So I’m struggling with the consumption of diet soda.
I know there are a zillion reasons not to drink it.
Yes I Know It’s Bad
- It’s supposed to be bad for your kidneys.
- It’s linked to a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, the group of symptoms including belly fat and high cholesterol that puts you at risk for heart disease.
- It supposedly doesn’t help you lose weight. Artificial sweeteners can disrupt the body’s ability to regulate calorie intake based on the sweetness of foods. Because the body is being tricked into thinking it’s eating sugar, we crave more.
- Cocktails made with diet soda get you drunker, faster. Sugar-free mixers allow liquor to enter your bloodstream much quicker than those with sugar.
- Diet sodas contain mold inhibitors (not found in most regular sodas). These are things like sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate. Some studies say that these chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it–they knock it out altogether. They have also been linked to hives, asthma, and other allergic conditions.
- Diet sodas are very acidic with a pH of 3.2. While sodas may be diet, they are still very acidic and can readily dissolve enamel. Soda drinkers had far greater decay, more missing teeth, and more fillings.
- All soda cans are coated with the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA), which has been linked to everything from heart disease to obesity to reproductive problems.
But Is It Worse?
I know what I’ve read seems to indicate that carbs are the biggest dietary problem we have. If drinking diet soda, helps keep the carb count down, could it still be beneficial even with all its baggage?
When I’m doing this low carb thing, my body does seem to want some sweet at times. It’s tough to fight. At first thought, diet soda seems to be a good tool to kill this.
In the beginning, I was avoiding all sweets completely. No diet anything. No sweet anything. My thought was that avoiding it completely would help me put the cravings behind.
Now I’m not sure if that worked.
I know when I was working a near all-nighter that I was exhausted & needed something. Felt like I might need something sweet. I swung by Circle K and Red Bull zero and diet Mountain Dew came to my aid along with some beef jerky and pork rinds.
Since then, I’ve been drinking some at times.
It hasn’t been too bad. I’m not doing the soda fests that I would fall into at times. Just a bit here & there.
A 16 oz. bottle of diet Mountain Dew lasted me a few days. I’m thinking that 1/3 of a bottle here & there or even less has seemed to temporarily tame the sugar monster?
I’ve currently got a 2 liter of the cheapest diet soda that looked decent (Fanta Zero) in the fridge. Seem to be able to drink it sparingly. We’ll see how that goes. My thought is that it might last me a week. A swig here & a swig there might kill the sugar craving and not have me spiral out of control.
Conversely, what about the argument that because the body is being tricked into thinking it’s eating sugar, we keep craving it.
Will it just keep the sweet tooth active & tempt me to sway more?
I hear some folks saying that if you stay off it for long enough, you lose the craving.
That might just be the thing I have to test…
Image credit: Diet Soda by Roadsidepictures on flickr
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