Diet Soda: Friend or Foe?

By Amanda Russell

We generally really hate articles by health fanatics that put a damper on anything remotely tasty in our diets. Sure, we’re all about making healthier choices, but we’re not about deprivation. Heck, we do have to have a little pleasure in our diets, right? For those of us looking for healthier alternatives to our sometimes guilty pleasures, diet soda often seems like a great alternative. Calorie-free, sugar-free, fat-free and tasty? What could possible be wrong with that?

Make This Healthy, Raw Cheesecake Recipe!

Well, for all you health conscious people out there who find guilty pleasure in their uber sweet diet-sodas: listen up! (We used to be one of you!) Sure, we knew deep down that all the chemicals in diet soda couldn’t be that great for us, but hey it was our vice – a vice we justified with all sorts of reasons. The bottom line was that it felt like a calorie-less drink, how bad could it be? Well, the latest research may be enough to ‘can’ your addiction.

Here’s the news… 

Two new studies (yes that’s right, two!), have found that diet soda drinks (with artificial sweeteners, think Splenda) may actually put you at a severely heightened risk of diabetes – yup, even those sugar-free varieties! Here’s what ScienceDaily said, “The researchers compared long-term change in waist circumference for diet soda users versus non-users in all follow-up periods. The results were adjusted for waist circumference, diabetes status, leisure-time physical activity level, neighborhood of residence, age and smoking status at the beginning of each interval, as well as sex, ethnicity and years of education. Diet soft drink users, as a group, experienced 70 percent greater increases in waist circumference compared with non-users. Frequent users, who said they consumed two or more diet sodas a day, experienced waist circumference increases that were 500 percent greater than those of non-users.”

See the healthiest way to sweeten your recipes here!

Could the brown color of the soda itself actually be dangerous too? The Center for Science in the Public Interest says that the stuff that gives the soda its brownness – the “caramel coloring”- might be carcinogenic. The group is petitioning the FDA to ban the coloring or at least put warning labels on the cans, saying that 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole (two chemicals produced during the processing of soda) have been linked with lung, liver and thyroid cancer in lab mice.

And these are just the main things that stood in the article!

So, what do you do with this?

Substitute! And, no, you don’t need to be subsist on water alone! Rather, try making your own soda alternative. Experiment by mixing sparkling water with lemons, limes, strawberries, raspberries or any other fruit. Even a splash of fruit juice or fruit nectar makes it taste delicious! It may take some getting used to, but in the long run, it’s well worth it! Since, after all, you do want to nourish your body as best you can, so that you feel better and look better from the inside out!

Fruits that really do beautify!