The old saying that “if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is” could not be more relevant when referring to diet sodas.
Diet sodas have become popular over the last few decades in an effort to allow people to consume sodas without taking in additional calories and gaining weight. Theoretically, substituting sugar in non-diet drinks with zero-calorie artificial sweeteners would prevent people from gaining weight. Over the years, study after study have contradicted each other. Some studies suggested that diet sodas were safe to drink, while others showed that diet drinks are likely not much better than non-diet drinks.
Anecdotally, I have talked to many people who have difficulty losing weight, or in some cases, have even gained weight when switching from regular soda to diet drinks.
Why does this happen?
The problem most likely is associated with the use of artificial sweeteners in diet sodas. When it comes to ingesting food or drinks, it is generally better to avoid consuming anything that is artificial (except for necessary medications). Hence, research is now suggesting that artificial sweeteners alter the natural gut flora, which can result in dramatic changes in your body’s internal environment.
Bacteria in the gut aid in proper food digestion. When artificial sweeteners are consumed, certain bacteria are killed, and the process of digestion can be altered – an alteration that may result in obesity and other serious health problems.
While research is still young on the potential negative effects of consuming diet sodas, the preliminary warning signs are glaring! While drinking soda is bad enough as it is, substituting sugar with artificial sugars may actually be making the beverage even more unhealthy. Personally, if soda and diet soda were only two drinks remaining on Earth for consumption, I would opt for the beverage with plain ole’ sugar…