The dangerous effects of drinking 'diet' soft drinks on a regular basis, according to science

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Diet soda is a popular product that is often considered when you want to consume fewer calories and less sugar.

Which may mistakenly lead you to believe that they are a healthier alternative to the “regular” versions.

But the truth is that on multiple occasions, scientific evidence has shown that diet sodas are not a healthier choice and may not even help with the purpose of not putting on weight.

Low-calorie soft drinks may still be fattening

Diet sodas use no-calorie artificial sweeteners instead of sugar to achieve their sweet taste.

So it’s not surprising that many people think that having fewer calories and being sugar-free will have less of an effect on the figure.

But this may not be such a direct relationship according to some research.

According to a study of 1,454 participants (741 men, 713 women) over 10 years, the use of low-calorie sweeteners was associated with “higher relative weight, a larger waistline, and a higher prevalence and incidence of abdominal obesity”.

Similar conclusions were found by a study in the American Journal of Public Health that found that 1 in 5 overweight and obese U.S. adults consume diet beverages.

The best slimming drink is water.

Some research has suggested serious health effects of these products.

As he explains Healthline a diet cola basically is a mixture of carbonated water, natural or artificial sweetener, colorings, flavors, and other food additives.

In other words, nutritionally, they will not provide you with anything.

But they could also have negative consequences on your body.

Drinking diet soda has been associated with metabolic syndrome and higher risks of stroke and dementia versus those who drink regular carbonated soft drinks.

In 2018 research presented to the American Society concluded that sweeteners (such as sugar but also stevia or aspartame) can lead to obesity and diabetes.

Years earlier, in 2015 another study determined that artificially sweetened beverages could also be linked to an increase in type 2 diabetes.

What ‘low-calorie’ drinks are doing to your brain and your body

Many of these drinks, such as Diet Coke, use aspartame for sweetening. A somewhat controversial substance, as some believe it could be harmful to health.

Several regulatory agencies and health-related organizations have spoken in favor of aspartame, including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Precisely in 2013 an investigation conducted by the European agency concluded that “aspartame and its degradation products are safe for the general population (including infants, children, and pregnant women).

Known as E number (E 951) EFSA considers that the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of 40 mg/kg body weight/day “is protective for the general population and consumer exposure to aspartame is estimated to be well below this ADI.”

Drinking one sugary drink a day may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease

In contrast to this, a 2017 Nutrition Reviews article cited by Eat This reviewed nearly two decades of data on aspartame. The findings stated that its intake could have harmful health consequences even without exceeding that amount.

“Aspartame and its metabolites, whether consumed in amounts significantly higher than the recommended safe dose or within the recommended safe levels, can alter the oxidant/antioxidant balance, induce oxidative stress, and damage cell membrane integrity, potentially affecting a variety of cells and tissues and causing dysregulation of cell function, ultimately leading to systemic inflammation,” their findings state.

In general, most of this evidence is based on observational studies, so, as Healthline points out, it is not possible to know whether the intake of these soft drinks is the direct cause or is only related to the actual cause that generates these problems.

But since diet sodas are not contributing anything nutritious to your body, it is better to choose to drink them only occasionally.

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