Is diet soda good or bad for you? It’s a long-debated question — a fight between health, flavor, and society’s need look fit.
There are numerous artificial sweeteners in soda:
- Acesulfame K
It seems every few years an alarming study is published warning about the dangers of one or more of these sweeteners. But how does artificial sugar affects you? And the long term consequences might be of drinking diet soda? Here’s what scientific studies have to say.
Diet Soda History and Regulation
Diet soda was originally created for people with diabetes, who could not consume sugar. As with all inventions, people found other cool ways to use diet soda; hey, since there are no calories, let’s use it for weight loss.
Though artificial sweeteners have been approved by regulators in the US (the FDA) and Europe, anecdotal evidence and misleading websites continue to spread misinformation about the effects of aspartame and other non-sugar sweeteners.
There is no scientific evidence that strongly links aspartame to cancer or any other conditions. All sodas, diet or regular, contain acids that erode teeth and they all contain zero to no nutritional value. To ask if diet soda is good or bad for you is a bit misleading, because the answer is, “Depends on how much you drink.”
If you’re a pregnant or breastfeeding mother, Dr. Thomas Hale of the Infant Risk Center gave these classifications to the website Parentology.
- Moderately Safe – Saccharin, Stevia, Acesulfame
- Safer – Sucralose
- Safest – Aspartame
Poor Choices & Diet Soda
Diet soda, or soda in general, isn’t food. At least, not in the sense of what we think food is — something that fuels your body and provides essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Soda is carbonated water with acids, flavoring, coloring, and sweeteners. It may be fun to drink once in a while, but it provides no value to your body. Add an unbalanced diet on top of drinking lots of soda — diet or not — and you’ll probably begin to experience vitamin deficiencies.
Too Many Variables
It’s difficult to say whether sugar substitutes cause obesity, cravings, and other issues, because it’s difficult to study people who only drink diet soda. While scientists try their best to eliminate as many variables as possible from their studies, the results tend to be in line with what the public experiences. That’s because so many other things affect our health — things like, smoking, excessive alcohol drinking, lack of exercise, poor eating, etc. — all contribute to obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
It’s All Relative
So is diet soda good or bad? Well, diet soda will never be good for you, simply because it has no nutritional value. Is it bad? Only if diet soda is the only thing that you drink. Can it potentially be harmful because it’s one of many poor diet choices you make? Absolutely.