If you’re a weight-conscious person, you’ve probably switched from regular to diet soda in the belief that you’re doing something good for your health and waistline. You know that too much sugar is bad for you, and that regular soda contains a lot of sugar-nearly 10 teaspoonfuls per 12 ounce can. But there are those who argue that the artificial sweeteners in diet soda are harmful to health as well. Read on for some of the reasons why diet soda may not be your best beverage choice.
While there is more than one artificial sweetener used in diet soda, it is aspartame that has come under the most fire. The FDA has approved aspartame for use in diet sodas, but some consumers have complained of side effects, and there have been worries that aspartame promotes tumors in lab animals. Though not everyone believes it is safe, there’s no proof that the chemical sweetener causes cancer in humans.
Some scientists say another problem with aspartame and other artificial sweeteners is that they fool your body. The taste buds detect the sweet flavor, but when your body doesn’t actually receive sugar, it stimulates cravings for more diet soda.
Perhaps you drink diet soda instead of regular soda because you want a low or no calorie beverage that won’t harm your weight. However, some researchers believe your body expects a certain number of calories based on the taste of food and drinks consumed. If the food or drink tastes sweet, your body’s responds as though it received sugar. This can lead to weight gain.
Also, the sweet flavor of diet soda is likely to stimulate a craving for other sugary foods and beverages. There are 15 calories per teaspoon of sugar, and considering the amount of sugar in everything from desserts, fast food, breads, snacks and fruit juice, you can consume too much sugar and calories very quickly.
Teeth and Bones
Diet soda does not contribute to tooth decay since it isn’t made with sugar like regular soda, but diet soda is still bad for your teeth because of the citric acid and phosphoric acid. These acids wear away tooth enamel. Over time, this can lead to cavities and sensitivity in teeth. And the phosphoric acid in diet soda has the effect of leaching calcium from your bones.
Caffeine in diet soda can cause irritability, heart palpitations and insomnia, especially if you are sensitive to the drug. If you are going to drink diet soda, switch to a decaffeinated version.
Replaces Healthier Beverages
There is nothing in diet soda that your body needs from a nutrition standpoint. Instead, diet soda replaces healthier drinks such as water and green tea, which contains antioxidants.
A can of caffeine-free diet soda now and then probably will not harm you, but making it a regular indulgence could be bad for your health. Replacing at least some of the diet soda in your diet with healthier drinks such as green tea and water will reduce the chance of weight and health problems due to diet soda consumption.