This is such a hot topic that I hear about all the time, and I'm sure that there are many that have SERIOUS opinions on this, however I just wanted to really give some insight into my thoughts on the matter. I've done a lot of research on this particular topic probably because I'm so in love with diet coke and diet sundrop, but you hear all the time that it's disgusting for someone to switch to diet drinks because they are "worse for you" so I hope to at least make you more knowledgeable on the topic.
Many times people shout that phrase without even looking at why? Why would it be worse for you to consume diet drinks? ASPARTAME!!! IT'S OF THE DEVIL! Most all diet drinks are switching out regular sugar with artificial sweeteners so that they still have the sweet taste, but without the calories (or less food energy). So, the matter at hand is:
Do we think regular sugar is worse for us than artificial or do we think that artificial is worse than regular?
There is widespread debate on the use of aspartame, and my opinion in short is this: Everything should be in moderation as usual. If you are drinking 2 liters of diet drinks per day well then that's something that you should look into. Do I think that diet soda causes you to gain weight? No. Not the actual drink. Sugar causes an insulin response causing your blood sugar to rise. There is no blood sugar response with artificial sweeteners actually causing you to feel HYPOglycemic so the lab studies that were done on rats show that this causes them to eat more food therefore gaining weight over time. But, that's not a linear relationship. The actual act of drinking the diet soda is not what caused the weight gain. The eating more because you are still "craving sugar" would be the culprit however, it is my belief that if you are intaking a normal amount of sugar on a daily basis, keeping carbs controlled, then you absolutely will not gain weight from diet soda. Plus I feel like diet soda is the only thing that gets blamed for having aspartame. There are millions of products with aspartame, but I digress.
A study at Duke university which is one of the best to date actually shows that the headache claim is false as well and that NO inflammation was seen or headache frequency in a double blinded study of those intaking aspartame versus not. This leads us to think it's something else then. I really don't want to go into all of the studies about different things that are believed to be true about aspartame. Many of the studies are poorly done with showing cancer, and if you want to reference more about that, you can see that HERE:
I'm not saying that I'm telling you to eat all the aspartame, and if you don't already, then why start. I just don't want people running in fear without knowing both sides of the story. Many scientists are torn on the matter, and at one point aspartame was not allowed but after much consideration, it was brought back because there were studies that showed the flaws of the previous studies and that it is actually safe. It is one of the most widely studied things that we consume.
Aspartame gets such a bad rap but obviously, it's not the only one. There is also saccharin, sucralose, stevia, and more. I write my blog for fun, and don't really want it to be like a paper that I have to reference stuff, so I really just speak out of my brain, therefore I know there are more artificial sweeteners. (And that statement right there is the reason that you should always do your own research too!!! I don't think I'm the end all know all-I'm just sharing my research and opinions) The tumors seen in rats for saccharin are because of a specific enzyme that they have therefore the same does not occur in humans. All have been shown to be acceptable in the amount that we would intake on a daily basis. There are HUNDREDS of studies on these, and I will not claim to have read them all OBVI but I do know that I'm not afraid to intake artificial sweeteners.
So, with that, is that worse than the actual sugar that you would consume from drinking a regular soda? Many would claim that sugar is the most toxic compound that you can intake, and that you should literally eat 0 sugar. I could take every study out there, make a meta analysis of it all, and we probably would all have a different opinion on what we thought about sugar and whether it's okay to eat it or not. However, most of the general population just believe the hype. They hear that it's awful and they need to stop consuming it. Well yes, and no. The biggest reason though most of the time is for weight loss, and people think that if they cut out all sugar then they are going to lose weight. That may happen, but again, is that a linear relationship? Yes, by reducing sugar you are probably reducing calories and changing a lot of things, but is it actually the sugar? Excess sugar can cause diabetes, but that doesn't mean you can't have sugar at all.
I do however think that drinking a regular soda is about the dumbest use of sugar ever created to man? Like who would make a drink that you consume 70g of carbohydrates in one 20oz drink? WHO DOES THAT? It's just absurd and ridiculous and so Western American of us. Pick your poison but dang wang, thats like the most concentrated load of sugar you could do.
I guess my opinion is that I don't have an opinion. One study will say with absolute certainty that artificial sweeteners will kill you, and so will sugar. The next will tell you that both are great, or one will tell you that sugar is great but artificial will cause cancer. It's really hard to find consistency of data, so you wanna know what I promote? MODERATION. What do you know? BALANCE.
But, please don't be one of those people that just says "Diet soda is disgusting because it's worse than real soda. Have you heard that it causes cancer and actually makes you gain weight?" Where did you read that? Dr. Oz probably so go home, brush your teeth to clean out your mouth, don't trust my blog or anyone else's blog and get to reading actual data.
Over and out.
with love and soda,