Diet soda might seems like a health-conscious choice. After all, it saves you the 140-plus calories you'd find in a sugary soft drink while still satisfying your urge for something sweet. But hold up...with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose, there's more to this chemical cocktail than meets the eye.
Water vs. Diet Soda for Weight Loss
Replacing your diet soda with plain water might help you lose more weight, especially if you're already trying to lose weight. Researchers at the University of Nottingham in the UK recruited 89 overweight and obese women ages 27 to 40 who usually drank diet sodas at lunch. Half of them switched to water, and the others were instructed to continue drinking diet sodas after lunch five times a week for 24 weeks. Of the 89 women who initially enrolled, 62 completed the study.
Those who switched their lunchtime drink to water lost about 19.4 pounds, compared to 16.8 pounds for the women who continued to drink diet soda. Another plus: the research team reported improvements in insulin sensitivity in the women who switched to water. Even though the difference in weight loss between the two groups was small, diet drinks definitely have another downside.
Earlier studies have linked diet soda to obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Studies suggest consumption of diet soda makes people continue to crave sugar, thereby making it harder to quit.
Use Stainless Steel. Eliminate Plastic.
I highly recommend ditching your plastic water bottle and using a stainless steel or glass bottle instead. Doing this will reduce your exposure to something called xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are synthetic, man-made chemicals which increase the amount of estrogenic activity in the body, and therefore can disrupt how our hormones are supposed to work. Xenoestrogens are found in a ton of different products, and plastic is one of them. I'm sure you've heard of BPA, which is a common endocrine-disruptor found in plastic.
I personally use a glass mason jar or a stainless steel bottle. By reducing your exposure to plastic water bottles, you’ll reduce your intake of xenoestrogens.
What You Can Expect
Now that your body no longer has to make sense of the unpronounceable ingredients in diet soda, your kidneys can get back to clearing toxins, stabilizing blood pressure, and absorbing minerals. One study looked at 11 years of data and found that women who drank 2 or more servings of diet soda doubled their chances of declining kidney function.
In Health and Happiness,
Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods