Drinking soda: one of America’s most addicting, dangerous, and socially accepted health habits. Most people will agree that regular soda is bad for you, which is why “diet soda” has become more popular in the decade.
But are diet sodas any better for our bodies than regular soda? Some argue that because diet sodas are zero calories, sugar-free, and keto-friendly, they should be “good to gulp”! All of these selling points are true, so what’s the big deal?
New research has shown that two or more diet beverages per day are associated with a higher risk of stroke and heart attacks. How is this happening?
Diet Soda "Perks"
First of all, let’s address diet soda’s biggest selling points:
Sugar-Free: Diet sodas do not contain sugar, but artificial sweeteners (most commonly an artificial sweetener called Aspartame). However, not all sweeteners are created equal and aspartame is one of the most harmful.
Zero Calories: Aspartame, typically used in diet sodas, is an artificial sweetener that cannot be digested, hence diet soda has “zero calories” but, once again, aspartame is very hard on our bodies.
- Keto-Friendly: Since diet soda doesn’t have sugar, calories, or even net carbs, it doesn’t have any effect on blood sugar levels, so technically diet soda is keto. However, as informed “consumers”, recognize that there are better options that are still keto-friendly and will not compromise your health.
Diet Soda Associated with Stroke and Heart Attack
The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recently completed a study of 82,000 postmenopausal women. The research was done by observing the health of each woman for an average of twelve years and then analyzed their diet soda intake.
They found that those who drank two or more diet sodas a day (12 fluid ounce servings) had a 23% higher stroke risk compared to their peers who consumed less than one diet drink a week.
After controlling for lifestyle factors, the study found that women who were drinking two or more artificially sweetened drinks per day “were 31% more likely to have a clot-based stroke, 29% more likely to have heart disease [which may subsequently experience a heart attack] and 16% more likely to die from any cause than women who drank diet beverages less than once a week or not at all” (Lamotte, 2019).
It is important to note, though, that this study illustrates an association with diet soda and stroke risks, and not a cause-and-effect.
Unfortunately, these are just a few of the ways diet soda is suspected to harm our bodies. Other studies have found that diet sodas may lead to:
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Increased appetite
- Type 2 Diabetes
- High Blood Pressure
- Tooth Decay
- Depression (Mandi, 2018).
Benefits of Giving Up Diet Soda
We only get one body, so take care of it! There are so many reported benefits of giving up diet soda. Here are just a few!
Decreased risk of chronic diseases (including all the ones mentioned above!): A healthier body can protect itself more effectively against chronic diseases (Lamotte, 2019).
Food tastes better: Diet soda actually affects the way food tastes. Eliminating it from your diet can actually make everything else taste better because drinking diet soda increases our threshold for sweetness, which negatively affects taste (Madormo, 2018).
Weight Loss: Most people switch to diet soda because they think “zero calories” means it won’t affect their waistline. Although it’s zero-calories, it actually makes it easier for you to gain weight (Madormo, 2018).
Not only does diet soda actually increase the amount of food you eat, but it also decreases the quality of the food you eat. Artificial sweeteners in diet soda disrupt our ability to feel full, so you end up eating more than you need. Eliminating diet soda brings more stability to your eating patterns and quality (Madormo, 2018).
Fewer Sugar Cravings: Diet soda also increases sugar cravings because you're desensitizing your taste buds to sweetness, so you end up craving more sugar! Drop the diet soda and you’ll be well on your way to dropping sugar (Madormo, 2018).
More Energy: Many people reach for their diet soda when they need a “pick me up” in the middle of the day. Ironically, diet sodas do more harm than good and drain your energy. Caffeine dehydrates you and overstimulates the nervous system leading to fatigue and exhaustion. Ditching the diet soda for water (or other healthy options) leads to more consistent energy throughout the entire day (Madormo, 2018).
- Healthy Teeth: Like regular soda, diet soda is associated with dental erosion due to acidic pH levels. Maintain your sparkly white, cavity-free teeth by avoiding diet soda! (Madormo, 2018).
Love Diet Soda?
Though diet sodas are addicting and it may be hard to give up, it will be worth it.
When trying to get off soda, some have found drinking carbonated water with a few drops of Lakanto Liquid Monkfruit Sweetener, teas with Lakanto Classic Monkfruit 2:1 Sweetener Packets, infused water or this lemonade really helps to overcome the craving for soda.
As you transition from harmful sweeteners like Aspartame found in diet soda to all-natural sweeteners like Lakanto Monkfruit Sweeteners, you will likely feel a difference in energy and overall health! Try our sweeteners here!