By now most of us are well aware that soda is not exactly a health drink. But when you’re craving something bubbly and don’t want all the sugar, ordering a diet version of your favorite soft drink sounds like the way to go. Unfortunately, according to a new study, sugarless sodas may be doing just as much harm to our health as the full sugar version.
CNN reports about a Purdue University piece published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism that suggests both diet and sugary sodas pose the same health risks.
After looking at a number of studies that were published on the subject over the last five years, researchers were pretty surprised to find that diet soda consumption is not even a little better for you than soft drinks filled with sugar and corn syrup. Author of the report, Susan Swithers, explains her team’s shock when coming up with the findings. She says, “Honestly, I thought that diet soda would be marginally better compared to regular soda in terms of health. But in reality, it has a counterintuitive effect.”
So why exactly is diet soda just as bad for you as regular? Scientists believe that the artificial sweeteners in diet soda manage to trick our taste buds into thinking we are having real sugar - this sends our bodies into a confused state about how to process the beverage. CNN’s diet and fitness expert, Dr. Melina Jampolis explains the process our body goes through when consuming artificial sweeteners. She says, “The taste of sweet does cause the release of insulin, which lowers blood sugar, and if carbohydrates are not consumed, it causes a drop in blood sugar, which triggers hunger and cravings for sugar.”
And if you’ve turned to diet soda to lose weight, it seems diet soda drinkers tend to gain more than those who stay away from the beverage. But the author concludes that like all things, diet soda is not so bad when consumed in moderation. Swithers says, “No one is saying cut it out completely. But diet soda should be a treat or indulgence just like your favorite candy, not an everyday thing.”
What do you think of the new research that suggests regular diet soda consumption is just as bad for you as drinking soda with sugar?
Do you indulge in the bubbly once in awhile? Do you prefer diet or regular?