Most people love diet soda; they sip it during stressful activities and at home for its refreshing taste. Yet these soft drinks can have a host of bad effects on your health. Although the calories are low, the empty calories from diet sodas can pile up in your body and lead to weight gain, which is one of the biggest concerns of dieters. Here are a few signs that you need to watch out for when using or drinking diet sodas.
With diet sodas, you will experience bloating, tummy aches, indigestion, excessive gas, irritability, fatigue, and more. These are all empty calories, meaning there are no nutrients provided by the drink. They are typically sold to diet-conscious individuals, diabetics, active individuals, and those who wish to shed weight, boost physical fitness, or decrease their sugar intake completely. Even though they taste great, many people continue to consume them because they do not know that there are better options out there. The problem with diet sodas is that you cannot know what they contain until you consume them.
Diet soda has a number of different manufacturers and some more popular than others. FRS, Sprite, and Dr. Pepper are all well known brands that have been producing low calorie and low-sugar beverages for years. If you have been consuming regular sodas, you may be unaware that they are made with refined white sugar, which is not only bad for your digestion but also makes you physically tired after frequent consumption. It is important that you avoid diet sodas altogether. They should be relegated to occasional use and consumed in moderation.
Other research has revealed that diet sodas are also a cause for weight gain. These researchers believe that the calories that are contained in these drinks stimulate the appetite more than the calories contained in other drinks. When you are hungry, you are less likely to eat, which causes you to gain weight.
Another study was conducted by The Ohio State University Department of Agriculture. This research project tracked two groups of women, one with eating disorders, one without. Both groups were provided drinks with different sweetener content: a no calorie/no fat sweetener, a low-calorie artificial sweetener, and a sucralose sweetener. The results of this study showed that women with eating disorders lost more weight than women without eating disorders. Interestingly, when the women with eating disorders were paired with the non-eating disorders, they had the same weight loss rate, but their blood sugar levels were much lower.
In this current study, participants were asked to drink one of four different types of beverages with different sweetness levels: regular soda, diet soda, a diet lemonade, and a sugar-free carbonated beverage. They were then asked to consume a buffet of unsweetened gelatin and a high appetitive drive, which enticed them to consume more calories than they intended to. Consistent with past studies, those participants who consumed the highest appetitive drive and greater amounts of calories overall showed greater weight concerns than those with low appetitive drive and lower calories. These results suggest that diet soda can contribute to higher levels of body fat when there is a high or frequent presence of appetite. Future studies should examine the relationship between diet soda and weight concerns and other factors, like diet quality and length of time over which the weight issues occur.
The study was conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is part of the federal government. Dr. David Jenkins, an epidemiologist at the College of Public Health and colleagues conducted the observational studies. This research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Associationsand it appears that those participants who drank diet sodas on a regular basis were at a greater risk for developing diabetes. However, the researchers were unsure if the increased risk was due to the ingredients in the beverages or if diet soda drinkers were also at a greater risk for heart disease or other diseases. Further investigation is needed.
Other reasons to give up diet soda are based on recent research. Those sponsored by the National Soft Drink Association have recently been found to contain a variety of chemicals and artificial sweeteners. The ingredients, according to the soft drink industry’s own analysis, include aspartame, saccharin, sodium benzoate, urea, fragrances, imidazolidynyl urea, carotene, sucrose, taurine, stearic acid, and potassium sorbate. This group of artificial sweeteners has been linked to a variety of health risks, including breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, eczema, liver disease, hyperactivity, high blood pressure, kidney disease, cataracts, osteoporosis, brittle hair, menopause, high cholesterol, menopause symptoms, and even cancer. If you are thinking of using diet sodas, ask your doctor first, before doing so.