Diet sodas are popular beverages all over the world, especially among people who want to reduce their sugar or calorie intake. Instead of sugar, artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, cyclamates, saccharin, acesulfame-k, or sucralose, are used to sweeten them. Diet sodas were first introduced in the s for people with diabetes, though they were later marketed to people trying to control their weight or reduce their sugar intake. Despite being free of sugar and calories, the health effects of diet drinks and artificial sweeteners are controversial. Diet soda is essentially a mixture of carbonated water, artificial or natural sweetener, colors, flavors, and other food additives. It usually has very few to no calories and no significant nutrition. For example, one ounce mL can of Diet Coke contains no calories, sugar, fat, or protein and 40 mg of sodium 1. However, not all sodas that use artificial sweeteners are low in calories or sugar-free. Some use sugar and sweetener together. For example, one can of Coca-Cola Life, which contains the natural sweetener stevia, contains 90 calories and 24 grams of sugar 2. Diet soda is a mixture of carbonated water, artificial or natural sweeteners, colors, flavors, and extra components like vitamins or caffeine.
However, the health effects associated with consuming it are more serious than you think. Headaches, cravings, mood swings and more are the results of drinking diet soda too frequently. Here are some facts about the health risks of diet soft drinks that might make you rethink your beverage of choice. Many diet sodas are sweetened with aspartame, an artificial sweetener that is sweeter than sugar. Some studies have linked the sweeteners in diet soda to headaches, suggesting they might trigger the pain. Studies have also shown that people who consume foods with artificial sweeteners are more likely to shun healthier food options for other artificially flavored food. Diet soda can dry out your skin, making you more prone to acne and dark circles. A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health indicated a correlation between the consumption of diet soda and a higher chance of a depression diagnosis. Low bone mineral density can set you up for osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle.
It seems to contradict the laws of physics. Regular sodas are full of calories, per can and up. Diet sodas have zero calories. So it seems logical that replacing one with the other should help you lose weight, or at least stay the same weight. But no–several studies have proved conclusively that drinking diet soda is associated with weight gain. In one study, participants who started out normal weight and drank three diet sodas a day were twice as likely to be overweight or obese eight years later as their non-diet-soda drinking peers. Some skeptical scientists point out that association is not the same as causation. Maybe not, but researchers have developed several theories that could very well explain why drinking diet soda causes weight gain. One or more of them are likely enough to be true that everyone who drinks diet soda should consider stopping now.