• Diet Drinks…Zero Calories or Zero Benefit?

    by  • June 9, 2010 • Additives, Drinks, farce foods • 2 Comments

    are diet drinks badI see it every day. I hear it constantly. People guzzle down diet soda in an effort to be “healthy” by consuming a zero calorie beverage. Women are the main culprits of this, and I can say that because I am a woman. We think that we are making a smart, healthy choice by drinking the zero calorie sodas instead of the original version. The problem is that zero calorie and healthy are not always synonymous. Diet drinks may not add to your calorie quota, but they sure add a lot of other unwanted ingredients to your body.
    Have you ever looked at the ingredient label from a can of Diet Coke? You will not find one natural ingredient on that label. Every 12-oz. can of DC you consume consists of the following:
    Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Natural Flavors, Caffeine, Aspartame (NutraSweet), Potassium Benzoate, and Citric acid.
    Do you see anything in that list that is good for your body? I see the word natural, but what exactly does “natural flavors” consist of? The second ingredient on the list is HFCS. This is just another form of sugar! What about the phosphoric and citric acids accompanied by the Potassium Benzoate? Phosphoric acid is added to the soda to keep it from going flat. But it also has effects on our bodies. Phosphoric acid, when consumed in large quantities, can rob our bones and teeth of calcium, and additionally, it neutralizes the hydrochloric acid our stomachs produce. Without this production, we cannot digest nutrients to our full potential, and calcium cannot be restored to our bones.
    Perhaps the most controversial ingredient in diet drinks is the sweetener substitute. The most used is Aspartame, which is found in Diet Coke. There are numerous studies indicating that this sweetener can have negative effects on our bodies when consumed in high quantities. And as Americans consume more and more diet soda in an attempt to control our growing waist lines, we need to be more and more concerned about these artificial sweeteners that we are drinking and eating.
    The bottom line is that diet drinks are not health drinks. Just because something is low calorie, does not mean it is good for you. There is a study from the University of Texas Health Center that shows consumption of diet drinks may even lead to increased risk of weight gain and obesity. The reason for this is not certain, but it may be that the sugar substitutes do not satiate, and actually leave our bodies wanting more calories. Subsequently, we may feel it’s okay to eat those fries with our cheeseburgers since we ordered the diet drink.
    The fact is, however, drinking diet soda is not the answer to America’s obesity problem. We have very big issues to deal with, and diet soda is not a cure all. It is not even a cure some. It is an easy way out for us to feel like we are making one good choice amongst the many bad food choices we make every day. But what is the use of drinking something that has absolutely no positive benefit for our bodies or overall health? It does not give us any vitamins or minerals (unless you drink the Diet Coke that was processed to be fortified with added nutrients) and does not even offer the benefit of hydration that is so important (and much too often overlooked) in a healthy living and eating plan.
    Despite the claim on Diet Coke’s website, caffeinated, carbonated drinks are not the way to hydrate and stay healthy. Caffeine is a diuretic, so even though you are consuming liquid, it is not hydrating the way water or a 100% fruit juice would. The most important and healthy thing you can do for your body is to stay hydrated. It aids in muscle recovery and building, digestion, and overall health. The best way to attain hydration is by drinking enough water. While diet coke may be a guilt-free choice for dieters watching their waistlines, it is not a healthy choice in the long run. Dieters would see more benefit and better results by concentrating more on the healthy, natural choices, rather than the artificial replacements. A bottle of water or 100% fruit juice is a better choice than a diet chemical blend any day. So, the next time you need a pick-me-up or a thirst quencher, reach for a water spout instead of a coke machine.

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    I'm an ex-accountant who loves healthy food and loves writing about it.

    2 Responses to Diet Drinks…Zero Calories or Zero Benefit?

    1. nestor.marcus@gmail.com'
      solerso
      December 22, 2010 at 2:17 am

      oh bull-shit. No one drinks diet soda to “feel good about” overeating. People drink it because they want soda but not 60 grams of sugar. IS not eating 60 grams of corn syrup ok with you? Drinking water is awsome.I drink lots of water. Im very grateful that god put me on a planet with so much lush juicy water, but sometimes i like my water fizzy. And as long as its fizzy why not add a squirt of ersatz berry flavored 0 calorie syrup? go shit in your hat. ya douchebag.

    2. Meghan
      February 20, 2011 at 11:37 pm

      Wow, such an educated response. Thanks for the input. I’ll refrain from stooping to using foul language as you felt the need to do. I was taught to use intellect and logic, not insults and slurs. You are entitled to your opinion. Maybe in the future, you will find a better way of expressing yourself so you don’t sound so moronic. Thanks again for the comment.

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