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I like more flavor than water, but I don’t want to add calories, so I LOVE my diet drinks! How does diet soda compare to regular?

Smartliving Guest asked this
July 15, 2011 at 1:37 PM



A reasonable amount of artificial sweeteners, such as one artificial sugar packet and later a can of diet soda each day, has not been proven to cause harm. Artificial sweeteners, designed to offer that sugary sweet taste without the calories, seem to be safe for most people. There has yet to be a study confirming any scientific facts that the chemical ingredients may cause diseases such as cancer. Still the man-made ingredients are not natural as we would not find aspartame, acesulfame-K, or sucralose growing out in the field, and as with all chemicals we must consume with caution.

Just because these sweeteners are calorie-free do not assume they will help the pounds melt off. In fact, scientists believe that upon ingesting these artificial ingredients, the body may become confused and wonder where exactly the energy and nutrients are.** As the body is not receiving any calories it may react by increasing levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, stimulating a surge in hunger** and thereby erasing the calories saved with a rich snack later. With this in mind, some studies believe that these calorie-free sweeteners may actually increase your risk of obesity.

There is certainly no reason to worry about life without diet drinks, as there are plenty of light alternatives for those that want flavor, but not calories! Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon or lime into your water for a refreshing and nearly calorie-free beverage. Or if you would rather enjoy a sparkling water, you may add a dash of 100% juice to your sparkling water or experiment with some of the flavored sparkling waters at the store, only those free of artificial sweeteners of course! Add skim milk, light soy milk, or almond milk to your evening meal (some are merely 35 calories per cup!). Enjoy a small glass of 100 percent fruit juice. My advice? Make these your go-to beverage choices; though if you are truly in need of a treat, savor your diet beverage on a special occasion.

Jessica Corwin MPH RDN Health Coach answered
July 15, 2011 at 4:20 PM
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