Myth: Diet soda is better for you than regular soda
TRUTH: First, let me say that I never thought I’d be discussing which soda is healthier. People, it’s soda! If you want something healthy, get some water or low fat milk. But, this is a question that comes up fairly often. You want soda, you enjoy soda, and you’re going to have it (at least every once in a while). I guess my point is that we’re splitting hairs here – I would never describe soda as healthy, whether it’s diet or regular.
But, that’s not what’s in question here, the question is whether diet soda is better for your than regular. Let’s start with the obvious: diet soda has fewer calories (or zero calories). The reason is has very few or no calories is because it doesn’t contain sugar (which has about 15 calories per teaspoon). However, when the beverage industry removes sugar from drinks, they replace it with no calorie artificial sweeteners. Is that a “better” trade?
The long term effects of sustained artificial sweetener consumption on health and weight are unclear. Some studies report findings that diet soda drinkers have a higher rate of obesity, but that doesn’t mean that artificial sweeteners cause weight gain, merely that there seems to be a relationship.
BOTTOM LINE: Diet soda isn’t necessarily healthier than regular soda. While it may have fewer calories, it may pose greater health risks. Soda, diet or regular, and other sweetened beverages should be consumed rarely. In general, try not to drink your calories or overdose on aspartame. For more information about artificial sweeteners, check out last week’s post!
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
- WebMD Article: http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20050613/drink-more-diet-soda-gain-more-weight
- Fooducate: http://www.fooducate.com/blog/2010/01/03/three-reasons-to-rethink-that-diet-coke-youre-about-to-drink/
Also, if you’re interested in reading more about sugar, check out this post.