Diet soda isn’t a very good addition to a healthy diet despite the name.
It may be a slightly better alternative than regular soda, but even that may not be completely accurate.
Diet soda can still have many negative effects on your health, even if it doesn’t contain as many calories.
Diet Soda Might Hurt Your Brain Health
In order to lower the amount of sugar that needs to be added, diet sodas typically contain an artificial sweetener called aspartame, which is around 200 times sweeter than regular sugar.
Aspartame has been linked to several neurophysiological symptoms, including:
- learning problems
- irritable moods
These effects are likely related to how aspartame elevates plasma cortisol levels and incites the production of excess free radicals – two risk factors associated with adverse neurological effects.
Diet Sodas Might Contribute To Weight Gain
It might seem counter-intuitive, but diet soda can contribute to weight gain.
Aspartame and other non-caloric artificial sweeteners interfere with your gut microbiome, possibly leading to a disrupted metabolism and increased glucose intolerance.
This makes it harder to lose weight, but it can also contribute to the development of obesity, type II diabetes, and other obesity-related chronic diseases.
Diet Sodas May Ruin Your Bones
People who drink soda – regular or diet – appear to experience a significantly higher risk for bone fractures.
This is believed to be related to the phosphoric acid content in soda, which is known to have a negative impact on bone health and bone density.
Diet soda doesn’t seem any worse than regular soda regarding this effect, so it’s best to avoid both if you’re concerned about your bone health.
Diet Sodas Can Erode Your Teeth
The regular and diet varieties of soda have a similar acidic effect on your teeth. Although diet sodas don’t contain as much sugar, they still have enough acid to damage tooth enamel.
This means that diet soda drinkers are at a similar risk for tooth decay and dental erosion as regular soda drinkers.
Drinking Soda Increases Your Risk of Stroke
Several studies have shown that people who drink soda – both regular and diet – are at an increased risk for stroke.
It’s not entirely clear how low-calorie sodas might contribute to this effect, but aspartame and other artificial sweeteners are thought to play a significant role.
Replacing soda with coffee as your drink of choice may lower your risk of stroke by 10%, and other beverages like green tea may have an even more significant effect.
So, diet soda may not be as harmless as you might think. If you’re looking to improve your diet, it’s best to avoid soda altogether and stick with healthier alternatives like water, tea, and coffee.