The Diet Cola Debate: Is It Good for You or Not?
If you’ve followed the news at all in recent years, you’ve likely noticed that there appears to be a huge debate about diet colas. Some health experts say that they are good for you as they help you lose weight and avoid all of the calories of regular colas, whereas others say they should be eliminated completely as they do more harm than good. Who is right?
In an attempt to answer this question, you must first understand the position of each side. Both have what they believe to be valid points in regard to this hotly contested beverage that is consumed by millions.
Proponents of diet cola point to the fact that it is a no- or low-calorie beverage which makes it essential to the weight loss process. After all, you can’t expect to reach your weight loss goals if you are guzzling down full calorie soda or other beverages day in and day out. You need to cut calories somewhere and soda seems like an easy choice because diet soda is a suitable alternative.
Second, although water is by far the best beverage to drink when it comes to losing weight and gaining health, it can get boring. Sometimes you want something with just a little flavor and fizz and diet cola does exactly that.
Plus, it is easy to grab as it is available at most any store or convenience mart. Just stop in and pick it up and you have a no or low-calorie beverage that can help you stay on track with all of your health and fitness goals.
While diet calorie may have its benefits, such as being low in calories and high in flavor, some health experts say that it isn’t all that it portrays itself to be. Perhaps the most notable argument they make is the fact that several studies show that people who drink diet colas on a regular basis tend to gain weight versus lose it, which defeats the whole purpose.
The reason that this happens is debated as well. Some experts believe that it is the artificial sweetener that sends your blood sugar on the same ups and downs as regular sugar, causing you to have cravings to eat bigger portions of not-so-healthy foods. Others point to the fact that you may allow yourself to eat more food overall since you are making a “healthy” choice such as drinking a diet cola.
On top of this, even more studies yet point to the fact that diet cola may have some very negative health consequences, from kidney problems to rotten teeth to heart disease to difficulties conceiving children. The effects are widespread, which makes avoiding this one beverage essential to your future health.
As a side note, research also shows that alcoholic drinks made with diet sodas allow the liquor to enter your bloodstream at faster rates. The result? You become more intoxicated quicker, leading you to more hangovers and ill feelings the next day.
Putting It All Together
So, who is right and who is wrong? It depends on who you ask, but one thing is for sure, there are no negative consequences in eliminating diet soda from your healthy eating plan. So, if you want to be on the safe side, choose to focus on drinking water instead. If you get bored with it, you can always add slices of fruits, veggies, and herbs to give it more flavor, thereby keeping your taste buds happy too.
However, that being said, that doesn’t mean that you can never take a sip of your favorite diet soda again. Just be sure to exercise portion control, such as what is taught by the SlimPlate System, and you can enjoy it every once in a while as part of a healthy diet plan.
If you do currently drink a lot of diet soda and want to limit or eliminate it, it’s best to do it slowly. That way your body can get used to the changes and it doesn’t leave you “jonesing” for a can of your favorite drink.
Aim to cut your intake by a can a day for the first week and then you can lower by two cans a day the second week and so on, until it is eliminated completely. See how it makes you feel and then you be the judge.
You are encouraged to share this information with family and friends so they can make their own informed decision about their diet cola intake as well. Also, feel free to share your story in the comments below. We’d love to hear your thoughts about diet cola and, if you quit drinking it, how you did it!