Diet Drinks are Soda-licious but Come with a Price

diet sodaDiet soda may seem like the perfect solution for our sugary sweet cravings. We can get our fix, while maintaining our health and watching our weight. It’s a win-win, right? Well, maybe not.

Recent research shows that drinking diet soda may have negative effects on your health. From strokes to weight gain, diet drinks may do more harm than good. Take a look at these 4 side effects from diet soda and consider your own diet drink usage.

Kidney Issues
You probably didn’t know that drinking diet soda might be bad for your kidneys. One study found that women who drank two or more diet sodas a day were twice as likely to have future kidney health decline. What’s even more interesting was that researchers found that regular soda did not have the same effects, leading them to believe that artificial sweeteners found in diet sodas may be a contributor.2

Heart Trouble
According to the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study1, postmenopausal women who drink two or more diet drinks a day may be more likely to have a heart attack, other heart problems, or stroke. Women who had two or more drinks a day were 30% more likely to have a cardiovascular event and 50% more likely to die from a related disease compared to women who don’t drink diet soda as often. If you’re looking for a heart healthy lifestyle, go easy on diet drinks!

Weight Gain
Probably one of the most surprising and upsetting side effects of diet sodas may be weight gain. Yes, you read that correctly. What was once considered the soda-alternative to help you maintain or lose weight may in fact add some lbs. to your frame. A study done by The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio  found that diet soda drinkers had a 70% greater increase in waist size compared with non-users. And, those that drank more than 2 diet sodas a day had a weight size increase that was 500% greater than non-users.  Why is that? It could be the fact that artificial sweeteners:

  • Trick your body into thinking that sugar is on its way – causing your body to release insulin (fat storage hormone) which lays down belly fat
  • Confuse and slow down your metabolism
  • Make you hungrier and crave more sugars and carbs

Diabetes
Since it’s not made with real sugar, you may believe that diet soda will not increase your risk for diabetes. But, not so fast! According to one study, drinking diet soda daily is associated with higher risks for type 2 diabetes. Researchers found that people who drank diet soda each day had a 67% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with people who don’t drink diet soda.3

The debate over whether diet soda is good or bad for you is still on-going, but recent studies may make you rethink your consumptive habits.

If you have any concerns about diet drinks—or any other health issues—talk with your doctor or health care provider to get the best advice for you.

Sources:
1. America College of Cardiology
2. National Center for Biotechnical Information
3. University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio

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  • I think there are many flawed statements in this article. First , there is no mention of the harms or sugar filled sodas. Second, there is no mention of minimal risk of any illness when diet drinks are used in moderation. Third, there is no mention of fact that many people use artificial sweeteners so they can "cheat" on their diet. For example using a packet of Splenda in tea and thinking they can now have that piece of pie for desert. Exchanging about 12 calories for about 450. There is no mention of drinking water or flavored water. And finally, all of this misinformation seems to be based on "one study" and doesn't say who funded the study. Perhaps it was funded by the high fructose corn syrup institute for healthy living?  

  • Hi

    Thank you for your comments on this article. We  want to make sure our sources are current  and we list them on each article.   You brought up some great talking points, and like many things in life, moderation can be the key to happiness; There are always opportunities to kick an unhealthy habit, so why not give it the boot? Your suggestion for flavored water or even sparkling water is spot on! Bottoms up and cheers to the best no calorie in all the world- H2O!