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Why You Should Stop Drinking Diet Soda

Posted on 07/23/2015

Diet soda may seem like a health conscious choice considering it’s void of the calories and sugar than regular soda, but buyer beware. Diet soda is chock full of artificial sweeteners and chemicals. And, anytime artificial foods or flavors go into the mouth, it is smart to be skeptical. An obvious downside to artificial sweeteners is their overly sweet taste. This sets consumers up to need more and more to feel satisfied. 

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Eliminating diet sodas and artificial sweeteners from the diet is a smart move! Below are health benefits that can happen after eliminating diet soda from the diet. 

Better bone health

Diet soda contains phosphoric acid and it’s well known to interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium and can lead to osteoporosis, cavities and bone softening. Phosphoric acid also interacts with stomach acid, slowing digestion and blocking nutrient absorption. Cutting back on phosphoric acid will lead to better bone health immediately, and for decades to come. 

Lowers risk of developing type II diabetes

In a University of Minnesota study, drinking one diet soda a day was associated with a 36 percent increased risk of metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes. Metabolic syndrome describes a cluster of conditions (including high blood pressure, elevated glucose levels, raised cholesterol and large waist circumference) that put people at high risk for heart disease, stroke and type II diabetes. 

Headache relief

Diet soda’s sweetener is linked to headaches. Early studies on aspartame and anecdotal evidence suggest that this artificial sweetener may trigger headaches in some people. 

You will be happier

Did you know that consuming diet soda is associated with depression? A recent study found that over the course of 10 years, people who drank more than four cups or cans of soda a day were 30 percent more likely to develop depression than those who steered clear of soda. The correlation held true for both regular and diet drinks, but researchers were sure to note that the risk appeared to be greater for those who primarily drank diet sodas and fruit punches. Although this type of study can't prove cause and effect, its findings are worth considering. 

There is no benefit from drinking soda or diet soda and it should be avoided altogether. As a dietitian, I generally do not like to label foods as “bad” or “good” but soda is one instance I make that exception. There are many foods that provide some sort of nutrition to the body, but soda does not fall into that category and should be avoided completely. If you cannot go cold turkey, work on limiting your amount. So instead of having one per day, aim for one per week, and then one per month, and so on. It may not be easy at first, but it is worth it and the longer you give it up the less you miss it!

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Rene Ficek, RDN, CDE

Grew up in the food industry and took that love of healthy eating to earn her degree in nutrition. She has worked as a registered dietitian for 6 years and has been with SSHE since 2013, providing nutrition analysis and meal planning. Her special interests in weight management and diabetes, helps patients manage their weight and health conditions. She enjoys an active lifestyle, as well as time in the kitchen. Rene’s favorite SSHE meal is the Thai Noodle Salad.

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