Most people live with the delusion that diet soda won’t harm them during the battle with extra weight and that it can even help them, which is why it’s regarded as a much safer option than other soda drinks.
Unfortunately, a Purdue researcher states that public health officials should warn people not to consume diet soda, just like they avoid regular, sugar-sweetened soda, because it can be detrimental to your health.
According to Susan E. Swithers, Ph.D., a professor of psychological sciences and a behavioral neuroscientist at Purdue, we must limit the intake of all sweeteners, including no-calorie sweeteners.
After having reviewed recent studies which examined the effects of diet soda, she found that 30 percent of American adults and 15 percent of American children consume artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin.
“There is a lot of pressure from the public health sector to find solutions to counter the rise of obesity and chronic disease, and there is a lot of money and business at stake for the food industry as it develops and promotes these products.
Beverages are becoming political issues as government leaders and politicians seek regulation and taxing to limit their availability and consumption, but most of these measures exclude diet soft drinks because they are perceived as healthy.
When it comes to making policy decisions, it’s more important than ever that the science is considered and that the public understands what the science says in order to help them make the best health decisions” says Dr. Swithers.
Artificial sweeteners confuse the body’s natural ability to manage calories based on tasting something sweet, and people consume sweet foods in excess, leading to a twice increased risk of metabolic syndrome.
According to research, diet soda leads to numerous health issues, including:
- Type 2 Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome
According to a study published in the journal Diabetes Care in 2009, the consumption of diet soda is related to a 36 percent higher risk of metabolic syndrome and a 67 percent raised risk of type 2 diabetes.
These types of sweeteners interfere with the gut-brain connection, leading to metabolic derangements. It’s been found by a team of experts at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel that these drinks change the gut microbes by raising the risk of metabolic diseases.
In their research, when they fed mice with zero-calorie sweeteners found in these drinks, such as saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose, they developed glucose intolerance.
By consuming more than 4 cans of soda a day, you increase the risk of suffering from depression by 30%, while the consumption of 4 cups of coffee provides protective effects and reduces the risk of depression by 10 percent.
- Compromised Lungs
These drinks raise the risk of developing asthma and COPD symptoms. An Australian study has shown that 13.3 percent of surveyed participants with asthma and 15.6 percent of those with COPD consumed more than 2 cups of soda daily.
- Kidney Damage
After examining people who consumed soda drinks for more than 20 years, experts at Harvard found out that the long-term diet soda drinking leads to a 30 percent greater reduction in kidney function.
- Cardiovascular Disease
According to a study conducted at the University of Miami and Columbia University, which involved over 2,000 adults for 10 years, those who consumed these drinks had a higher risk of heart attacks and stroke, and had more chances to die due to heart diseases.
- A Less Protected Brain
The most common artificial sweetener, aspartame, has been found to be able to damage the brain’s antioxidant defense system. Its long-term intake causes an imbalance in the antioxidant/pro-oxidant status in the brain, mostly via the mechanism containing the glutathione-dependent system.
Studies have also found that this sweetener is related to:
- Brain tumors
- Migraines & headaches
- Chemical sensitivities
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Weight gain
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Hearing loss
- Short term memory loss
- Multiple sclerosis
- Birth defects
Given all this, people need to be more careful with the consumption of diet sodas. They are absolutely not a healthier alternative to regular soda. While they do lead to weight loss, they also cause various health issues, including heart diseases, metabolic damage, and obesity.