When you’re following a weight loss plan, you learn that sugar is not exactly your friend. Not only does sugar increase your total calories consumed; it is usually associated with “empty calories” devoid of any nutritional value. So in an effort to avoid those problems, many decide people decide to switch to sugar-free versions of their favorite foods and drinks. Diet soda is one popular option.
Of course, now we’re hearing warnings against diet soda, too. If you’re wondering whether diet soda is really all that terrible, read on…
Studies on the topic have shown mixed results. But we do know that the artificial sweeteners used in diet sodas will indeed fulfill and encourage your cravings for sweets. Yes, a diet soda might relieve a craving temporarily, but as with real sugar, your body soon wants more. One study compared diet soda drinkers with water drinkers, and found that those who opt for diet soda still consumed 196 more calories and 15 more grams of sugar daily than the water drinkers. That’s probably because the diet soda fueled cravings for more sugar, and that group simply opted to get their sugar from another source.
Aside from undermining your weight loss plan, artificial sweeteners in diet soda might carry other negative effects. After tracking more than 80,000 post-menopausal women for a decade, researchers found that those who drank more than one diet soda per day faced an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and early death. Another study linked the sweeteners to diabetes and high blood pressure.
On the other hand, there are studies that have shown no clear links between diet soda and negative outcomes. We definitely recommend playing it safe until we have more clear answers regarding artificial sweeteners and their safe limits. Plus, drinking water is always a healthy choice for anyone. Having said that, an occasional diet soda is unlikely to interfere with your weight loss plan; just take it easy and don’t make a daily habit of it.
If you have other questions about weight loss or healthy eating, give us a call. We can answer your questions and help you adjust your diet to promote better health at any size or age.