Is Diet Soda Bad for You?

Is Diet Soda Bad for You?

Let’s take a minute to talk about diet soda and to clear up some common misconceptions.

The first thing I want to dispel is that artificial, low calorie sweeteners are bad for you. I did a thorough review of the health effects of aspartame, which is a common ingredient in diet drinks, and found very little evidence that it is bad for you. Some folks are at risk for headaches from consuming it, but other than that, there does not appear to be any other risks. This appears to be true for most low calorie artificial sweeteners. There is no credible evidence they cause significant disease, although consumers of these products may have other bad dietary habits.

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The second misconception is that diet soda is a good replacement for sweetened soda for weight loss. While drinking low calorie sweetened soda when compared to sweetened soda should lead to a decrease in total daily calorie consumption, the evidence is not clear that this is an effective weight loss tool. There are several studies and health experts that have found that people who drink low calorie sweetened beverages may still have an increased risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and other diseases. The reason(s) for this are not well understood.

One major negative side effect of long term diet soda, and regular soda consumption for that matter, is destruction of the enamel of your teeth. The relationship between soda consumption and poor dental health is well established. This is especially true in children. This has to do with the acidity of soda. Dark colored sodas can also lead to staining and contribute to poor dental health.

My advice is obviously to avoid drinking soda or sugary beverages at all, whenever possible. Consider drinking your coffee black. Drink more water, tea and milk.

In summary, drinking diet soda is not inherently bad for you. However, it is not proven to be an effective weight loss tool and can lead to damage to your teeth over time.

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