The new diet starts on Monday, as all diets do. What’s on the To Do list? Well, you’ll need to figure out your gym schedule, pack your gym bag for easy morning access, and of course, go grocery shopping. You’ll be sure to get all the obvious “diet” items like fruits, veggies, all things gluten free if you can help it, and of course, some diet soda to help with your sweet tooth. Calorie free, beautifully bubbly and perfectly sweet…ideal for the avid dieter.
Think again, people! While diet drinks may fit the bill when trying to trick your brain into thinking you’re getting a little treat, they’re actually doing more damage than you’d expect. Check out some of the negative side effects of your favorite “guilt-free” drinks.
Do you ever notice how after drinking diet sodas, some foods lose their appeal? Take fruits for instance. Generally, fruits are sweet, right? Well, the artificial sweeteners in these drinks have a more intensely sweet flavor than natural foods and begin to dull your senses. Not only do these chemicals screw with your taste buds, but they react similarly to sugar in your bloodstream. They can trigger an insulin response like to real sugar which leads to excess fat stores. Essentially, the exact opposite reason for drinking these things.
Increased risk of Disease
According to a study conducted by the University of Minnesota, just one diet soda per day can lead to a 36% increased risk of metabolic syndrome. This is characterized by several symptoms such as elevations in blood pressure levels, glucose levels, and cholesterol along with a larger waist line. All of these ailments put a person at risk for not only Type 2 Diabetes, but also heart disease and stroke. That’s just from one soft drink a day, folks!
Some people swear that the caffeine in diet sodas help with their headaches. And, perhaps it does. But, for others, the chemical sweeteners in these beverages have the opposite effect and actually cause headaches. Think about being someone who believes the caffeine will help their pounding head. They guzzle another soda, maybe feel temporary relief, but then ultimately the headache comes back and they start the cycle over again not knowing that the soda is what’s causing the issue in the first place. Vicious cycle.
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Bye, Bye Beautiful Smile
Have you ever seen the teeth of a meth user? May seem extreme to mention this in a piece about diet soda, but a study published in the journal of General Dentistry found that soda can wreak similar havoc on your mouth. Citric acid is the main perpetrator. It eats away at your tooth enamel one sparkling beverage at a time. So, every time you put that frosty, aluminum can to your lips just remember, you’re basically giving yourself meth-mouth.
Mood Altering, and Not in a Good Way
Everyone in those big brand soda commercials is always so cheerful. They’re dancing, doing outside activities and with a load of very fashion forward friends. This is false advertising! The American Academy of Neurology found that over a 10 year period, people who drank four cans of soda per day were 30% more likely to develop depression. To drive the point home further, the study included both regular and diet drinks. Which was the biggest culprit? You guessed it, the diet varieties.
These are just a select few issues caused by the ingredients in diet sodas. Others include weight gain (I know, right?), increased risk of osteoporosis, kidney malfunction, and of course, it has no nutritional value. Next time you reach for that glimmering can, just remember, you’re doing more harm than good.