Diet soda has always claimed to be a healthy, and tasty alternative for regular soda. For years it’s been selling out of supermarket shops as shoppers flock to get their go to drink. But scientists are starting to test the so called “healthier drink”, and the results are sure to leave many hesitant when reaching to grab their next can.
Soda, it’s the sugary carbonated drink that millions have fallen in love with. Soda was ranked the #2 most consumed beverage in America in 2016, next to water. But, the drink is more well known for it’s bad than it’s good with soda ultimately causing higher blood pressure, tooth decay, dehydration, and even a higher risk of cancer. With these effects alarming consumers, soda companies have struggled to make a healthier alternative that people will still buy.
The so called “cure” for everything, diet soda. The difference between regular soda and diet soda is that regular soda is sweetened usually with high fructose corn syrup, the most common form of sugar in drinks, while diet soda on the other hand, is sweetened with artificial sweeteners, most commonly, aspartame.
Aspartame is a synthetic sweetener that has fewer calories than regular soda. But despite having fewer calories, aspartame is actually one of the most deadly artificial sugars that a person can consume. Aspartame has been accounted for over 75% of reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions have caused both short term, and long term negative health effects, including birth defects, and diabetes. Not only is aspartame severely bad for your health, but it’s been proven to make you gain weight more rapidly than regular sugars. In fact, people who drink diet sodas are more likely to be overweight than people who drink regular soda, and aspartame is the main reason why. It’s been proven that aspartame increases your appetite more than regular sugars, making you more hungry. In addition, since it isn’t an actual sugar, you’re body doesn’t receive the signals it needs to stop eating, which can lead to overconsumption, and thus weight gain.
While it seems as though diet soda couldn’t get any worse, it’s really only the beginning. The negative effects of diet soda don’t just have artificial sweeteners to blame for. Diet soda contains a harmful ingredient that regular sodas don’t have, sodium benzoate, and potassium benzoate, or commonly known as, mold inhibitors. These bad boys are most known for causing cell damage in the body. Peter Piper a professor of biology and biotechnology at the university of Sheffield in the U.K. has said that “These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it - they knock it out altogether". Also, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has claimed to it can been linked to asthma, hives, and other allergic conditions.
While regular soda is never a healthy beverage option, if it comes down to it, the next time you're putting a bottle of soda in your cart, or reaching to grab a can, opt for the regular soda, the so called "diet" sodas, have nothing better to offer. The illusion of less sugar, or a healthier drink, is exactly that, an illusion. A taste of the sugary beverage is not worth what comes to follow. Both artificial sugars, and diet soda altogether, serve as an important example about how false advertisement can trick a consumer into buying a product just by putting the words "diet" on it. The calories label on a bottle are never just the determining factor.