This is a guest post from my friend Rachel who I went to nutrition school with. Being from the south I grew up with a big gulp of diet soda permanently fused to my right hand. I knew that sugar made people fat but I didn’t know that the chemicals in diet soda increased cravings and damaged my brain. Anyway I have been off soda for 4-5 years now and I am slowly recovering. Read Rachel’s great article about 5 reason why you should ditch soda:
When I was in high school and early on in college, I had a serious diet coke addiction. Its zero calories, so how bad could it be, right? Fortunately, light has been slowly but surely shed on this myth and many of us have done away with diet soda (or, pop, as we say in Oregon!), but for those of us who still drink it or have friends/family who do, lets take a look at why we should run, fast, in the other direction…
5 REASONS TO DITCH THE DIET SODA
Diet soda may actually HINDER your ability to lose weight! While the makers of diet soda obviously want us to think otherwise, it can actually hinder instead of help our weight loss efforts. The onslaught of chemicals and additives in diet drinks has been shown in several studies to promote obesity, likely due to disrupting our bodies hormonal balance. It also may initiate sugar cravings and overeating.
Diet soda has been repeatedly connected to increased risk of heart attack and stroke: The irony is that Diet Coke is a big supporter of campaigns to promote heart health, when in reality studies have shown that drinking diet coke vastly (a recent study showed up to 42%) increases risk of heart attack and stroke (source).
Heavily linked to cancer: This may be the most widely known risk, but some studies have shown that drinking 30 ounces or more daily of diet soda increases your risk of cancer more than smoking a pack of cigarettes! Yikes. (source).
Increased risk of metabolic syndrome: . One study found that daily consumption of diet soda was associated with a 36% greater relative risk of incident metabolic syndrome and a 67% greater relative risk of incident type 2 diabetes compared with nonconsumption. Drinking diet soda puts you at a much higher risk for diabetes and metabolic syndrome which are characterized by high blood glucose and excess belly fat. People with metabolic syndrome are at a higher risk for a heart attack. The health risks associated with drinking diet soda were proven by a 2008 study at the University of Minnesota with over 10,000 participants.
Kidney problems: Diet soda has been linked to dramatically decline kidney function. Our kidneys are the organs that reprocess and detoxify our blood, so…..pretty important. (Source)
Bonus: Dementia According to Dr. Russell Blaylock, a retired neurosurgeon who has written three books about the health dangers of excitotoxins (which includes aspartame and MSG). He thoroughly explains what happens when people ingest excessive aspartic acid from aspartame. He believes that eating artificial sweeteners provide an excess of neurotransmitters which are the chemicals that pass messages between neurons.
Usually neurotransmitters are a good thing for mood and energy but in over abundance, the amino acids asparate and glutamate disrupt the calcium balance in brain cells. When these chemicals overwhelm the cell it causes a rush of free radicals, which over excites the neuron and causes brain cells to die off. The large majority (75 percent or more) of neural cells in a particular area of the brain are killed before any clinical symptoms of lowered brain function are noticed.
I don’t know about you but I need all the brain cells I can get…!!
Watch this great video to learn more:
Sadly, these are only a few of the dangerous effects of drinking diet soda, really this list could go on and on! And hey, if your main concern is looking good, diet soda really stains your teeth.