When soda drink companies first introduced their diet versions of their consumers’ favorite carbonated drinks, people went crazy for it. The diet version promised to be healthier than the regular sodas, but science has revealed it may not be the case, as a lot of people already think they are making healthy choices drinking diet soda.
Is diet soda worse than regular soda?
Science has debunked the belief that diet soda is a healthy choice. Diet soda may be worse than regular soda. After drinking a sweet soda, your body expects a large quantity of sugar, and your brain signals to your pancreas to produce more insulin to save more sugar for energy. When you consume diet soda, however, the alternative sweetener, just like the regular one, tricks the brain into signaling for insulin production, and this results in excess production with no sugar storage, impacting your health in negative ways.
This guide will explain the good and the bad of both diet soda and regular soda so that you can know how both of them affect your health.
1. The good
Many people choose diet soda over regular soda because it does not leave the residue regular soda leaves on their teeth. This is because diet soda’s flavoring is gotten from artificial sweeteners instead of natural sugar.
Plaque (Bacteria in the mouth) needs sugar to grow, so diet soda will not directly contribute to any new cavities in your teeth. This does not mean your dentist will tell you t6o drink a diet soda every day so that you can maintain a healthy mouth.
Although diet sugar does not contain sugar, it contains acid. Over time, the acid in diet soda can strip the enamel from your teeth, leaving them exposed to cavities from sugary foods and drinks you take.
2. The bad
Diet sodas may not contain calories, but they could very bad for your health and waistlines, according to reports.
Over time, fake sweeteners like saccharine, aspartame, and sucralose can mess with your body’s abilities to produce calories from other sweet things, making it difficult for your body to metabolize the sugars you get from other sweet foods and fruits.
A study from the University of Miami showed a terrifying effect of the much-loved diet soda when they linked its consumption to high risk of heart attack and stroke. In the research, 2,465 participants were told to write down the beverages they drink and how often they consume them.
These participants were monitored for nine years, and the results showed that those who consumed diet soda were 48% more susceptible to a heart attack or stroke. The researchers stated that their findings do not say that the consumption of diet soda by the participants has caused heart problems, it adds to other studies that have documented both diet and regular soda’s effect on our heart.
1. The Good
Moderation is very important when it comes to drinking soda. A 12-ounce can of this drink is loaded with approximately 140 calories and about 10 tsp. Sugar. While this may seem bad, when compared to the sugar content of other drinks, this is very small.
Although we all need calories in a certain amount to keep our bodies functioning well, when we take more than we need, our body stores them as fat. When you consume 3,500 extra calories, it means you just gained one extra pound of fat. So when it comes to calorie drinks, your regular can of Coke is not the top contender, and drinking a can of soda occasionally won’t make a big difference.
2. The Bad
No one would ever sit down and consume 8 teaspoons of bad sugar at once. If you were asked to do this, you would refuse. However, when you gulp down a can of your favorite soda drink, you are actually swallowing 8 teaspoons of sugar at once, as one can of cola is loaded with 39 grams of sugar.
When you remember that the American Heart Association has recommended a maximum of 6 teaspoons of added sugar for women and 9 for men for the whole day, you would see why soda is never on a doctor’s list of healthy drinks.
Sugar consumption is linked to the symptoms of leaky gut as it allows substances to move from the gut to the bloodstream. This can cause obesity and other metabolic-related diseases. Sugar negatively affects the microbiome as if feeds bad bacteria and yeast present in the gut. Consuming excess added sugar like the one in soda drinks can increase the risk of obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and certain types of cancer.
Soda is also on a dentists’ list of bad drinks – not only because it contains sugar, but because it is high in acid. The acid in soda erodes your tooth enamel and puts you at high risk for cavities, plaque buildup, and decay.
It doesn’t end there; research also revealed that individuals who regularly consume sugary beverages like soda, when compared to those who don’t, have poorer memory. Regular consumers of sugary drinks have also discovered to have a smaller hippocampus – a part of the brain that is related to learning and retaining information. They also have a smaller brain overall.
Ditch The Soda For These Healthy Alternatives
The healthiest is no other drink than water. But if water isn’t just what you need at the moment, there are other drinks available that are just as delicious as soda and even healthier.
So, if you feel like drinking some tasty liquid, instead of soda, try these;
Kombucha is a fermented drink that is loaded with probiotics – healthy bacteria that live in the gut. When you consume these healthy bugs, they destroy the bad bacteria that cause infections, poor immune system, leaky gut, and so many other health issues.
Consuming probiotics also keep the liver healthy and free of toxins. It also helps reduce severe inflammation, which causes most diseases.
Match Green Tea
Matcha green tea powder is healthy and tasty. Matcha contains caffeine that gives you a boost, but it is slowly released in the body. It takes 6-8 hours, getting rid of the caffeine highs and lows you get when you drink soda.
Match also supports a good immune system and may even be good for memory.
Instead of soda, why not go for a lemonade with a dash of sugar cane for a hint of sweetness. This drink has all the citrusy flavor that will help wash all the memories of your soda gulping days.
Fruits and herbs infusion
Making fruit and herb infusion is an excellent way to use those extra fruits and herbs before they spoil. So, instead of throwing them away, infuse them in water.
To make this drink, chop them and put them in a reusable water bottle or a pitcher and wait for a few hours to start sipping. This is a great way to enjoy fruity flavors without the sugar rush of juice.
Coconut water shouldn’t be confused with coconut milk. Like kombucha, this natural drink is a health fad and a healthy substitute for soda. Coconut water is a natural source of electrolytes and potassium. This makes it an excellent tropical alternative to good old plain water.
If you love a mixture of spirit and cola, you should start drinking wine as an alternative. The best wine is red wine. When moderately consumed, red wine reduces the risk of having cardiovascular diseases.
Research is also investigating an antioxidant compound present in red wine, resveratrol, and the effect it may have on cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Juice and Seltzer
This is another easy alternative to soda. Mix a part of juice to two parts of water. Make sure you use 100% juice. Pure cherry juice or pomegranate juice will give your soda drink an added health boost.
How To Cut Down On Drinking Soda
If you want to reduce or stop your consumption of soda – regular or diet, you need to understand the dangers and find a better alternative.
For some soda drinkers, soda drinks offer a fast caffeine jolt, so switching to tea or coffee is a good alternative as they offer numerous health benefits. Go for unsweetened tea or coffee. You can add milk for some sweetness without added sugar.
If you like bubbly carbonated drinks will enjoy seltzer water or carbonated water. Unsweetened and unflavored seltzer waters do not have artificial sweeteners in them, and they are calorie-free.
If what you love about soda is its sweetness, then you should try indulging in fruits and natural foods. Eat sweet whole fruits like mangoes, berries, apples, and peaches. They offer a quick dose of natural sugars, minus the many health risks of soda drinks.
Quitting soda consumption is a very healthy choice. Taking it in moderation is excellent if you cannot or do not want to stop taking it. By reducing its intake, you can reduce your risk of health issues that come with consuming it.