Food & Drink

Is diet cola bad for you?

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Is diet cola bad for you might be what you're wondering as you down that sodapop

With obesity being one of the major problems in the United States these days, millions of Americans are on the lookout to lose a few pounds.  Most people assume that drinking their weight in zero calorie soft drinks is the first step because you can drink as much as you want without taking in a bunch of sugar.

The problem is that there are numerous reports that have started to ask "is diet cola bad for you?" 
The real problem is that no one seems to be able to say definitively one way or the other.  Part of the problem is that while there has been quite a bit of research on the topic, most of that research depended a great deal on people self reporting just how much diet soda they actually drank. When you are talking about people who have to remember the level of diet drinks they take in you are going to have some people shaving the number down or even increasing it unintentionally.

What does seem to be concluded from the numerous studies is that too much diet cola is bad for you.  One study has shown that a large amount of zero calorie cola will lead to increased strokes, obesity, kidney damage and a wide range of certain cancers.  Of course, in a world in which our bodies are having problems adjusting, it seems as though too much of anything can cause quite a few of these particular problems.

One particular study that was conducted by epidemiologist Hannah Gardener at the University of Miami showed that daily intake of diet soda led to a 48 percent increase in the risk of heart attacks and strokes.  Of course, there were many people who felt as though the study was inconclusive and the doctor herself said that the media turned what was a warning into a definitive statement.  In the end the doctor said that her research team tried to take other factors such as poor diet or lack of exercise into account but that it was hard to separate the other factors from the increase in diet drink consumption.

What most medical professionals agree on is that most of the artificial sweeteners that are currently being used are simply too new for anyone to be able to say definitively whether or not there are serious consequences.  Most medical professionals also agree that there are some artificial sweeteners that the body truly doesn't cotton to and that these could actually lead to the metabolism slowing or shutting down.  In essence, overuse of these drinks will actually cause the opposite effect as what you are hoping for.

The main thing you should remember is that there appears to be evidence, even if it is anecdotal that the overwhelming answer to "is diet cola bad for you" is yes, we simply do not know how bad.

We also do not know how much cola is bad for you.

While the soft drink companies have long pitched their low or no calorie versions as something that can go hand-in-hand with an excellent diet, dietitians will tell you there are better options. Water is the favorite of most people who want you to live a long and happy life.  You can flavor the water if bland is a problem and you can mix in fruit juice and milk. 

This isn't to say that you should run screaming away from Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi or drinks of that ilk.  Drinking one diet soft drink is most likely not going to cause you any harm.  With most products today, it is all about moderation.  Taking down a 12 pack a day, every day is going to be an issue with almost anything and diet pop is no different.

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