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Diet soda does more harm than good.

Study Diet soda may do more harm than good The Chart CNN com Blogs


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Treat sugar-free soft drinks like the ones full of sugar: Sparingly. More:

Diet soda drinkers have the same health issues as those who drink regular soda, according to a new report published Wednesday.

Purdue University researchers reviewed a dozen studies published in past five years that examined the relationship between consuming diet soda and health outcomes. They then published an opinion piece on their findings in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, saying they were “shocked” by the results.

"Honestly, I thought that diet soda would be marginally better compared to regular soda in terms of health," said Susan Swithers, the report's author and a behavioral neuroscientist and professor of psychological sciences. “But in reality it has a counterintuitive effect.”

Artificial sweeteners in diet soda fulfill a person’s craving for a sweet taste, without the calories. But that's the problem, according to researchers. Think of it like crying wolf.

The fake sugar in diet sodas teases your body by pretending to give it real food. But when your body doesn't get the things it expects to get, it becomes confused on how to respond. While the studies they reviewed only looked at diet soft drinks, the researchers suggest that this could apply to other products that contain artificial sweeteners as well.

"You've messed up the whole system, so when you consume real sugar, your body doesn't know if it should try to process it because it's been tricked by the fake sugar so many times," says Swithers.

On a physiological level, this means when diet soda drinkers consume real sugar, the body doesn’t release the hormone that regulates blood sugar and blood pressure.

Diet soda drinkers also tend to pack on more pounds than those who don’t drink it, the report says.

“Research shows that sweet taste can increase appetite and the regular consumption of the high intensity sweetness of artificial sweeteners may encourage sugar cravings and dependence,” says CNN diet and fitness expert Dr. Melina Jampolis.

The artificial sweeteners also dampen the "reward center" in your brain, which may lead you to indulge in more calorie-rich, sweet-tasting food, according to the report.

See also: Video: Are diet sodas dangerous to your health?

This makes such perfect sense but is SO FUCKING ANNOYING...... got to get used to drinking unsweetened things :-\

The worst part of this is it's a confirming study :-(

Try this... (I hate diet and regular soda). Brew some iced tea but put sprigs of mint in it. Or, get a 1/2 gal glass jar, 3 regular tea bags and one fruit tea bag... lovely. Iced tea is the perfect substitute. Give yourself a week and you won't need the sweetener in the beverages... 

Jason, I know what you mean -- yet another finding that concludes that sweetness is addictive.

Doesn't matter if it has sugar or not. If it's sweet, the brain craves more sweetness.

Dawn, thank you for the trick. I wish I could develop a dislike of soda like you!

Iced tea does make a good substitute.

You can. It's a habit like anything else...if I crave it, which is like once or twice a year, I can have a sip and think, "Yuck, this is too sweet."  Truthfully, though, I took meds once that made all carbonated beverages taste awful. I didn't believe such a thing were possible, but in a week, they all tasted like garbage... So, I got used to plain iced tea, coffee, water... Now it's all I drink... and when I was doing a lot of weight lifting (you may laugh) I didn't drink anything bad like that either... it's all part of developing patterns. I hate the taste of all artificial sweeteners. 

For me, it's not that I particularly like soda, but that I need to drink alot and grabbing a soda when i'm coding is more convenient than making a tea.

Especially since grabbing a Snapple is likely as bad as grabbing a soda.

So... Seltzer? Mineral water? Unsweetened iced tea?

Dawn, which meds make carbonated beverages taste awful? I need that aversion therapy...

I'm half tempted to try Naltrexone for the purpose tho:

If it's a time issue, then make a half-gal once a day. You can leave it in mason jars where it's where the soda would have been. Brewing tea takes one minute...I push the button on my kettle, put the bags in the glass jar and walk away. Next time I walk by, it's cool, so I put it in the fridge... Coding comes with it's own set of health problems--sitting there, grabbing whatever food is available...And yes, Snapple, while tasty, isn't healthy... @Adam. Topamax. It's used for migraines and epilepsy. I have migraines. Didn't work for me, though...

I don't have migranes or epilepsy but I would love to make all soda taste awful.

Didn't Barker post something about self-control? ;) 

I no longer work in a free soda enviroment, so I've broken myself of sodas and flavored drinks (and chips, etc) but just not buying them.  I drink a fair amount of ice team (green tea and fresh mint for me, because too much caffeine gives me back side effects) but mostly I chug water. I carry around a big water bottle, and have a goal of killing it each day.  I notice the more water I drink, the less everything else I want. Don't know if that's science or just me, but it helps! 

I try to drink more water. It's not that bad:)

Drinking water satiates your thirst so you don't want to drink other things.

Dawn, or anyone:  What about Stevia?

The problem with any sweetener is that sweetness is addictive to many people: the more you have it, the more you want it.

Sweetness conditions the brain to crave sweetness. 

Yes, anything that provides sweetness without calories messes up the bodies ability to read if its being fed, and leads to irregular appetite and weight gain. 

Like mediation makes you appreciate breathing, good water drank cold and pure regularly makes you love it for its perfect nourishing essence. Sometimes we just gotta practice at being humans to appreciate it. Breathing, walking, water, hugging: all underrated. Don't replace, embrace.

Bankei opened a Zen school not far away from another Buddhist school. Over a few weeks, many students from the other school began to attend Bankei's lectures. Eventually the other school's Master called on Bankei, who was in the middle of a lecture. The other Master scolded his students for abandoning his school, and yelled at Bankei, saying that *his* teacher could perform miracles such as walking on water and signing his name from the other side of a river. Bankei replied, "My miracle is that when I'm hungry, I eat, and when I am tired, I sleep."

The longer I live, the more I appreciate people who know how to listen to their bodies. 

I love that mantra: Don't replace, embrace. 

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