Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Depressed? It might be the diet soda...

Diet soda is the constant companion of dieters everywhere, who feel that they're getting a bargain by getting flavor and hydration, all for zero calories. While diet soda may be free of calories, it's not free of health side effects.

While hardly an ideal beverage, Diet Coke may seem like a better choice than classic Coca-Cola. Diet Coke has no calories, sugar or carbohydrates, while a 12-ounce can of regular Coke has 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar.

Aspartame, the artificial sweetener in Diet Soda, came on the market in the 1980s, there was great public concern that it might cause cancer. These fears appear to be groundless, explains the American Cancer Society explains in a review of aspartame research. And aspartame may cause minor discomforts -- headaches, digestive distress, mood changes -- in susceptible individuals. If you feel ill after consuming aspartame.

In this video, Dr. Michael Greger explains the reasons why artificially-sweetened beverages with chemicals such as aspartame have been associated with depression. He presents several reports of aspartame causing neurological and behavioral disturbances not only in sensitive individuals but normal people as well.

Soda is hard on tooth enamel, with the sugar and acid being the most problematic ingredients. Diet soda eliminates the sugar, but not the acid content of pop. Most of us are familiar enough with acid that we can imagine its impact on our tooth enamel.
Drinking diet soda can also lead to bone loss. This is because the phosphoric acid in the soda causes calcium in your bloodstream to be excreted more quickly than normal through urine. Your bones then give up some of their calcium in order to keep the bloodstream calcium level constant.

Some people may feel that drinking diet soda gives them a "free pass" to eat more foods that may not be so low in calories, thereby leading to weight gain. Another theory posits that the sweet taste of diet pop alerts our digestive system that high-calorie foods are coming. When they don't, our bodies are confused and our appetite increases in anticipation of the food it's expecting.

Danish researchers discovered that drinking non-diet soda leads to dramatic increases in fat buildup around your liver and your skeletal muscles, both of which can contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes.

The bottom line? The healthiest diet drink for you is water. Or try one of these other healthy "diet" drinks:

Green Tea

Mint Tea

Orange juice

One Percent Reduced-Fat Milk

Soy Milk

Hot Chocolate

Low-Sodium Tomato Juice

Cranberry Juice

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