The earliest diet sodas hit the shelves in the 1950’s and were marketed to diabetics. Jump ahead to the 1960’s and 70’s and Tab, Diet Rite and Fresca hit the scene. These three sugar-free beverages marked the beginning of the diet soda craze that today encompasses hundreds of available flavors. But what started out as a dieter’s dream drink is quickly making headlines as more and more research shows that diet soda is just downright dangerous.
Definitely Not For Dieters
It only makes sense to assume that a no-calorie drink would be a perfect dieter’s aid. Think again. Research has proven that, in fact, it is exactly those no-calorie sweeteners that are responsible for America’s widening waistlines.
Artificial sweeteners trick the brain into thinking it’s eating something sweet. However, the brain and the body are not so easily fooled. As the body attempts to metabolize these sugar-imposters, it quickly recognizes that this sweet-tasting drink is not sweet at all, but consists of a host of foreign chemicals. Yet your body has already begun pumping out the fat storage hormone insulin, which is responsible for laying down more dangerous belly-fat. It also continues to wait for the sugar to come and the cravings intensify until they are finally satisfied, usually by a high-calorie, overly processed snack. This is exactly why researchers are seeing an increased risk for obesity in diet soda drinkers, a 200 percent increased risk that is. So much for a dieter’s dream drink.
Kiss Kidney Health Goodbye
Perhaps you’re not worried about your waistline and therefore think you are safe from diet soda’s fattening effect. But, even the slimmest of the slim still need functioning kidneys. In a study that examined the role of artificially sweetened soda on kidney decline, researchers found that consuming even two diet sodas a day increased the risk for kidney function decline in women twofold. And, as if that weren’t enough to make you put the can down, diet sodas have also been linked to an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. That’s a pretty big price to pay for the sake of saved calories.
A Preservative Problem
Another ingredient found only in diet sodas as opposed to their sugar-laden sister beverages, are the preservatives sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate. Both of these mold-inhibitors can severely damage the DNA found in the mitochondria to the point that it can be inactivated altogether. They have also been linked to allergic conditions such as hives and asthma. To make matters even more troubling, when combined with vitamin C, otherwise known as the ascorbic acid found in diet sodas, it forms benzene, a dangerous carcinogen.
Preying on Pearly Whites
It’s well-known that sugary sodas are a dentist’s worst nightmare, but opting for the sugar-free variety won’t do your teeth any favors. Diet soda has a pH of 3.2, frighteningly close to battery acid which is a 1. The high acidity quickly dissolves enamel with every sip, leaving your teeth vulnerable to sensitivity and decay.
Rather than diet soda why not drink pure water with lemon or fresh herbal tea? Your entire body and mind will thank you.
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