Sure, diet soda isn’t the sugar and calorie bomb of regular soda, but it’s not exactly harmless either. “Not only is there little evidence that diet drinks help people lose or maintain weight,” says nutritionist Marion Nestle, PhD, professor of nutrition at New York University and author of the forthcoming book, Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning), “but there’s some evidence that diet drinks cause similar metabolic problems to sugary drinks.” (Click here to see what happens when you drink a diet soda.)
Indeed, a University of Minnesota study of nearly 10,000 adults found that just one diet soda a day triggered a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome, that cluster of symptoms that includes belly fat and high cholesterol and can lead to heart disease. “Anything with a heavy sweet taste, even if it’s not technically sugar, may stimulate insulin release,” explains Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of the Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction. “When it becomes excessive, you start to see a rise in insulin resistance, diabetes, and heart disease.” Part of the reason it becomes excessive is that your taste buds get used to sweetness and then require more and more to feel satisfied.
The artificially sweetened, caramel-colored bubbly has also been shown to cause tooth decay, thinning bones, and kidney decline and to increase the odds of obesity. In a University of Texas Health Science Center study, sipping two or more cans a day expanded waistlines by 500%. (Looking to cut excess sugar out of your life as well? Try the 21-day step-down plan in Sugar Smart Express.)
To curb your cola consumption, you could try weaning yourself slowly: First, cut out one can a day for 2 weeks; then mix the remaining one with water (uh, ew, but people are apparently doing it); then go down to half a can… but Teitelbaum believes there’s a better way. “The issue is that it’s an addiction—there’s something driving the craving,” he says. “If you don’t address what’s driving the craving, it won’t go away.”
Here’s how you might be using diet soda to achieve various goals—and the healthier way to meet those needs. “Whatever way you choose to do it, have a plan,” advises Londa Sandon, assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “Have other drinks on hand to replace your soda with.”
1. Your diet soda motivation: You need energy.
If you pop a can of diet soda when you’re lookingfor a pick-me-up, it could be the caffeine you’re after.
Your diet soda detox: Try coffee or tea, which are chock-full of antioxidants for a good measure of disease protection. It’s OK to lightly sweeten them—as long as you choose stevia, a naturally sweet plant extract, or a teaspoon of honey, and not three packets of table sugar or the artifical stuff. Sandon recommends fruit-flavored iced tea such as cold brew peach or berry by Celestial Seasonings, because the fruit provides a natural sweetness. It’s also a good idea to get more sleep so you’re not chronically exhausted and dependent on caffeine to get through the day.
Source- Yahoo news