If you have been a patient or visitor at Arkansas Heart Hospital, you have probably noticed that we do not sell diet soda anywhere on the premises — not in the cafeteria, vending machines or gift shop. The main reason why? There are several diet soda health risks, primarily because they include artificial sweeteners, which can be very harmful to your body. They raise your risk for type two diabetes, cause weight gain and increase your risk of obesity by 200%.
Diet sodas raise the risk of type two diabetes more than sugar-sweetened sodas
A study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that women who drank a daily 12-ounce diet soda had a 33% increased risk of type two diabetes and women who drank one 20-ounce soda each day had a 66% increased risk.
What do artificial sweeteners in diet soda do to our bodies?
- They are addicting — Artificial sweeteners are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar, activating our genetically programmed preference for sweet taste more than any other substances.
- They cause weight gain — Diet sodas trick your metabolism into thinking sugar is on its way and cause your body to pump out insulin, the fat storage hormone, which lays down more belly fat.
- They confuse and slow down your metabolism — so you burn fewer calories. In animal studies, rats that consumed artificial sweeteners ate more, their metabolism slowed, and they put on 14% more body fat in just two weeks — even while eating fewer calories.
- They make you hungrier and crave even more sugar and starchy carbs — like bread and pasta.
- There is a 200% increased risk of obesity in diet soda drinkers.
Alternatives to diet soda
Diet drinks are not good substitutes for sugar-sweetened drinks. Instead, try fruit infused water.