Fact or Myth: Diet Soda is Harmless

This is a MYTH.

A sugar-free soda that is calorie clear and harmless to health sounds too good to be true…mainly because it is. Diet soda may not contribute to your caloric intake, but it certainly contributes a whole lot of negative to your health. Dangers of diet soda include everything from an increased risk of heart disease to a decline in kidney function.

Pouring of cola in the glass with iceA Weight Loss Disaster

There is nothing “diet” about diet soda. Artificial sweeteners in diet drinks, such as aspartame and sucralose, actually make you hungrier by tricking the body into thinking it is eating sugar and exacerbating cravings for more. A Purdue animal study showed that rats fed artificial sweeteners before a meal had the tendency to eat more, and a University of Texas Health Center study found that people who drank three diet sodas a day were 40% more likely to be obese.

A Metabolic Travesty

Metabolic syndrome is a condition that manifests as a series of symptoms…such as high LDL “bad” cholesterol and dangerous triglycerides, low HDL “good” cholesterol, and belly fat…and increases your risk of heart disease. In 2008, researchers at the University of Michigan found that just one diet soda a day led to a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome and subsequent heart disease, along with a greater risk of developing other chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes.

The Kidney Debacle

The difference between diet soda and regular? The side effects of diet soda include a decline in kidney function! Harvard researchers discovered that when you drink more than two sodas a day, kidney decline sets in. Regular sodas do not affect the kidneys. Researchers believe this discrepancy suggests it is the side effects of aspartame and other sweeteners in diet sodas that contribute to subpar kidney function.

A Cellular Catastrophe

Diet soda features choice ingredients called sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate that are actually mold inhibitors. These mold inhibitors wreak havoc on healthy cells, damaging DNA in mitochondria and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.

A Tooth Ache

Diet sodas are extremely acidic, with a pH of 3.2. (Water has a pH of 7, while battery acid has a pH of 1!). Acidic foods and beverages wear away at your enamel, contributing to poor dental health, including greater tooth decay and more fillings.

The dangers of diet soda are numerous…add reproductive issues to the mix—triggered by a toxin in the soda can called bisphenol A (BPA) which acts as an endocrine disruptor—and you’ve got several reasons to stay away from the diet drinks! Unfortunately, this trend shows no sign of letting up. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, kids are consuming twice as many sodas as they were a decade ago, and adult consumption has increased by 25%!

If you’re having a hard time kicking the diet soda habit, flavor carbonated water with lemon, cucumbers, or fruits like strawberries and raspberries. Your sweet tooth will be satisfied without calories or artificial sweeteners!