Diet sodas have earned a lot of popularity as well as criticism over the last few years. Some people find it a good health beverage whereas some are not in favor of taking them regularly. We wonder what do experts have to say on such beverages and should you ditch diet sodas in view of their unhealthy attributes?
What is diet soda?
Diet soda is only a kind of carbonated water, which is free from calories and energy boosters. It is mixed with flavoring materials, artificial sweeteners and some sort of chemicals up to a permitted limit. This is why diet sodas or soft drinks are not found to be a healthy option and they should not be taken regularly. Diet sodas have been associated with weight gain and other negative health parameters. On the other hand, some experts in this industry advocate for drinking them freely as they are not as harmful as some people project.
There is no doubt that diet sodas always remain a controversial beverage. However, other than diet soft drinks, we have many options that are healthier as well as cheaper. Let’s see some pros and cons of diet sodas in order to understand their acceptability.
Nutritional value of diet sodas:
Diet sodas have fewer calories than normal sugar-mixed beverages. They have artificial sugar substitute. Energy content in the diet sodas is also very low, as a 12-ounce of diet soda has about 7 calories and only 1 gram of carbohydrates. However, the nutritional parameters change in different countries.
Mixed with processed sugar materials:
Some diet sodas have sweeteners that are more processed and extracted from natural sources, but they are not necessarily to be healthy. For example, stevia, a sugar substitute, is derived from the stevia plant. Another sweetener comes from the monk fruit extract. Many diet soda makers claim that such sugar alternatives have good health benefits and you can drink it regularly, so why should you ditch diet sodas? On the other hand, some health experts do not advise to eat or drink such processed sugars as they can cause digestion problem and leave a laxative effect on the body.
Concern for body weight gain with diet sodas:
It may have happened because of the misconception or lack of authentic information, diet sodas are widely linked with weight gain. There are many who think that the regular consumption of artificial sweeteners and carbonated beverages can increase body weight. However, no studies and research findings indicate any such health risks. The low-calorie beverages are not found to be causing weight gain. A beverage sweetened with aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame-potassium, or other non-caloric sweeteners are not so harmful to health and they have fewer calories to make any considerable changes in the body weight. If you consume multiple diet sodas every day, you are taking fewer calories that can actually help in weight loss.
Metabolic effects of diet sodas:
It is found that artificial sweeteners available in soft drinks do not promote the secretion of insulin as compared to the consumption of regular sugar. Artificial sweeteners disrupt the body’s ability to regulate the metabolic process, which has other health consequences.
Diet soda increases cravings for sweet foods:
Consumption of diet sodas can perpetuate your cravings for sweet foods. Even though diet sodas do not supply any glucose to your bloodstream, our brain is unable to differentiate between natural sugar and artificial sugar and we keep looking for more sweet products. Leaving diet sodas is not so helpful as compared with leaving sweet products to maintain a good balance of glucose in the blood. Therefore, why should you ditch diet sodas when they are not so harmful to your health?
Undoubtedly, the excess consumption of diet sodas can interfere with hydration, metabolic process, and body weight, whereas diet sodas fine as long as you taken them in moderation.