Fortunately, I never got in the habit of drinking sodas, but when I would occasionally drink one, I always drank a diet soda, thinking it was better for me. However, studies now show that diet sodas may in fact be worse for you than full sugar sodas. Drinking diet soda increases your risk of metabolic syndrome. Some of the symptoms of metabolic syndrome include belly fat, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and higher blood pressure. It doubles the risk of stoke and heart attack and contributes to Type II diabetes, asthma and some forms of cancer. It has also been shown to cause obesity. The artificial sweeteners mess up your brain’s natural ability to control calories and increases cravings for sweets.
A study of 3,000 women at the Harvard Medical School found that diet cola is linked to a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline. They found that in women who drank two or more diet sodas a day their kidney function started declining. The kidney decline was not associated with sugar-sweetened sodas, just diet sweeteners.
Diet sodas can also cause cell damage because of the preservatives they contain. They have mold inhibitors, known as sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate. Sometimes the damage to DNA is so bad that they can totally shut it down, making your the body susceptible to developing hives and asthma.
Diet sodas have also been linked to tooth decay. Diet sodas are highly acidic which wears away enamel and causes teeth to become susceptible to cavities. Colas have ten times the erosive potential of fruit juice. If you drink to many of them, some dentists are seeing the same effects to the enamel of the tooth as those who are addicted to meth or crack cocaine. So, if you do drink diet sodas, rinse your mouth with water after drinking the soda.
In a Swiss study, researchers tested water samples from wastewater treatment plants and found they still contained sucralose and saccharin even after being treated. A recent test of 19 municipal water supplies in the U.S. found the presence of sucralose in every one. It is pretty scary to me that even after treating the water, this chemical is still found. You can only imagine the impact it is having on your body. The studies also found that the sucralose in rivers and lakes interferes with some organisms’ feeding habits.
On the video below, Dr. Oz says that if you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds with your diet soda, you are 14% less likely to develop metabolic syndrome that those who drink diet soda with junk food.
If you are a diet soda drinker, I hope you will consider trying to quit or cut back on your diet soda intake. Maybe you could try tea or water with some flavored fruit juice. If you like the fizz of the soda, maybe try some sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon or lime or any fruit juice you like. Your body will thank you.
Below are two links for more information on the dangers of diet soda.