Is Diet Soda Good For You?

Recently a study came out in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society that showed diet soda may not be the diet benefit people often believe and may not be good for your health. The study used the information gathered in the San Antonio Longitudinal Study on Aging, which had a total of 749 subjects that were of both European-American and Mexican-American heritage. The study started in 1992 and lasted 12 years, ending in 2004. One part of the study focused on the consumption of diet soda and pertinent information, including waistline measurements.

Those in the study that consumed the most diet soda had bigger waistlines.

The study followed these people and noted the changes. Those who drank the most diet soda saw a bigger increase in their waistline than those that didn’t drink it or seldom did. The more diet soda consumed, the bigger the difference in how many inches were gained. In the group that dank it daily, the increase was three times that of the increase in those who seldom or never drank diet soda. For those who drank it occasionally, the increase doubled that of people who never drank it.

Your waistline circumference is important.

There are several types of body fat. However, we’ll focus on just two types, subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. Subcutaneous fat is right under the skin. When you pinch more than an inch, it’s subcutaneous fat. Visceral fat is deep fat that is inside your core and wraps around your organs. It increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke and dementia. That makes it dangerous. One way to measure the amount of visceral fat is a waistline measurement. The more inches around the middle, the more visceral fat you have and the more risk you face of serious conditions.

Why do diet soft drinks cause this problem?

While nobody is positive why this fat accumulates, scientists hypothesize that it might be because of the sweetness. The sweetness receptors trigger in the brain to signal the stomach to prepare to digest something sugary. When it doesn’t arrive and there’s nothing to digest, it leaves the body craving something sweet. That can lead to cravings and seeking out food that has sugar and causes weight gain. The artificial sweetener basically tricks the brain, causing a breakdown in the body. It leads to a change in the response to the satiety hormone, leptin, which tells your brain that you’re full.

  • People who never drank diet soda had a 0.8 inch increase in their waist. Those who drank it occasionally had a 1.83 inch increase. Daily consumers who increased their waist by 3.16 inches.
  • Diet soda may also create a misleading feeling that drinking it saves calories and allows you to eat other high calorie foods, like fries and triple double burgers. If you choose diet soft drinks, it doesn’t mean you can eat more high calorie foods.
  • Another study from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio followed 500 people for ten years and found those that drank diet soda had a 70% larger waistline than those who abstained.
  • The healthiest no calorie drink is water. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try infused water. Store bought infused water may contain sugar, so make yours at home. It’s easy and tastes delicious.

For more information, contact us today at Sci-Fit Nutrition

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