Why Are Diet Sodas Bad for You?

I actually enjoyed drinking soda and sweet beverages back in high school.

Why Are Diet Sodas Bad for You

I was young, so I hardly cared about the amount of sugar in my drinks. However, my parents particularly preferred diet sodas over the regular ones. It didn’t take long before I started drinking it too.

Like everyone else, I really thought anything with the ‘diet’ label was good for the body. Diet sodas are even advertised as great ‘zero-calorie’ drinks, making us think it can help with weight loss.

Unfortunately, we were wrong.

Here’s the truth: Diet sodas and anything with artificial sweeteners are actually harmful to the body. If you’re not aware how unhealthy it actually is, you might want to stick around to read this post.

Here are several reasons why that ‘sugar-free’ drink is causing more harm than good to your health.

Why Are Diet Sodas Bad for You?

Why Are Diet Sodas Bad for You - may cause diabetesDiet sodas have actually been around since the early 1900s. It was originally created for people who were diabetic and needed a sugar-free drink. It didn’t take long before many people started buying sodas with artificial sweeteners. By the 1980s, big soda companies began marketing diet colas at a larger scale.

However, through the years, research shows artificial sweeteners actually increases blood sugar levels. It’s basically unsuitable for diabetics or anyone trying to control their blood sugar within a healthy range.

A study in a 2009 journal of Diabetes Care revealed drinking diet soda everyday is associated with 67 percent risk of type 2 diabetes. In the same study, they also found participants were 36 percent likely to develop metabolic syndrome, which involves a cluster of the following serious conditions:

  • High blood sugar
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • High triglyceride and cholesterol levels
  • Increased fat around the midsection
  • Higher risk of heart disease

Why Are Diet sodas Bad for You - high blood sugarHow can a ‘sugar-free drink’ have such adverse effects? Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose and saccharin are actually a lot sweeter than actual sugar. Though these are not real sugar, they still trigger the release of insulin in the blood.

Basically, artificial sugar has the same effect as sugar on our bodies!

Over time, drinking diet soda loaded with artificial sweeteners can dull our taste buds, making naturally sweet food like fruits unpalatable. This is also one reason why we tend to crave more sweets when we eat snacks with artificial sweeteners.

How Can Diet Soda Derail Weight Loss?

How Can Diet Soda Derail Weight Loss - stomach fatWhen you’re cutting down on calories, it’s a misconception to think diet soda is a good beverage. Since drinking diet cola releases insulin, it actually sends your body into fat storage mode. The more you drink it, the more likely you’ll gain more weight. That’s pretty misleading for a beverage with the ‘diet’ label.

To give an example, research done by the University of Texas over the course of 10 years showed diet soda drinkers’ waistlines increased by 70 percent compared with non-drinkers. Those who drank two or more diet sodas a day increased their waistlines by 500 percent.

How Can Diet Soda Derail Weight Loss - girl drinking diet sodaIn short, if you’re trying to lose weight, diet soda won’t help.

You can substitute diet cola with sparkling water instead. It still has that fizz, but without the harmful effects of artificial sweeteners. However, if you’re looking for the best sugar-free, zero calorie drink, it’s still water.

Diet Sodas Have No Nutritional Value

Diet Sodas Have No Nutritional ValueFinally, diet soda virtually has no nutrients. Even if it has zero to very little calories (some diet sodas still use natural sweeteners), this drink provides nothing good for your body. Many diet sodas contain the following ingredients:

  • Carbonated water
  • Food coloring
  • Fruit, herb and cola flavors
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Caffeine

Diet soda may taste good, but it’s clear it has zero health benefits.

Other Harmful Effects of Diet Soda

Apart from increased blood sugar levels and ruining your weight loss plans, drinking diet soda can have other damaging effects:

Other Harmful Effects of Diet Soda - tooth decay

    1. Tooth Decay – Prolonged consumption of diet soda can damage your teeth. This is due to certain acids in the mixture such as citric acid, malic acid and phosphoric acid which are used as flavoring. Artificial sweeteners in the mixture also make it worse.
    2. Increased Risk of Osteoporosis in Women – Drinking both diet and regular soda is linked with low bone density in women. Researchers speculate caffeine and phosphorous in the beverage interferes with healthy calcium absorption.
    3. Increased Risk of Kidney Damage – Researchers from Harvard found that drinking diet soda regularly increased the risk of kidney failure by 30 percent. This is based on a study with participants who drank diet soda daily for 20 years.
      .Other Harmful Effects of Diet Soda - man with headache
    4. Can Trigger Headaches – Some people get headaches after drinking diet soda. Researchers attribute this reaction to aspartame, one of the common artificial sweeteners in the beverage.
    5. Increased Alcohol Concentration When Mixed with Cocktails – Studies have found that mixing diet soda with alcohol can get you drunk faster. This is because artificial sweeteners in diet soda are absorbed in the blood faster than natural sweeteners.

Avoiding Artificially Sweetened Products 

The Problem with Artificial Sweeteners - saying no carbs with artificial sweetenersThese harmful effects aren’t just associated with drinking diet soda. In fact, you can still experience ALL these conditions if you regularly consume artificially sweetened products. Since most processed foods contain artificial sugar, it’s best to avoid them altogether.

After learning these facts about diet soda and artificial sweeteners, it definitely doesn’t seem appealing anymore. They might taste good, but they just have too many negative effects on the body. I don’t know about you, but I won’t be having diet soda or artificially sweetened snacks anytime soon.

What do you think of diet soda? Will you still keep drinking it?
Talk to us in the comments below!



Nettleton, J. A., Lutsey, P. L., Wang, Y., Lima, J. A., Michos, E. D., & Jacobs, D. R. (2009). Diet Soda Intake and Risk of Incident Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Diabetes Care, 32(4), 688-694. doi:10.2337/dc08-1799


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