We’re currently living in an age where people are obsessed with their weight and with what they consume on a daily basis. Weight loss groups are now more popular than ever, and while many of these groups can indeed help people to lose weight, they don’t necessarily encourage people to do so in a healthy way. They warn members of all fats for example, when in reality we need healthy fats to function. Perhaps most worrying of all however, is that they actively encourage members to drink diet sodas as part of their diet plan. Diet soda is, without question, one of the unhealthiest beverages ever created, yet it is marketed as a healthy weight loss aid. The sad reality is that frequent diet soda consumption will not only hinder your weight loss, but more importantly it will put your health at risk. If you’re a diet soda drinker, here are 6 reasons to give up the drink for good.
They promote weight gain
Hold on, that can’t be right? After all, they’ve got the word ‘diet’ in, so surely these beverages help you to lose weight and not gain it, right? Wrong! Yes, they are cleverly marketed as being diet-friendly weight loss tools because, instead of sugar they use chemical sweeteners which means they are virtually calorie-free. However, artificial sweeteners are very harmful for a number of reasons. To begin with, they have been found to promote weight gain. You see, these chemicals trigger hormones and receptors in the brain that are responsible for appetite and sugar cravings. That means that when you drink them, they make you crave sugar and make you feel hungry. If you’re hungry and craving junk, you are more likely to give in to your cravings and over eat. They don’t satisfy your hunger or your cravings and only make them worse. What’s more, they have also been found to naturally supress the metabolism and slow it down over time. This means that you’ll burn calories at a much more lethargic rate, and you will also gain weight more easily. Instead of drinking diet sodas to lose weight, stick with good old-fashioned mineral water instead.
Increased risk of heart attack and stroke
Years of research into diet sodas, or rather, the chemical sweeteners such as aspartame, which are used in these drinks, have found that they can increase your risk of stroke or heart attack. Studies found that individuals that drank at least one diet soda on a daily basis, were 61% more likely to experience some form of vascular event when compared with a non-diet soda drinker. Experts believe that it is the caramel colouring in these beverages that causes them to affect your cardiovascular health in a negative way.
Increased risk of cancer
This next danger is perhaps most worrying of all, and it is a very bold claim to make without any evidence to back up these claims. One of the most popular artificial sweeteners currently in use is one known as aspartame. Aspartame is a chemical that was actually created by the same company responsible for the chemical weapon known as ‘agent orange’. This alone should set alarm bells ringing. Well, studies conducted on aspartame have found that it has been linked with an increased risk of cancer. Now, the evidence does seem to point to the fact that, to be at risk, you would need to consume a lot of diet sodas each day, but even so, it is still very alarming, and it shows that these drinks are anything but healthy.
Increased risk of metabolic syndrome
If you’ve heard of metabolic syndrome you’ll know how dangerous this condition can be. Basically, metabolic syndrome is a collective term used to describe a cluster of illnesses and diseases all in one go. Typically, people suffering with metabolic syndrome will experience high blood pressure (hypertension), elevated LDL cholesterol levels, elevated blood glucose levels, suppressed metabolism, and an increased risk of Type-2 diabetes. What’s more, it also means you are more susceptible to visceral body fat which can put you at risk of cancer, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and more. Research conducted on diet sodas and the ingredients they contain, found that drinking just one of these drinks per day, can make you 36% more likely to develop metabolic syndrome than an individual that doesn’t drink these awful beverages.
No nutritional value
If you visit these so-called healthy slimming groups, they’ll warn members away from fresh fruit juices and smoothies, because they contain those dreaded calories that everybody seems so frightened of. Yes, fresh fruit juices and smoothies doe indeed contain calories because they contain natural sugars, and yes, too much will put you at risk of weight gain. However, a fresh fruit smoothie, despite containing calories from natural fructose sugars, will also be loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promote health, wellness, and longevity. A diet soda however, provides zero nutritional value at all. Literally nothing. No sugar, no fat, no protein, no vitamins, no minerals, no antioxidants, no amino acids. Nothing, other than artificial chemicals that damage your health. The ones which contain caffeine won’t even hydrate you because caffeine is a diuretic so you’ll excrete more liquid than you consume. Again, stick with water, or have a fresh fruit juice instead, as that will be healthier than a diet soda.
Increased risk of headaches
Again, we have good old aspartame to thank for this. Experts have linked aspartame consumption to headaches, as the chemical has been found to trigger headaches in people, especially those susceptible to migraines. If you’ve ever experienced a migraine, you’ll know how painful and debilitating the condition can be. So, not only can these drinks cause you to gain weight, put your life in danger, offer you no nutrition, and quite frankly, they taste awful too, but it turns out that drinking them will make you far more likely to experience a headache or migraine.