We have known for some time that drinking sodas can lead to an almost infinite amount of health complications, but what about diet soda? Actually, diet soda is not at all a healthful alternative to soda, as the artificial sweeteners added to the beverages can also cause all sorts of problems. What’s more, these artificial sweeteners mess with your brain in numerous ways – often even causing you to consume more than you normally would.
Numerous studies have drawn a link between various illnesses and diet sodas – or at least with the artificial sweeteners. Research has found that drinking these beverages can lead to an increased risk of diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, and even obesity – a primary issue many are trying to avoid by choosing the drink.
One of those studies, from Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, further investigated the correlation between artificial sweeteners, weight gain and diabetes. The study, published in the scientific journal Nature, had some compelling findings that may explain the previous contradicting results:
People consuming artificial sweeteners had overall higher blood sugars than those who rarely or never did. Some saw an increase in their blood sugars with just one week of consuming the fake sugars. Mice given the artificial sweeteners gained just as much weight and had higher blood sugars than the ones given regular sugar despite consuming fewer calories!
Drinking diet sodas even affects us on a cellular level. We can attribute this to diet sodas containing bizarre ingredients like mould inhibitors (not found in sugary sodas) often listed as sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate. Peter Piper of the University of Sheffield says these chemicals “have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it.” Be wary of these ingredients if you want to steer clear of hives, asthma, and other allergic reactions, too.
Unfortunately, the negative effects don’t stop at the physical. In addition to the physical effects of diet soda, it can also mess with your brain. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame trick our brains, often leading to the exact opposite outcome many people seek from diet soda.