It may seem like a good thing to drink diet soda, but new evidence suggests it might be just the opposite. Scientists at Purdue University, found that drinking diet soda may actually lead to you gaining more weight. There has previously been a correlation noted between those who drink these so-called diet sodas with bigger waistlines. This has often been dismissed as a result of those who already are trying to lose weight gravitating to these no calorie beverages. Lead author Susan Swithers states, “The data to support those claims are not very strong, and although it seems like common sense that diet sodas would not be as problematic as regular sodas, common sense is not always right.” Swithers and her colleagues reviewed multiple studies on diet soda and its effects on health. What they discovered was surprising: drinking artificially sweetened drinks is associated with obesity-related conditions such as type-II diabetes mellitus, heart disease, and strokes. Why would this be the case since they contain no calories? It seems that the artificial sweeteners, which are much sweeter than natural sugar, fool the body and cause release of hormones that signal the storage of fat, slow metabolism, and increase appetite for even more sugar. Swithers and her team have shown this phenomenon in research on rats. These findings suggest diet recommendations should be expanded to include limitations on artificial sweeteners. Before you reach for that next “diet” beverage think about the potential harmful effects. The best alternative is to drink water, which is what makes up about 2/3rds of your body. If you are one that must have some flavor in your drink, add a slice or squeeze of a lemon or lime to the water. Not only will it add flavor, but it will also give you a little extra vitamin C.
You can read the full article by Susan Swithers published July 10th in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism,here.