Nutrition experts have been warning us of the dangers in drinking soda and diet soda for years, but which of the two is worse for your health? When soda and diet soda are put on a face value comparison, the numbers seem to favor diet soda more. This is why most people choose diet soda over regular soda when faced with a health-conscious decision. Are diet sodas really better than their regular counterparts?
While a diet soda can satisfy your urge to consume something sweet, refresh your taste buds and save you about a hundred calories compared to regular sodas, there’s more to it than meets the eye. You might not be aware, but these artificial cocktails can be detrimental for your health, worsen your teeth condition and add some unwanted inches to your waistline in the long run. Here’s why diet soda is worse than regular soda, broken down according to health risks:
How come diet soda tastes almost as sweet as regular soda without the calories that come with it? By using artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, saccharin and aspartame. In fact, they can provide a more intense flavor than regular sugar but at the cost of messing with our bodies’ inherent ability to process sugar from food; they also mess up our senses, particularly our taste buds. As long as you drink diet soda, your body won’t be able to fully convert the sugars you consume from food sources such as cookies, candies and even fruits.
Drinking regular soda is bad for your teeth in a way that the bacteria in your mouth thrives on the plentiful sugar in each can. Surprisingly, drinking diet soda doesn’t produce the same effect. Don’t think that you can go ahead and switch over exclusively to diet soda though, because the sweet drink causes some serious teeth problems in a different manner.
You see, diet soda has an abundance of acids (particularly citric acids and phosphoric acid) that could strip the protective enamel straight off your teeth. Instead of high bacterial concentrations digging holes and producing cavities, you get a set of teeth that is stripped of its natural defenses, which is compounded by the additional sugary foods you eat such as candies, chocolates and other sweet drinks.
Unhealthy Weight Gain
How could a person gain weight when they consume less calories with diet soda? The factor is not the amount of calories being taken in, but the quality of what a person eats. Sodas in general don’t have anything to offer in nutritional value- they just come in and go directly to adding those extra pounds.
A study made in San Antonio, Texas reveals that drinking diet soda doubles the likelihood of a person becoming obese or overweight. This study was made on 3682 individuals residing within the city.
True, diet soda is being marketed as calorie-free, but it doesn’t do anything to help you lose weight. The reasons for the weight gain could be psychological. In thinking that you’re getting away with drinking sweet soda with 0 calories, you’d reason that another slice of pizza or cheeseburger will make little difference.
Simply drinking one diet soda per day can put an individual on 36% increase of developing metabolic syndrome and increased risk of developing diabetes.
In another study of a group of 6,814 individuals between the ages of 45 to 85, drinking diet soda daily increased their risk of developing type II diabetes by 67%.
What’s metabolic syndrome, you ask? Well, its a group of conditions including having a large waist circumference, raised cholesterol and elevated glucose levels, and high blood pressure which could contribute to more major health problems such as heart diseases, diabetes and stroke. Type II diabetes has recently surged over the past few decades, and the majority of it is caused by obesity and excessive sugar consumption. While some people argue over the fact that calorie-free sodas are still better than regular soda, statistics prove them wrong.
Think diet soda can lift your mood with its sugary goodness? Think again. A study of 263,925 people between the ages of 51 to 70 found that drinking soda can increase the chances of depression by 30% over the span of a decade. Those who drank more than 4 cans of soda had a higher tendency to develop depression than the ones who drank healthier alternatives. The likelihood of depression was found to be higher in diet soda than regular soda.