Sodas are consumed by people all over the world. Some people consume it with the food and some without it. Excessive consumption of soda might lead to many health conditions. If you are concerned about your health, you should avoid it or you can switch to diet sodas to reduce sugar and calorie intake this soda contains less or no sugar with artificial sweeteners to achieve the traditional taste of the soda.
Diet soda is taken as the ideal choice for those who want to lose weight. It includes a diet cold drink. Despite this, it is very obvious to think about whether it is impactful or not. Let us see how?
What is Soda?
Soda is any kind of sweet drink without alcoholic content. It is a drink that is flavored and sweetened with various ingredients. There are different types of sodas such as soda water, orange soda, lime soda, lemon-lime soda, ginger ale, cola, etc.
You can consume these sodas with or without adding any other flavor or types of ingredients to them.
If you are conscious of your health conditions you can use another kind of soda, i.e. Diet Soda.
Diet soda provides less or no sugar. It is a type of soda in which artificial sweeteners like saccharin and aspartame can be used to fulfill the sweetness of normal sodas. Diet soda is made up of carbonated water, artificial or natural sweeteners, colors, flavors, and other food additives. And these are low in calories as compared to normal soda. However, some diet sodas are not low in calories because of the presence of sugar and sweetener both.
Some common ingredients in diet soda;
- Carbonated water – It is also called sparkling water. Most diet sodas are made from carbonated water by dissolving carbon dioxide gas into water under pressure.
- Sweeteners – common artificial sweeteners are used in diet sodas that include aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, or an herbal sweetener like stevia.
Acids – acids like citric, malic, and phosphoric acid are used in diet sodas to add tartness to the drinks.
- Colors – the most common colors that are used are carotenoids, anthocyanins, and caramels.
- Flavors – different types of artificial flavors or natural juices are used in diet soda such as fruits, berries, herbs, and cola.
- Preservatives – these are added to help diet sodas last longer in the markets. The most commonly used preservative is potassium benzoate.
- Vitamins and minerals – manufacturers add this to their products to increase their value. Most of the time, it helps in creating a healthy outlook.
- Caffeine – Most of the diet sodas contain caffeine, such as Diet Coke contains 46 mg of caffeine whereas Diet Pepsi contains 35 mg of caffeine.
Effects of Diet Soda on health
Diet soda is free of calories, carbs, and sugar. Which seems to you a healthier and good alternative to sugary soft drinks. However, it might be harmful when it is consumed in large amounts. The amount of food or drinks you consume plays a very important role in your health. You need to consume the foods and drinks in an appropriate amount. Too much consumption leads to many health problems.
There are several side effects of drinking too many diet sodas which are;
- Disrupt gut health
The artificial sweeteners found in diet soda may affect your gut microbiome, which is the beneficial bacteria found in your digestive tract. These bacteria play a very important role in the functioning of your body that includes; immune function, nutrient absorption, heart health, etc.
- Erodes tooth enamel
Diet sodas do not contain as much sugar as compared to regular soda, but they are highly acidic. Due to their acidity, both diet and regular soda could damage the surface of your enamel and lead to increased erosion.
Note ~ Some studies show that damage to dental enamel from acidity is not the same as an increased risk of cavities due to sugar content.
- Cause headaches
Drinking too many servings of diet soda per day could cause headaches. Too much consumption of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame may lead to headaches, migraines, and irritability. According to some studies, the presence of caffeine also causes headaches for some people.
- Decrease bone density
Caffeine and phosphoric are the basic compounds that may negatively affect bone health and lead to bone loss. Several studies show that among women, drinking diet cola causes a reduction in bone mineral density. This may increase the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
- Affect heart health
Diet soda has no sugar, calories, or fat, but despite that, it may increase the development of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It is found that just one serving of artificially sweetened drink a day increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 8-13%. Moreover, diet soda also increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and metabolic syndrome.
- Affect kidney health
Because of the presence of high phosphorus content in diet soda, kidneys will be damaged and lead to kidney disease. Moreover, some studies show that drinking diet sodas can increase the risk of kidney function. And affects your kidney’s ability to filter your blood.
- Preterm delivery and childhood obesity
Drinking diet soda for pregnant women can cause negative effects which include preterm delivery and childhood obesity. Children born from women who drank at least one diet soda a day were more likely to be overweight.
Benefits of drinking diet soda
Based on the consumption, it can be benefitted for your health as well;
- It helps in calorie reduction and leads to weight loss.
- Decreasing the amount of sugar in your diet as compared to regular sodas.
- Improved blood sugar control because of no sugars as compared to regular sodas.
Alternatives of Diet Soda
Proper hydration is one such essentiality for your body’s functions. When you intake too little water it affects your brain function, mood, energy levels, and even skin health. That is why proper healthy sources of hydration need to be taken for your good health. The best sources of hydrated drinks are those which are non-carbonated which are;
Flavored water- water is the main source of hydration. You may add cucumber or citrus flavors to your water. Water needs to be taken according to your age. The average water intake of adults is 7-8 glasses a day. If you are tired or bored of plain water, flavored water is one such alternative you can take.
Tea or herbal infusions- the best sources of tea are green, black, or white tea containing healthy antioxidants and plant compounds. And these compounds help in protecting your body from several diseases. Whereas, herbal teas are great sources of caffeine-free alternatives that include, lavender, chamomile, ginger, and spearmint.
Coffee- Coffee has a high caffeinated content and is a great source of B vitamins and minerals. Drinking it regularly helps you to provide health benefits but too much coffee also disrupts your sleep as well as other side effects.
Smoothies- It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds. You can use various ingredients such as milk, fruits, and green leaves. You can also add flaxseeds or chia seeds to get more protein and fiber.
Vegetable juice- if you are unable to eat the vegetables in your diet, juice it so that it provides you with certain nutrients and fiber.
Coconut water– It is low in sugar and contains sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Because of these compounds, it is working as a natural electrolyte.
Milk– Milk is a great source of calcium and protein. By adding milk to your diet you can fully hydrate with these compounds which is beneficial for you.
Soups or broths- You never think of soups as a drink but they can give you a great way to keep you hydrated. Vegetable soups, mushroom broth, tomato, carrot, cauliflower, broccoli, etc are all great sources of hydrating drinks.
In conclusion, we can say that deciding which soda is best for consumption and which does not entirely depend upon various factors. The factors include; the amount of consumption, your current body weight, diet, and intake of other sugar-containing foods.
And as you know weight loss or gaining healthy weight all comes from your calorie intake. That’s why you need to choose calories according to your body’s needs. If you consume more calories than your body needs, you will gain weight. And if you consume fewer calories, you will lose weight. Thus, it is not recommended that you should drink only diet soda, you can drink regular one as well.
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