Diet Soft Drinks: Health Hazards
If you think your favorite diet soft drinks are helping your dietary regimen, you are wrong. Diet soft drinks have side effects, and if you are wondering what are they, then you would be taken aback to know that you do not lose weight sipping diet soft drinks. Rather, you are at a higher risk of gaining weight after drinking them.
Weight Loss or Weight Gain
Several studies have revealed that those drinking diet soft drinks are at a higher risk of gaining weight. A University of North Carolina study shows that if you reduce the intake of diet soft drinks, you can cut approximately 450 calories a day. Unbelievable, isn’t it? Another study conducted by the University of Texas shows that each bottle of diet soft drinks comes with the risk of overweight and increases chances of weight gain by 41 percent.
Now you may be wondering how a zero-calorie drink increases the risk of obesity. When you know diet soft drinks contain no calories, you end up eating more foods and thinking that you can increase your eating because the zero-calorie drinks would compensate for the extra calories. The fact is that the sweet taste of any diet food increases our cravings for sugary foods. Although diet soft drinks are not sugary, they do have a sweet taste, which is enough to incite cravings for high-calorie foods. Ironically, this appetite stimulation by diet soft drinks means you end up consuming more calories.
If you are amazed by the weight gain theory of diet soft drinks, you have many reasons to wonder about the other side effects associated with diet soft drinks. Another study conducted in 2009 found that there was a 30 percent drop in the level of kidney function of participants who drank more than two bottles of diet drinks daily. This probably means such drinks affect the blood filtering ability of kidneys. Decline in the level of kidney function is not a minor issue; it relates to entire body functioning. Malfunctioning kidneys can turn fatal. Though it is still unclear why diet drinks harm the kidneys, it is something related to the sweeteners that are used in diet drinks. A few opine that sweeteners have a tendency to scar kidney tissue over a period of time, although research is still under way.
Most know and often complain that the sugar in non-diet soft drinks is hard on tooth enamel and can lead to cavities. However, did you know that your favorite diet soft drinks also put you at a higher risk of dental problems? Diet soft drinks are known to be more acidic than their sugary counterparts. Acid content, primarily phosphoric acid, in diet soft drinks can soften your teeth and erode tooth enamel. Another acid that makes your favorite diet soft drink acidic is citric acid, which is also known to erode tooth enamel.
Because of their acidic constituents, diet soft drinks also negatively impact bones. Phosphoric acid results in excessive excretion of calcium through urine. The loss of excessive calcium results in the bones contributing some of their calcium content to keep the calcium level in the bloodstream constant. This whole process contributes to weaker bones.
Other Diet Soft Drink Side Effects
Some of the artificial sweeteners used to sweeten your favorite diet soft drinks are believed to be unsafe and unhealthy. For example, saccharin is believed to result in bladder cancers, which was proven during studies conducted in the early 1970s. Another sweetener in the form of aspartame is linked to lymphoma, brain cancer, breast cancer, and leukemia. A 2007 study conducted in Bologna, Italy, at the Cesare Maltoni Cancer Research Center claimed this although it remains controversial. Other sweeteners and preservatives added to diet drinks, such as sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate, have been linked to cancer and even Parkinson’s.
If you still have any doubt about the side effects of diet soft drinks, you can reduce their intake until more profound research theories validate the aforementioned ones. After all, prevention is better than cure!
DeNoon, Daniel J., “Drink More Diet Soda, Gain More Weight?,” https://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20050613/drink-more-diet-soda-gain-more-weight
Robin Lloyd, “Acids in Popular Sodas Erode Tooth Enamel,” https://www.livescience.com/7198-acids-popular-sodas-erode-tooth-enamel.html
Jennifer Warner, “Soft Drink Sweetener May Add Extra Fat,” https://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20050729/soft-drink-sweetener-may-add-extra-fat