It’s hard to keep up with what researchers say about what we should and should not consume on a daily basis. Coffee is good for us; coffee is bad for us. Red wine is good; red wine is bad. Eggs are good for us; eggs are bad for us. Diet soda is safer than regular soda; diet soda is just as unhealthy as regular soda. It’s hard to know who or what to believe, but it seems there’s enough evidence to convince most people that diet soda, even just one a day, should be avoided due to health concerns.
While researchers in Europe recently concluded that even diet soda with no sugar is “associated with a greater risk of death from any cause regardless of whether sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened drinks were consumed,” more research must be conducted and more evidence is needed to fully understand why both sugar-containing and unsweetened diet sodas will shorten a life.
This latest study published in JAMA Internal Medicine sought to answer the following question: Is regular consumption of soft drinks associated with a greater risk of all-cause and cause-specific mortality? The study followed 451,743 individuals from 10 countries in Europe and concluded this: “Consumption of artificially sweetened soft drinks was positively associated with deaths from circulatory diseases, and sugar-sweetened soft drinks were associated with deaths from digestive diseases.”
Dangers of Diet Soda
Considering the list of ingredients in a diet soda, the results of this study can’t be too terribly surprising. Earlier this year, the dailymeal.com published an article, “19 Facts About Diet Soda That Might Make You Finally Stop Drinking It,” which really made people stand and take notice about their beverage choices. You will probably want to reach for that bottle of water instead of soda after reading this.
- Artificial sweeteners like aspartame have been known to trigger headaches.
- Diet soda ingredients cause a dehydrating effect, which may cause skin problems.
- Diet soda consumption has been linked to depression.
- Women who drink diet soda have lower bone density, which can lead to osteoporosis.
- Diet soda can interfere with the production of natural gut bacteria, which can then affect your energy level, immune system, and even mental health.
- Consumption of diet soda increases your risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
- You can get drunk faster when you mix alcohol with diet soda.
- Diet soda consumption can diminish your sense of taste. An increased consumption of a specific artificial sweetener can interfere with how the amygdala works in your brain (the amygdala is involved in the sense of taste and eating).
- Diet soda drinkers are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure.
- Your brain learns to crave the ingredients in diet soda, much like any chemical addiction.
- There’s no proof that diet soda will help you lose weight.
- Just one diet soda a day boosts your chance of suffering a heart attack.
- Diet sodas may affect the health of your muscles and skin.
- Diet soda may contribute to a pre-term delivery in pregnant women.
- Diet soda may erode teeth over long periods of time and regular consumption of these beverages.
- Diet soda drinkers may be more likely to suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Aspartame breaks down other important chemicals in the body.
- Diet soda has been associated with an increased risk of stroke.
The European study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, concluded the following:
- People who had more than one soda daily (sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened) compared to fewer than one a month had a higher risk of dying from colon cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
- People who had more than one sugar-sweetened soda a day compared to fewer than one a month had a higher risk of dying from digestive diseases.
- People who had more than artificially sweetened soda a day compared to less than one a month had a higher risk of dying from circulatory diseases like heart disease.