Default How bad are diet sodas, really?

Ok I'm a Diet Coke/Coke Zero fan, admittedly. I drink between 2-6 a week. Sometimes it's the only thing that keeps me from grabbing chocolate, candy, or worse.

I usually get between 4-6 8 oz of water a day and I don't use aspartame, Splenda, or any other sugar substitute outside of diet soft drinks. Are these diet drinks really that bad when consumed in moderation? Or should I try to cut them out of my diet completely?

Thanks!

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Old 02-16-2011, 08:01 AM   #2
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You're going to get a lot of different answers even from health experts (if there is such a thing, considering how many theories are out there on weihgt loss and health).

Personally, I've experimented with and without diet sodas, and with and without certain sweeteners, and I haven't seen much if any difference. My doctor and I are happy with my use of diet sodas (I usually have at least one per day. I also rarely use sweeteners outside of my diet soda or Crystal Light).
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:09 AM   #3
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I spent a LOT of time researching artificial sweeteners, reading the original research articles and not just the filtered and skewed versions on various pro and con websites. I was particularly interested in the effects (if any) on insulin spikes, because of the potential for it to affect weight loss efforts.

My conclusion was that for healthy individuals, diet soda is fine in moderation. Whatever potential health costs there may be are often outweighed (ha ha) by the potential health cost of remaining overweight. Sure, it might be "better" if everyone just drank water, but in real life that doesn't happen. If the alternative to drinking a diet soda is "regular" soda or diving face-first into a bowl of hard candy, then it's no contest.

At 2-6 per week, I wouldn't worry about it. That being said, quite a few people swear up and down that artificial sweeteners caused their weight loss plateaus. As a scientist I take this "evidence" with a big grain of salt, but I also know how important the placebo effect can be. If you find yourself plateauing, try cutting out the diet sodas for a week or two.

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Old 02-16-2011, 09:48 AM   #4
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I haver moved away from diet pop, because of the sweeteners and to be soda free. I cannot and will not give up my Crystal Light, however. I can't get the right amount of water without it.
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:49 PM   #5
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Cancer/Blood doctor I worked for said its just not good for kids. She never let her kids have diet sodas, she said had to do with development, but she drank all the time. But docs are the worst patients. So, as long as not a lot, I dont think its bad. There was a research panel that deemed it safe but there are studies that show it increased malignancies in rats. I have diet sodas every now and then (every few weeks) because I work in a Cancer clinic and I dont want to even test fate. Probably the more natural you can eat the better but if you weigh this against other items like obesity and dying of heart attack...well. You get the point.
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:25 PM   #6
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I agree with moderation and 2-6 is definitly that. Personally, I avoid them when I am in my current weight loss phase because I am told that your body responds to aspertame like sugar and produces an insulin spike. And since I am on a low carb diet, I don't want this to happen while I am giving my pancrease a break. But I do miss my daily Coke Zero and can't want to get it back
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:53 PM   #7
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This is helpful- thanks all. I'm a vegetarian and a very clean eater, except for this one downfall! It sounds like weening myself off of any sodas in the long run is a good idea, but continuing in moderation right now may not be terrible...
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:29 AM   #8
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People have different opinions. I think a big problem is that people choose to drink diet sodas instead of water more. I have afriend who never drinks waters, only diet sodas. As far as the ingredients I have no idea. I just seen something on tv about it briefly.
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:46 PM   #9
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Probably not too healthy but I know (sad as it sounds) I wouldn't have made it this far with weight loss without diet pop
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:49 PM   #10
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I was an addicted Diet Coke drinker (6 a day)... I gave it up.

But, I have had such huge changes in my ability to control my eating since I gave up Diet Coke that I am convinced it somehow triggers me to want to eat. Now I have one every once in a while as a treat... especially in a large foam cup from Sonic.
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Old 02-18-2011, 11:07 PM   #11
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I drink a LOAD of Diet Coke. All day, every day. It's just a big pile of chemicals, there's no way it's not doing some kind of damage. I will deal with getting off Diet Coke when I feel more confident handling m eating. I can't change everything at once, it's just to overwhelming for me. For the most part, I avoid fake food as much as I can but I am not ready to give up the DC just yet.

Would I let my kid have one? NO. I don't have tons of food rules for her but I will not allow artificial sweeteners. Or chicken nuggets (gross).

It is my goal to eventually get off the fake sugars, but it's not a priority today.
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:50 AM   #12
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I've been on diet sodas, and I've been off. Personally, they've had no negative effects on my weight loss, and have actually helped (at times) to control my sugar cravings.

Last year I was drinking 2-3 a day, though, and I'm currently drinking them at a rate of 0-3 a week. The reasons are more related to cost and their effect on the environment than a desire to cut them completely out.

I don't think artificial sweeteners are the devil, but I also don't think they're great for us, so while I'll use them sometimes I try to stay conscious of how much I'm ingesting.
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:59 AM   #13
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I really appreciate kaw's post!

I do drink diet sodas -- 1-2 daily, and put splenda in my coffee. I have throughout my weight loss journey.

Someone commented the other day that unlike coffee and wine, there never seems to be any news about the benefits of diet soda. I do believe everything in moderation, but I think I'd like to move to drinking less diet soda and more water.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:10 AM   #14
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diet soda just makes my Coca-cola addiction problem worse...I have to go cold turkey...
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:21 PM   #15
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jules i agree. in high school i drank coke classic like there was NO tomorrow. I am confident it made me gain weight faster especially with hypothyroid issues. Now that i know how it effects my body and weight loss I don't allow myself to have any of it, because i WILL keep going if i allow myself to have one. I just know myself well enough to know its not a good idea for me.

Something that's helped me STOP drinking soda is seltzer water. I still get the bubbles and there are SO many flavors out there. I just double check to make sure the sodium is low (or non existent) and that it is not sweetened with aspartame.

Aspartame actually turns into formaldehyde in your system... finding out the facts will make you never want to touch soda again.
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