To lure people calorie conscious people who are also trying to lose weight, companies often add the tagline “diet” before their product names; however, how many of them are actually “diet friendly” is a big question. Diet soda is one such example where people assume it to be a healthier alternative to their favorite calorie-laden fizzy drinks. We have to admit, guzzling down ice-cold fizzy drinks and aerated beverages somehow manages to increase the appeal of that yummy slice of pizza and grilled chicken, but then they are full of empty calories with no nutritional value, and lead to weight gain. Soft drinks are considered a must-have during parties and get-togethers because they go so well with party food, but then, these beverages are bad for weight loss goals because they come loaded with sugar and a whole lot of extra calories. Diet soda, which claims to have zero calories and no “real sugar,” and gets its sweetness from artificial sweeteners, is considered good news for people on a diet who have to make every calorie count. Diet soda claims to provide the same kind of sweetness as real sugar without adding too many calories, but switching to diet soda as a healthy alternative to regular carbonated drinks would trigger a new set of problems that most calorie-conscious people are unaware of. The problem with diet soda is that it has artificial sweeteners like aspartame or saccharin to match up to the sweetness of refined sugar, but then it also has artificial color, flavour, and other additives which can raise inflammation in the body, triggering weight gain. Also, a high amount of caffeine found in such drinks can make you dehydrated. But the problem with diet soda is not limited to these two, there are more worrisome issues that need to be looked into. Also, in this post, we would try to clear this most common doubt that people on weight loss diets often have – to drink or not drink diet soda when trying to shed extra weight? To Let’s take it up then 🙂
1. Diet Soda Can Lead to Weight Gain: Surprising, right? But it’s true! Artificial sweeteners do manage to spike insulin levels because our body cannot really differentiate between artificial sweeteners and real sugar. When insulin gets spiked, it sends the body into a fat-storage mode and all the extra calories would be stored into fat cells, leading to weight gain.
2. Have Empty Calories, no Nutrient Content: Not all diet soda versions are calorie free, some use artificial sweeteners and real sugar together, and all of them are empty calories without any nutrient content. Drinking these sodas will deprive you of essential nutrients necessary to run all bodily functions smoothly, including those necessary to burn fat.
3. Can Damage Tooth Enamel: The various acids added in diet soda, such as citric, phosphoric, malic acid, etc., are found to damage tooth enamel.
4. They Can Stimulate Appetite: If you are under the impression that diet soda wouldn’t affect your weight loss goals, you have been mistaken because studies have found that they can increase appetite by stimulating hunger hormones, and making diet soda a part of daily routine can make you crave for high-calorie, high fat, sugary, unhealthy food, leading to overeating and weight gain.
5. Artificial Sweeteners Can Create Imbalance in Gut Bacteria: It’s no secret that a healthy gut is considered a major factor for weight loss and that’s because when the gut is healthy, all fat-burning processes and hormones are at optimum levels. Studies have found that certain artificial sweeteners can alter the gut flora, leading to imbalance, and a whole set of health issues including high blood sugar level, stress, and elevated hunger hormone levels, and weight gain. If you are trying to lose weight, find detailed diet plans on the Rati Beauty app.
6. Increases the Risk of Insulin Resistance: Certain artificial sweeteners such as sucralose lead to insulin and blood sugar rise and over a period of time, make an individual insulin resistant and at a risk of developing type 2 diabetes. People with insulin resistance were also found to have a larger waist circumference.
7. Makes Healthy Food with Natural Sugar Tasteless: Since a lot of artificial sweeteners added in diet soda are much sweeter than regular sugar, with regular consumption, they dull out the tastebuds to healthy food with natural sweetness (fruits for example).
8. May Lead to Inflammation: Inflammation is one of the major reasons why people find it hard to get lean (Why Inflammation Might be the Reason you are Not Losing Weight). Since the human body is not adapted to processing artificial sweeteners, they trigger an inflammatory response from the immune system and frequent consumption of diet soda with such sweeteners will lead to inflammation, making it extremely difficult to melt away excess fat.
If you want a healthy replacement for fizzy drinks and aerated beverages, try sparkling water or go completely soda free, and opt for plain drinking water which is safe, has zero calories, and is the most weight-loss friendly factor out there. 🙂