Are Diet Sodas Hurting Your Waistline?

May 5, 2021Lose Weight

IS THERE A LINK BETWEEN DIET DRINKS AND WEIGHT GAIN?

Have you been gulping Diet Soda in the belief that it is helping you lose weight? If that’s the case, then this article is for you!

Diet sodas are popular beverages all over the world, especially among people who want to reduce their sugar or calorie intake. Instead of sugar, artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, cyclamates, saccharin, acesulfame-k, or sucralose, are used to sweeten them.

Almost every popular sugar-sweetened beverage on the market has a “light” or a “diet” version — Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Pepsi Max, Sprite Zero, etc.

overweight man stomach measuring waist 470h
diet sodas making you sick
Diet sodas were first introduced in the 1950s for people with diabetes, though they were later marketed to people trying to control their weight or reduce their sugar intake. Despite being free of sugar and calories, the health effects of diet drinks and artificial sweeteners are significantly detrimental. Diet drinks are advertised as a healthier alternative to their sugar- and calorie-laden counterparts, and they may be especially appealing to people wanting to lose weight. However, years of research suggest that diet drinks aren’t the waistline-friendly choice that they’re made out to be. Diet drinks not only offer no nutritional value but also low or no-calorie artificially sweetened beverages like diet soda may harm your health in various ways.

DIET SODA AND GUT HEALTH

Scientific studies also suggest that diet soda may increase appetite by stimulating hunger hormones, altering sweet taste receptors, and triggering dopamine responses in the brain. Given that diet soft drinks have no calories, these responses may cause a higher intake of sweet or calorie-dense foods, resulting in weight gain.

Artificial sweeteners (in particular Aspartame) present in diet soda are are marketed as a healthy alternative to sugar and as a tool for weight loss. Data, however, suggests that the intended effects do not correlate with what is seen in clinical practice. In fact, research suggests that changes in the gut microbiome may be one of the main issues underlying the harmful effects of artificial sweeteners.

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woman burping

The trillions of bacteria that make up the ‘gut microbiome’ are now considered to be so crucial to overall health that they are now regarded almost as an organ in their own right.

The heavily acidic nature of diet sodas along with the artificial sweeteners have a significant detrimental impact on the gut microbiome which slows down your metabolism.

This has a flow on effect on pretty much every aspect of your health.

The massive take away message here is to avoid diet drinks (or any food or drink) containing artificial sweeteners. Your gut bacteria and overall health will thank you for it!
References:
    1.    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20619074/
    2.    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871403X17300066
    3.    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24167595
    4.    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S003193841200193X
    5.    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4446768/
    6.    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4498394/
    7.    Artificial Sweetners and Gut Microbiome https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6363527/ 

You may be interested in watching this video below, which I made recently, on the link between Diet Soda and Weight Gain.

If your considering weight loss surgery, download this free 10 Point checklist.

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Helping You Discover, Empower & Prosper.
Dr Arun Dhir
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Dr Arun Dhir
Surgeon, Health & Wellness Advocate.
Author of “Happy Gut, Healthy Weight” and “Create a New You Health Journal
Founder of Radical Wellness Programme