Is Diet Soda Dangerous?
A lot of people get that satisfying feeling when they pop open a can of diet soda and hear that fizz and feel that cold can between their hands. It could be nostalgic to remember great memories as a kid with your friends during summer break, or when your mom used to have one for dinner.
But the question is, is diet soda the best beverage option to reach out for? Diet soda uses artificial sweeteners like aspartame. These artificial sweeteners are 200–600 times sweeter than sugar. But unlike sugar, they don’t satisfy the appetite with calories, causing some people to compensate by eating more later in the day. There is also some research that indicates these artificial sweeteners actually increase your sugar cravings, leading you to eat more sweets/high-calorie foods. This can lead to weight gain and altered taste buds to sweet foods (what used to be sweet is now not sweet enough).
I believe in an “all foods fit” approach and frequency and portions of foods/drinks should always be considered when thinking about consumption. In order for us to live a healthy life there always has to be a balance of what we put into our bodies, what we consume, how much sleep we get, and how we manage our stress. With that being said a can of diet soda here and there will not be harmful to you in the long run, but overconsumption of anything can lead to problems even if that item is considered “healthy”.
Here are some beverages that you can swap your diet soda with:
- Carbonated water (there are so many flavors and brands you are bound to find the one you like) What is nice about getting carbonated water is that it still gives you that fizz and bubble that you look for in a soda
- Sparkling water with a splash of juice (this has to be one of my favorite drinks to have, I usually add cranberry juice)
- Iced tea
- Freshly squeezed lemonade
- Kombucha (Be aware of added sugar, reading the label is important)
There is an unlimited number of options for naturally sweetened drinks and I am sure you will find something you love!
MDA, RDN, LDN
Sandy Hindi is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian with a Bachelor’s Degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Diego State University and a Masters’s in Dietetics Administration from Utah State University, and specializes in Sports Nutrition & Meal Planning. READ MORE