We all know the person who drinks a diet coke every morning instead of coffee so they can have a nice morning treat while remaining healthy. It's like an addiction for these people, but a harmless one. You might be one of these people who loves the guilt-free pleasure of drinking a delicious Diet Coke.
There's a large disparity between people who drink Coke and those who drink Diet Coke. Coke is considered bad. It's a guilty pleasure for people, and often people apologize for drinking it out of shame. That's not the same for Diet Coke. Diet Coke doesn't have any of the stigma that Coke does, even though it probably should.
It's important to realize that Diet Coke is still a soft drink, and although it isn't packed with real sugar the way that a regular Coke or soft drink is, it still has sugar substitutes that could be harmful in different ways than regular sugar. One such way is that diet drinks can actually make you fatter.
Diet soft drinks are certainly the more favorable soft drink out of all of them. There are your basic sodas, and then there are your sodas that use real cane sugar, usually coming from Mexico. Every so often a social media post goes viral showing the effects soda has on your body, and it's not pretty. People know to avoid sugary sodas, and they either do or they don't, accepting the consequences. That's not the case with Diet sodas, which people tend to assume are healthy.
That's not to say that people haven't been suspicious of diet soft drinks. Diet soft drinks use different artificial sweeteners that have different effects on the body. There are also preservatives in the diet sodas, which may help out food stay good longer but aren't good for our bodies.
With all the artificial sweeteners and preservatives in diet soft drinks, some worry they may cause neurological issues, as well as affecting our desires for sweets. A traditional soft drink can have up to nine teaspoons of sugar per can, so of course the diet option sounds much better. They are even promoted as having very low calories. New research from George Washington University has debunked the fact that diet sodas are a good weight loss solution. Surprisingly, the study states that diet soda drinks consume 200 extra calories each day on average.
The study was based on over 7,000 teenagers and children in the United States. The 200 extra calories is in comparison to people who mainly drink water. The study did find that regular soda is even worse. Regular soda drinks drank an average of 300 more calories per day.
The study doesn't necessarily correlate this increased caloric intake with weight gain, but it's fair to assume that someone who regularly consumed 200 extra calories would gain weight. For those of you who are looking to lose the pounds while still drinking diet soda, you may have found the culprit. There is also the fact that drinking soda, diet or otherwise, increases your desire for sweet foods. That means your diet beverage is only going to make it harder to diet.
While we shouldn't worry about the occasional soda, the problem is when drinking these beverages becomes habit forming. Ultimately, if you're truly looking to be healthier, sodas are not the answer. You are better off drinking water as your beverage of choice, or if you're going to have an occasional soda, practice a lot of self control.