Question of the Century
As the demand for healthier alternatives to the common junk foods increases, several people find themselves drinking diet sodas over the regular ones. While in theory this seems like the perfect solution, is diet soda actually healthier to drink?
The main reason that sodas are so unhealthy is that common sodas contain absurd amounts of sugar. A 2012 Gallup survey says that 48% of Americans drink at least one glass of soda a day and if you consistently load yourself up with that amount of sugar, it isn’t too hard to imagine the negative effects that will result. Common sodas consumed by Americans include Coke, Dr. Pepper, and Fanta. In a can of Coke, there are 39 grams of sugar; In Dr. Pepper there are 41 grams and in Fanta Orange there are 23 grams. All of these listed sugar amounts as well as the amounts of just about any other soda you can think of are provided here. Sugar is widely accepted as extremely unhealthy, especially when consumed regularly. Whether it is breaking down the enamel of your teeth or being the leading cause to adulthood obesity, sugar is unfortunately one of the worst things we can consume. So if these sodas didn’t have the sugar in them, would they be considered healthy.
Diet sodas are considered by many Americans to be healthy. While they do have some “healthier” Sodas without sugar or diet sodas are often sought after over regular soda because of their lack of natural sugars. The way that diet sodas get their sweetness is through artificial sweeteners. Whether or not artificial sweeteners are unhealthy for you is still a controversial topic however they are believed to be significantly better than regular sugars. Since there is no sugar in diet sodas, the likelihood of getting a cavity in your mouth is greatly reduced. Although, dentists are not known for recommending that you drink diet sodas everyday. Even though they don’t contain any sugar, diet sodas are still very acidic, which can break down your enamel faster. Diet sodas usually don’t have any calories so you’d think that they would help people with weight loss. This is actually wrong. Since diet sodas do not provide the brain with actual sugars, the brain continues to want sweet foods. People drinking diet sodas will crave more food even after eating a meal than do the people who drink regular sodas with sugar. Scientists also noticed a correlation among people who drink diet sodas and the rate of heart attacks among these people. People who drink diet sodas were 48% more likely to have a heart attack according to one observational study. This is only a correlation however. Confounding variables such as the fact that people who drink diet soda may already.
Clearly soda in general is a unhealthy choice of beverage. While regular sodas have high levels of sugar, diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners and can lead to unhealthy choices in the future. Neither are beneficial and your body will end up hating you if you drink sodas regularly. However, if you had to choose between diet soda or regular soda and stick with that choice for the rest of your life, diet soda would be the way to go.