Are zero calorie soft drinks good or bad? In particular, how does diet soda affect your health? Have you ever heard someone say: “It has 0 or low calories, so it can’t be bad for you.” Would you be surprised to hear that diet soda might be bad for you?
In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Harlan Krumholz (a cardiologist) discusses a study showing that diet drinks can lead to metabolic abnormalities. The study indicates that artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame) in beverages and food might be causing unwanted weight gain (1). Azad and colleagues reviewed 37 studies and found that zero calorie sweeteners did not help people lose weight. In fact, the researchers found that people who consumed artificial sweeteners were more likely to experience weight gain, a higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and other health issues (2).
If you want to replace your diet soda, try replacing it with water, tea, coffee, and milk. If it seems difficult to suddenly take soda out of your diet, try to cut back slowly. Drink one fewer soda per day until you eventually eliminate it entirely.
- Harlan Krumholz. (2017, September 14). Why One Cardiologist Has Drunk His Last Diet Soda. Retrieved from: https://blogs.wsj.com/experts/2017/09/14/why-one-cardiologist-has-drunk-his-last-diet-soda/ CMAJ 2017 July 17;189:E929-39. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.161390
- Azad, Meghan B. et al. “Nonnutritive Sweeteners and Cardiometabolic Health: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials and Prospective Cohort Studies.” CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal28 (2017): E929–E939. PMC. Web. 23 Feb. 2018.