What Really Happens to Your Body When You Drink Diet Soda?
I have known lots of people who latched onto diet soda and never let go. Many of them ran into weight problems, and some had other serious health issues. Many of them also frequently ordered fries and burgers too, seeing diet soda as a free pass to sneak in a few extra calories.
But now Prevention.com and Health. com tell us about some of the research that is questioning what really happens when you drink diet soda.
What are the risks?
Yes, you do skip the 140 calories that you would get in a regular soda. But at the same time researchers say you may up your risk for weight gain, diabetes, kidney issues, migraine and bone loss.
You may also change your body’s orientation to sugar. Health.com tell us diet soda confuses the body with a more intense flavor than real sugar. Even worse, this sugar substitute has the same effect on the body as sugar triggering insulin which sends your body into fat storage mode and leads to weight gain.
If you do stop drinking diet soda, you may also find food has more flavor and a new subtlety. Artificial sweeteners in diet soda overwhelm taste buds with sweetness. Aspartame ranks 200 hundred times sweeter than table sugar. Brain scans show that diet soda alters sweet receptors in the brain and prolongs sugar cravings rather than satisfying them. When people give up diet soda they also tend to skip sugary donuts or salty pretzels and reach for an apple or piece of cheese.
Diet soda may up the risks for diabetes & belly fat.
A study in Diabetes Care found that drinking two-thirds of a diet soda before eating primed the pancreas to release the fat-storing hormone insulin. When the pancreas is overworked from creating insulin to control blood-sugar levels, diabetes may occur.
Another recent nine-year study found older adults who drank diet soda continued to pack on belly fat. The study links to research that found daily diet soda increases a person’s chance of becoming obese within ten years by 65 percent.
Kidney function may be impacted.
One study looked at 11 years of data and found that women who drank two or more servings of diet soda daily doubled their chances of declining kidney function.
Diet soda may compromise bones and up risk of fractures.
A 2014 study found that each daily soda increased the chance of hip fracture for postmenopausal women. And another study found that older women who drank cola had lower bone mineral density in their hips.
Diet soda may cloud the brain.
If you stop drinking diet soda, Prevention says the brain focus sharpens and migraines may disappear. Researchers have found the chemicals in aspartame, the artificial sweetener in diet soda, may alter brain chemicals, nerve signals and the brain’s reward system leading to headaches, anxiety and insomnia, according to a review in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
So where does this leave diet soda?
With all of the other healthy choices available in teas, juices and waters, diet soda could be a dangerous dinosaur. I suspect future research will tell us more about what can happen if we continue to let it hang around.