Is diet soda bad for you? The simple answer is no, and yes. But how is that possible? Continue reading.
Diet soda has become incredibly popular in this century, although the very first diet soda introduced in the market was back in 1952 with a beverage called No-Cal. The industry of no-calorie carbonated drinks had its ups and downs ever since and it seems to be at a crossroads in the past few years. After all, is diet soda bad for you? This is what you will find out.
Diet Soda Closer Look
When diet sodas were first created, the target audience was people who suffered from diabetes. However, as it is a drink with taste and very few calories, it soon became the go-to drink for dieters.
Most diet sodas back then had a chemical compound called cyclamate which was banned in 1969 after it was linked to bladder cancer in animals. Tab, Coca-Cola’s best-selling product with minimal calories at the time, had to reformulate and began using aspartame in its creation to curb the cyclamate ban.
After this quick history lesson, let’s jump to the real reason you clicked on this article.
Is Diet Soda Bad For You? The Case for NO
So, is diet soda bad for you? Here you will discover why that is a myth. Diet soda is recommended if you are looking to lose weight. This is where the dieters got it right back in the 60s when diet sodas first came out.
Multiple studies show that replacing regular soda with diet soda leads to impressive weight loss. You will be literally cutting down empty calories that add up at the end of the day. The fewer calories in your body, the easier it is to lose weight.
Available research into diet soda and long-term health risks is insufficient with some specific areas where risks are unlikely. Ingestion of diet sodas does not inhibit fat loss or spike insulin levels (it does not cause diabetes).
If you drink 3 small bottles of Coke per day, you are ingesting 500 calories without feeling fuller. If you switch to a diet soda and change nothing else in your diet or physical activity, those 500 calories a day can result in 1 pound of weight lost per week – simply by switching to diet soda.
The big problem with the math above is that some people switch to diet soda, understand that are consuming less calories and then believe they can eat more or something more calorie-dense. If you switch to diet soda and begin eating pizza regularly, you are only substituting the calories instead of cutting them short. Hence, no weight loss.
If you are looking to lose weight fast, without too much compromise, then switch to diet soda. That is if you drink regular soda on a weekly basis. If you drink only water or already low-calorie beverages, diet soda will not help you with further weight loss.
What about those studies that come up every once in a while saying diet sodas are bad, and cause obesity, heart problems and diabetes? Are they fake?
Those are likely epidemiological research that aims to find correlations between two variables. There are not many studies that compare the drinking of diet soda among people with equivalent diets.
One study did find a weak correlation between the consumption of diet soda and vascular events among people with similar diet habits, but that correlation disappeared when ‘pre-existing health conditions’ were considered.
In conclusion, many people may consume diet soda to do “less damage” to their already bad eating habits.
So diet soda is not bad for you at all? Well, although it can help a lot of people in many ways, clearly that is not the final conclusion. It can be harmful, but not too much.
Is Diet Soda Bad For You? The Case for YES
As seen above, diet soda can greatly improve your weight loss journey. However, it is not all rainbows and butterflies in the low-calorie fizzy drinks world. Here are some downsides of diet soda you should take into consideration.
Doesn’t Fill You Up
We mentioned it briefly before, but drinking diet soda will not make you feel fuller. That is usually true for most drinks, so psychologically speaking, you might feel like you are allowed to eat more to feel full since you are drinking less calories – don’t fall into this trap.
Poor Dental Health
Besides cavities, you may also experience yellowing of teeth from drinking diet soda, although regular sodas are even worse in this department.
May Make You Hungrier
There can be a snowball effect by drinking diet soda because, after you get used to it, it tastes quite good. And the feeling it gives you can lead you to eat comfortable food which, in almost every case, means calorie-dense food like pasta, chips, or pizza.
Diet Soda Is Not Nutritious
If we compare diet soda with regular soda, both are not nutritious at all. But compared to other drinks, juice or water, one can safely say that diet soda is not nutritious. It is mainly a mixture of carbonated water, artificial or natural sweetener, colours, flavours and food additives.
If you are focused on reaching your daily macros, diet soda is not helpful at all.
Conclusion, Is Diet Soda Bad For You?
In conclusion, is diet soda bad for you? As stated earlier at the top of this page, the answer is yes and no.
Diet soda is not bad for you if you already drink carbonated beverages loaded with calories. If you want to lose weight, switching to low or no-calorie fizzy drinks will greatly help with your fat loss tracking.
Diet soda is not linked to diabetes, heart problems or even an increase in weight. Those are myths and most research found little evidence for those myths.
However, diet soda can be bad for your teeth (cavities and yellowing), make you crave comfortable and high-calorie dense food, and is not nutritious.
It all really depends on what is your goal and what you care more about. If you are overweight and drink normal carbonated drinks, then switch to diet sodas immediately and you are almost sure to lose weight.
If your teeth are not in great health already, or if your body fat percentage is relatively low, switching to diet sodas might not be the best choice.