Why is Diet Soda Bad For You?
Still downing those diet sodas and “sugar-free” thirst quenchers? Perhaps you think diet is a better choice than regular soda? Neither is a part of the Paleo lifestyle, but maybe it’s still part of your 20%. I’m hoping some information will help you reconsider. You may even be shocked to hear that I would recommend real soda over diet any day.
On my recent flight to Boston, 5 out of 6 of the people around me ordered some sort of Diet Soda. I know that I pretty much kept Diet Pepsi in business during my teenage years. Now that I know what those chemicals in the diet soda can do, I shudder to think about the thousands of diet or sugar-free sodas I consumed.
Aspartame Side Effects
Take a moment to consider aspartame, the artificial sweetener used in these calorie-free beverages. Aspartame is made from aspartic acid, an excitatory amino acid. Excessive aspartate, the salt from aspartic acid, slowly destroys neurons in the brains. Research has shown that acute reactions to excessive free aspartate include:
- abdominal pain
- anxiety attacks
- sleep problems
- memory loss
Splenda Side Effects
Maybe you already know all about aspartame and wouldn’t touch it. But are you still using another artificial sweetener like sucralose? Let’s start with Splenda. They say Splenda is made from real sugar! Isn’t that a real food? Well, being made from sugar isn’t the same as being sugar. Splenda contains sucralose, a chemical made with three atoms of chlorine substituting for three hydroxyl groups in the sugar molecule. Substituting those chlorine atoms produces a substance not found in nature. It is something your body does not recognize and cannot metabolize, hence, the statement that it is calorie-free.
Next, Splenda contains fillers. These fillers are maltodextrin and dextrose, both made from high-fructose corn syrup. Corn. Remember the unsettling facts about GMO-crops, like corn? Plus, both of these fillers are sugar. Actually, the product is 99% of these fillers. 99% SUGAR. So, it’s not sugar-free at all. If you’re eating Splenda you’re ingesting some weird chemical, very similar to chlorine-based pesticides, and sugar fillers made from corn. No, thanks.
What I find most interesting about all of these sugar-free and diet products, is that they actually work to increase your appetite. Research suggests that the mere taste of sweetness, from real or fake source, elicits a rise in blood glucose and insulin spike. Your body tastes the sweet and gets ready to receive calories and nutrients. When those nutrients don’t come, the body reacts with hunger. Drinking all those diet sodas actually work to unbalance your blood sugar and increase weight gain.
Ditching sodas, regular AND diet, is one of the best ways to improve your health.
- Drink filtered water as your main beverage.
- Brew your favorite herbal tea. (I like icing down peppermint tea and adding a little honey or maple syrup)
- Read labels. You’d be surprised how many products(especially beverages) use Sucralose (aka Splenda) or aspartame.
- Try sparkling water with fresh lemon, cucumber, or raspberries.