Imagine you have two drinks in front of you to choose from: a soda and a diet soda. Since you are watching your weight, you choose the diet soda since it is more healthy, right?
You are saving yourself the 140-plus calories, yet still satisfying that craving for something sweet. However, there is more to diet sodas than their calorie-free allure.
Here are 10 scary reasons to stop drinking diet soda right now.
1. It plays tricks on your body.
When you drink something sweet, your body is assuming that it is getting sugar and acts appropriately. Insulin is triggered and your body waits for the counteractive sugar that never comes.
According to WebMD, this raises your blood sugar and sends your body into a fat-storage mode that causes you to gain weight.
Artificial sweeteners are sweeter than real sugar, so with time, diet soda dulls our body’s reaction to naturally sweet healthy foods such as fruit. Here is a great video that explains how our bodies are confused by artificial sweeteners.
2. While you think you’re losing weight, you’re likely gaining.
Sure, diet soda doesn’t add to your calorie count for the day. However, it is not likely to help you lose weight. A study done at the University of Texas found people who drank diet soda over the course of a decade, in general, had a waist circumference that was 70% greater than those who did not drink diet soda.
But, there’s more. Participants who drank more than one diet soda each day had a 500% increase in their waist circumference.
Aside from the artificial sweeteners confusing the body, people may have psychological influences if they believe they can eat more calories since they are drinking zero-calorie beverages.
3. Drinking diet soda puts you at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Studies have shown that drinking just one diet soda each day puts you at a 36% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome, which includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and a large waist circumference, puts you at a higher risk for serious health issues such as diabetes and stroke.
4. Diet soda is not beneficial to your health in any way.
You are not getting any nutrition from a can of diet soda. There are no vitamins or minerals that your body is able to absorb from this drink to help your system work properly.
However, if you want a beverage that has no calories, water is crucial for most of our bodily processes. Replacing water with diet soda is harmful to your health.
Related: 20 Health Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water You Probably Didn’t Know About
5. Diet soda is a heart-breaker.
Drinking only one diet soda each day can raise your risk of cardiovascular complications such as a heart attack, stroke, or vascular death.
Researchers at the University of Miami found that people who drink diet soda on a regular basis are 43% more likely to have cardiovascular complications than people who kept diet soda out of their diets.
Additionally, those who drink regular soda did not appear to have these same increased risks of vascular health problems.
6. It hurts your bones.
Women who are over the age of 60 are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis than men of the same age. Researchers at Tufts University found that drinking any kind of soda, diet or not, makes osteoporosis worse.
Their study found that female drinkers had almost 4% less bone mineral density compared to women who chose a healthier beverage. This even took into account the participants’ intake of calcium and vitamin D.
7. It’s associated with depression.
A study that was presented at an American Academy of Neurology meeting revealed that over the course of a decade, people who drank over four cups of diet soda each day had a 30% increased chance of developing depression over those who did not drink soda.
While there is more research to be done on this, preliminary findings do not look positive.
8. It makes alcohol more dangerous.
Mixing diet soda with alcohol can get you drunk faster than mixing it with drinks that contain real sugar. A study done at Northern Kentucky University showed that participants drinking cocktails containing diet soda had a higher BAC than those drinking alcohol with sugared mixers.
This is likely because the bloodstream absorbs artificial sweeteners faster than sugar.
9. It will hurt your teeth.
Drinking a lot of diet soda can harm your teeth by eroding your enamel. People who drink diet soda on a regular basis are exposing their teeth to citric acid, which weaken and dissolves tooth enamel.
Tooth enamel cannot be regenerated, so once it is gone, it’s gone.
10. You’re going to get a headache.
Aspartame has been shown to trigger headaches and even migraines in some people. Doctors report that they have been able to link their patients’ headaches to the consumption of diet soda. This chemical is poor for your overall health and it can drag you down throughout the day.
Getting a headache can even trick you into thinking that you need more caffeine, making you reach for another diet soda. However, this will only cause your headache to be worse.
Will You Continue Drinking Diet Soda?
All in all, diet sodas are not worth the zero calorie benefit. Not only are they harmful to your health in many ways, but the diet soda industry has worked to trick people into believing diet sodas are a safe alternative to beverages that actually do benefit your body.
If diet soda is a regular part of your diet, start small and replace a few diet sodas each day with carbonated water. This way, you will still be getting the sparkling taste that you are looking for without the added chemicals or fake sweeteners.
Slowly over time decrease your diet soda intake until it is completely out of your diet. Chances are, once you have stopped drinking it, you will feel better and you won’t even miss it.
Don’t let marketing fool you into thinking that this is a healthy way to stay hydrated. Think of all of the harmful things that it does to your health before reaching for that next diet soda.