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{Health} Six reasons to NEVER drink another diet soda.

2012 March 14

Is this the one vice every FOF needs to give up . . . now?

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When Dr. Vincent Pedre, MD, one of New York City’s most sought after internists, meets a new patient, he always asks her: “How much soda do you drink? How much diet soda do you drink?”

“I don’t wait for her to volunteer the information,” says Pedre. “Soda consumption is an important part of the overall health history.” The fact is, millions of us drink diet soda because we’re (a) trying to lose weight; (b) like it more than water; and (c) compared to soda, it’s the lesser of two evils . . .right?  Wrong, says Dr. Pedre, who insists that diet soda is just as bad if not worse for your body…and for your waistline.  Here, he offers seven reasons to stop drinking it right now.

1. It actually makes you fatter.
Scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio followed 474 people for 10 years and found that the more diet soda the subjects drank, the fatter they got. Diet soft drink users experienced 70 percent greater increases in waist circumference compared with non-users. Those who drank two or more diet sodas a day saw their waists grow 500% bigger than non-users, even when controlling for things like age and exercise. Wait . . . what? How could America’s favorite diet drink be making us fat? “We still don’t know for sure, why,” says Dr. Pedre. “One theory is that when you eat something sweet, it triggers insulin and the cascade of hormones that make you feel full. Diet soda triggers the sweet receptors on your tongue, but not the insulin, so you never feel full. It actually causes you to crave–and probably eat–more high-carb, processed foods.”

2.  It increases risk of stroke, heart attack and cardiovascular disease.
A recent study of 2,564 adults over 40 living in Manhattan (published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine) concluded that daily consumption of diet soda was independently associated with an increased risk for stroke, heart attack and death. Shockingly, consumption of regular soda was not associated with an increased risk. “Again, this doesn’t tell us why,” says Dr. Pedre, “but we know that people who drink diet soda seem to gain weight and have a greater chance of developing metabolic syndrome,” an increasingly common syndrome associated with abdominal weight gain, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, insulin resistance, an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.

3. It gives you a super-powered sweet tooth.
“The level of sweetness in these diet drinks–the strength with which they stimulate your sweet receptors–is so strong, that you can lose the ability to taste the natural sweetness in foods like fruits and vegetables,” says Dr. Pedre. “You end up wanting to eat things that are going to stimulate those receptors, such as processed foods and other sweets. When you put someone on a detox, and take these things out of their diet for a while, their taste receptors come back. Suddenly they’re able to eat a blueberry, which maybe tasted bland before, and appreciate how delicious it is.”

4. It leaches calcium from your bones.
Diets high in phosphoric acid are associated with lower bone density, hip fractures and osteoporosis. Guess what contains phosphorous? That’s right, cola. Phosphoric acid gives your diet Coke that tangy, acidic taste that’s so fun to drink, plus it prevents mold and bacteria from forming in the can. Yum? “The addition of caffeine also causes reduced calcium absorption,” points out Dr. Pedre. “If you’re drinking a diet cola or two a day, you’re really setting yourself up for osteoporosis in the long run.”

5. Some experts insist that artificial sweetener is a neurotoxin.
The debate has long raged as to whether artificial sweeteners cause cancer. “It’s fine!” says your friend as she swirls five Equals into her coffee. “That answer is still up in the air,” admits Dr. Pedre, “But, aspartame is a neurotoxin, which means it causes irritation and over-stimulation of the nerves.” This is also a highly controversial statement. The FDA has assured consumers that aspartame is safe, however the debate has raged on, and in recent years many European brands have been slowly removing aspartame from their products. In addition, a minority of very vocal doctors, including Dr. Joseph Mercola, a Huffington Post blogger, and Dr. Russell Blaylock, a board certified neurosurgeon, have led crusades against the additive, insisting that it causes longterm nerve and neurological damage, with common symptoms being headaches and migraines. According to a widely quoted article by Dr. Mercola, “100 percent of the industry funded studies supported aspartame’s safety, while 92 percent of the independently funded studies identified at least one potential health concern.”

6. The caramel color is a carcinogen.
Coca Cola and Pepsi both use a chemical called 4-methylimidazole (4-MI) to give their drinks that signature brown, caramel color. Looks yummy, but 4MI is a known carcinogen that, in high doses, has been linked to cancer in mice and rats. As part of California’s new Proposition 65, a company must inform consumers if its products contain any substance “known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.” Reluctant to put a “toxic” warning on millions of cans, Coca Cola released a statement this week saying: “We have asked our caramel manufacturers to modify their production process to reduce the amount of 4-MI in the caramel.” Is the additive gone? No. Is this language sort of hazy? Yes. “The FDA has let this slide because they say the quantity of 4MI in the sodas isn’t enough to be harmful,” explains Dr. Pedre, “But these toxins are stored in fat, so if you’re overweight or carry weight in your mid-section, I can tell you that you’re likely not flushing this toxin out of your body. Each time you drink a soda, more toxins are going in than are coming out. That cumulative effect is very hard to account for.”

Ready to crack open an ice cold cola? Yeah . . . we aren’t either.  So what should we drink? “Water,” says Dr. Pedre. “I can also get on board with sparkling water and a touch of organic berry juice or lemon. Bottom line: If you drink water, herbal tea and eat lots of plants, you just don’t have to worry about this stuff.” How . . . refreshing.

Editor’s note: We’re curious . . . do you drink diet soda?

You might also like:
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{Health} Are Your Aging Eyes Causing All Your Troubles?
{Health} 9 Sleep Aids for FOFs (You’ve Probably Never Tried)

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  • Cekeste says:

    Diet coke tastes nasty, never have liked it. Seldom do I drink any soda, I know all about how bad it is for my body!

  • Denise says:

    I don’t drink much soda, maybe one or two a month. However, my daughter was drinking several cans of diet coke every day. She decided to experiment and started drinking water instead, with an occasional soda, perhaps once a week. She has lost weight since that time and said her clothes are fitting better, not to mention she is healthier because of the extra water!

  • Chandu says:

    Never. An internist told me years ago that it is toxic for my body.

  • Renee says:

    I was a diet soda addict for most of my adult life, frequently drinking between 3-6 cans a day. Then, in my mid-30′s, I started developing debilitating pain. I was treated by a neurologist at UCLA who was convinced I had the early stages of MS, despite having numerous clean brain scans. Since the brain MRIs kept coming back clean, I went to USC for consultation. There, they thought it was most likely lupus. Aside from debilitating pain, I was having frequent migraines, trouble with balance, unbelievably bad leg spasms, difficulty controlling my gait, fevers, etc. Finally, my pain management therapist saw me walk into her office with a Diet Coke. She begged me to stop drinking diet sodas. Honestly, I refused to believe that could be the cause but agreed to stop for a month to shut her up. Initially, after stopping the diet sodas, the pain increased. I was having awful withdrawal symptoms. Finally, at about the 30 day mark, I woke up and realized I was not in tremendous pain. I have not had any artificial sweeteners since then, approximately 3 years. I am no longer on any neurologic meds and no pain meds. I really believe I was being poisoned by that soda. And yet, despite that, many of my family and friends still drink it (even those with chronic pain issues) – which I think is a sign of just how addictive it is.

  • Tracy Costello says:

    I am still drinking diet coke but starting to feel less and less comfortable with it. For the first time I’ve left it off the shopping list. Another thing I can add to the above list is that it can also cause skin reactions like itchy rashes or hives, that will only go away with antihistamines. When I go through a phase of not drinking diet coke I don’t get those symptoms.

  • WLONGMAN says:

    NO diet soda for me. Strictly a Pepsi addict (yes the high fructose corn syrup version)–but I only drink it at work. So that means I drink about 10 cans per week. At home its only coffee, hot tea or iced tea–no sugar or artificial sweetener in any of them.

  • Judy says:

    I have consumed over the years a lot of beverages containing aspartame and, over the past 10 yrs, sucralose. I was diagnosed 6 yrs ago with fibromyalgia and wonder if there is a link re: neurotoxins??

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  • ellen says:

    I seldom drink any carbonated drinks because I want to keep my bones! Never in winter, and maybe two a month in summer.

  • Kellee says:

    I just stopped my 35+ year diet soda habit last Sunday. It has not been easy, but it was time. I have to agree re carbs – have not had any carb cravings all week! I am watching my sodium intake too so stopping soda will help with that. Thanks for the article.

  • virginia martin says:

    Absolutely not, that is ABSOLUTELY NOT!

  • kellykat says:

    I don’t drink sodas —diet or regular

  • linaperl says:

    Thanks, Patty! this is so nice to hear.

  • Peggy says:

    No, I quit drinking it years ago. I might have one every couple of months if I go to lunch or something but very rarely.

  • rbwood54 says:

    I quit after 40 years of diet pepsi. I learned that the carbonation continues in your stomach and stretches it – therefore allowing more food intake.

  • Sally says:

    Gave up soda drinks including diet cola 6 months ago and don’t miss it. Switched to water usually spiked with a little lemonade. Now regular juice tastes too sweet and I’m noticing the natural sweetness of fruit and vegetables!

  • Spartn88 says:

    I’m hooked on coke and coke zero, but I think this article is telling me to change that.

  • swmullis says:

    No – it blows my head off with a 3 day migraine. Cannot eat aspartane in any form.

  • Alan Wood says:

    Not Anymore!

  • Eileen5 says:

    I now only drink diet soda on a rare occasion after years of drinking it 1 or 2 x a day. Now it’s water, water, water and then seltzer.

  • Suzanne Meier says:

    I don’t drink any soda. I used to drink at least one can of diet Coke every day. I started a wellness program almost 2 years ago, and I haven’t touched soda of any kind since then. I drink water or iced tea without sugar (no more sweet tea for yours truly!). There’s a lot of truth in the article especially regarding the sugar cravings/ and weight gain. The only sweets I eat now are a piece of dark chocolate, or I will have a small piece of pie or cake on a special occasion, but I don’t crave sweets at all anymore. I do eat and love fresh fruit. When I first started my program, I used to put a little agave nectar or honey on my fruit, but before long, I just stopped using it. BTW I have lost over 30 pounds and kept it off and I feel great.

    • VJ says:

      Suzanne,
      First, congrats on the weight loss!

      I can totally relate! I have never been a diet soda drinker but I did have a soda sometimes when we ate out. But like you, I have started on a wellness program. NOT A DIET! I have learned over my past years that diets don’t work. Oh, yes, you can lose weight, but most likely will gain it all back and sometimes more than you lost.

      A totally rethinking of your food intake is what it takes. And being model thin is not really the object.

      I could possibly have crossed to other other side of the fence! LOL ABSOLUTELY no fast food, no processed food. Only organic. If it is not organic I do without. Also, no wheat. I recently found out I am gluten intolerant. I count that as a blessing. Even though I don’t eat a lot of bread, gluten is in a lot of our food.

      It is a process and it is not always easy. But if was easy, if the magic potion, per se, were in a pill, wouldn’t we all be model thin and healthy?? Eating healthy is not easy! Period! It is a lifestyle. And something we all have to choose.

      Thinking that drinking a diet soda and then ordering a Big Mac is going to help is just, well, crazy!

      I realize the diet soda debate is going to have two sides. But if there is a chance that the additives are going to cause health issues, doesn’t that give pause? Are soda, diet or not necessary in the scheme of things?

      And I do believe that being off the soda or even diet soda craze has changed my taste buds. I don’t crave sugar. Ever! When I have a dessert it is because I choose to. Not because my body says, “sugar, sugar, sugar!!!!!”

      Confession… Even though I only drink coffee in the morning along with my juiced carrot or fruit juices and then water throughout the rest of the day, I must confess, I love my red wine in the evening along with “one square” of really dark chocolate!

      Good luck on your continued journey to good health!

      VJ

      • Ladyhealer49@hotmail.com says:

        VJ :

        Thanks for your kind wishes. I changed some of my other eating habits as well. For the first 2 months of my program I cut out all pasta, anything with white flour, along with sodas, sweets, white rice, ditto watching the gluten. That is a tricky problem as I’m sure you know, because gluten is in so many food items, even dark chocolate ! I became a dedicated label reader which has been a good thing, and used to shop at Whole Foods Market. There isn’t a Whole Foods where I now live, but I belong to the local food co-op & go to the local farmer’s market. I just know that because of all the changes I have made, I have more energy, do not resort to “stress eating” when I’m upset and have learned to make good food choices.

        In Health,

        Suzanne

  • Billie says:

    Haven’t had soda for over a year, drink black coffee, no cream, water, wine and sun tea in the summer

  • Susan says:

    One or two cans a day but have changed to water due to too much caffeine causing heart palpitations!

  • Laura Borud says:

    I drink maybe one or two sodas a year and never diet.

  • Faith says:

    Yes. I am a diet Coke drinker. Usually 1-2 a day.

  • Linda McCoy says:

    Look at the salt content on many of these soda cans and bottles. If you drink three or so of these a day you are significantly increasing your daily salt intake which can cause your blood pressure to skyrocket.

  • Chris says:

    yes, I have been drinking regular Pepsi for 30 years or more at about 6-8 cans a day sometimes more. I rarely drink anything else. I was able to stop drinking it for about 6 months a few times but worse than cigarettes after having just one the craving and urge came back stronger than ever. I know it is killing me and just can’t quit. I am 54 years old, weigh 310 pounds, have had 3 gastric by-pass surgery’s with post complications. I have high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, a skin condition and terrible teeth. I attribute all these symptoms to the soda. I want to be healthier and happier. I own my own business and my image affects my business so I am hoping to find a way to get healthy and on a healthy life routine. Amazingly I don’t mind drinking water as long as it is cold. Wish me luck. Just so happened my Sister sent me this article on the day I plan to change things. Wish me luck.

  • Jade Dressler says:

    Hi All,

    I thought you might find this interesting.

    Jean Paul Gaultier, French fashion designer, is hired as image director for Diet Coke to produce their new commercials:

    It hits all the right notes for the target audience, women, who care about looks, fashion, social life, glamour, fame.
    Although fun, the woman being a marionette says a lot about about advertising, media messages etc.

    http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/ad-day-diet-coke-138994

    While I love the advertising and marketing industry, (I am in it) we also should cast our smart eyes to it’s verbal and visual language. This important film, Missrepresentation, speaks powerfully to that and is growing:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5pM1fW6hNs

    Don’t drink, think! Then go have a natural, organic healthy drink to support what really matters.
    Jade
    (full disclosure, I work with Dr. Pedre )

  • Soledad says:

    Yes I used to drink Diet Coke at lunch every day at work. I have been unemployed for several months now and my routine has changed; rarely drink it now. And now that I’ve read this I am really going to cut down. This is serious stuff.

  • legs57 says:

    I never drink anything “diet” or “energy”; never will! Don’t recommend them; never have.

  • Jeff Hoots says:

    I did until now.

  • TFMorrow says:

    This is a VERY misleading article. There are some SERIOUS flaws with the cited studies. They do NOT measure the adverse effects of the diet soda, which is NOT the cause of the health problems cited. The health problems are caused by unrelated variables which can all be lumped under the category of very poor health, exercise & nutrition habits. Diet soda does NOT make you fatter, nor does it cause stroke, heart attack and cardiovascular disease. Studies are not conclusive regarding phosphoric acid or aspartame. Many studies on phosphoric acid do not show the claimed leaching of calcium from your system, plus the amount in diet soda is less than that found in many foods commonly consumed. This article needs to be taken with a big grain of salt. I don’t drink soda, however, I know top athletes who are very fit, thinner than me (that’s thin), in perfect health with very low body fat, who drink lots of diet soda and eat a highly nutritious very low fat diet. It’s those OTHER variables (poor health & exercise habits, lousy diet) that will do your health in; not the diet soda.

  • dogladydi says:

    Gabe them up some time ago. Makes it easier to drink the amount of water needed. Now coffee is another story!

  • Lori Haacke says:

    My husband has been after me to quit drinking diet soda, or at least cut back, for quite some time. After reading this article I know I will be cutting back and am going to work hard at quitting it altogether. I know that diet soda is bad for me. I just didn’t realize how bad. My favorite restaurant just got flavored sparkling water and I am going to drink that from now on. Thanks for the info!!

  • Corky says:

    Another reason not to drink soda of any kind: most citrus flavored sodas and sport drinks contain bromated vegetable oil. This product has been banned in India for a few years and is on the unapproved additives list in the EU. Please check out this website to learn more and to find out which soft drinks contain this corrosive additive: http://fooddemocracy.wordpress.com/2009/07/29/bvo-brominated-vegetable-oil-toxic-additive-in-many-sports-drinks-and-sodas/
    Water is the way to go, with tea a close second (for its antioxidants). I have turned to SoBe’s Lifewater drinks on the rare occasion I want something a little sweet. It uses stevia for its sweetener.

  • Cindy says:

    I’ m trying to kick a 64 oz a day habit. Every day I tell myself today is the day. I tried 1/2 seltzer water 1/2 diet coke. Not so great maybe I should start 25/75 then build up.

  • Kathy Handerhan says:

    I don’t drink soda (regular or diet). I have never let my kids have diet soda (they are now 26 and 23) and to this day will not touch a diet soda. They were allowed to have regular soda on special occasions and to this day I ask them to only drink regular soda if they must have one. I don’t think we need studies to tell us these artificial sweeteners are very bad for you- I’ve known it for 30 years!

    • Brad Roth says:

      I can vouch the claims of aspartame is a neurotoxin, and the color of soda is worse if its dark soda. I have lymes disease or a form of it. Before i found out offically i had lymes disease, i was drinking 3 or 4 diet sodas a day! I had a terrible shooting paints through my nerves and rashes and sores. Finally I put 2 and 2 together, diet soda, was like adding gasoline to a fire burning with the lymes disease. With in 2 minutes of drinking i would have HORRIBLE pain in nerves. That was the end of diet soda! I found drinking only CLEAR soda (sprite, 7up, seirra mist) , and non diet. Cause NO reaction to the lymes disease nerve pain. POOF of what is written above.

  • Mag Pie says:

    Water and Lemon..treat it with a spring of mint

  • Helen says:

    Haven’t had a drink (of soda) in years.
    There are so many healthy/delicious options available.

  • V says:

    I drink TONS of water every day (more than 100 ounces, easily), and add a heaping 1/4 tsp (at least) of pharmaceutical-grade vitamin c (which I buy on amazon, 35 grams at a time, for a song) to every glass. Usually with ice.

    The vitamin c crystals makes the water taste lemony, but there’s almost no vitamin c in lemon water. For those who like “sweet,” a bit of organic raw honey or maple syrup would add more healthy stuff to the mix — eh, voila! Lemonade.

    The only thing to remember is that the vitamin c crystals should NEVER TOUCH METAL!!! So I keep a plastic scoop next to the tub of c crystals and another in my bottomless (glass) mug/stein. Wish it were otherwise so I could use my 40oz steel kanteen and not have to refill so often, but. Oh, well!

  • Rachel says:

    Understand the facts, can’t quit.

  • sarahbaldwin says:

    About 25 years ago, I used to drink about a case of Diet Coke per week.

    Then my dad, who was a journalist, did an investigative report on diet sodas and artificial sweeteners. After he learned the inside scoop on how dangerous these sweeteners are (did you know that aspartame, a known neurotoxin, was developed as a chemical warfare agent before researchers discovered how sweet it is), my dad begged me never to drink diet soda again.

    I promised him. Even though he’s been gone five years now, I haven’t broken that promise, and stay clear of the stuff!

  • Susie says:

    The story talks about people dieting, but what if you are diabetic and can’t drink regular sodas? I’m not over weight and I don’t smoke anymore so I think I will stick with my Coke Zero. The pollution in the air is going to kill me and so are the toxins in all of the food I eat. I’m going to go when GOD says it’s time for me to go.

  • MarianW. says:

    I use to drink Diet Peach Snapple all the time, even though
    my doctor told me the artificial sweetener in it would not be good for my brain. I looked it up and the results I found were 50/50 pro and con. So of course I went with the 50%
    that meant I could keep drinking it. Well I should have chose then other 50% because now I have real problems with my memory.

  • Roach says:

    My family and I haven’t drank soda in years (including my kids). On a very rare occasion (at a party when there were no other options…yes we have been to a party where soda was the only drink option) we have had some soda and my kids didn’t even like it especially the diet soda. We are not missing out on anything that is for sure.

  • LL says:

    Never liked the taste of diet sodas!

  • DB says:

    I drink diet Pepsi for the caffeine. Period. I don’t like coffee and diet Pepsi has more caffeine that tea.

  • Dawn says:

    My diet soda drinking became out of control, I was drinking about 4-5 cans a day! I’m trying to make a change for the better and went cold turkey. My last soda was 3 weeks and 1 day ago. I still crave it quite a bit, but I hope I can make it a lifetime change.

  • mizliz96 says:

    Never drank diet soda, never will. I don’t eat or drink anything with artificial sweetners. I want the real deal!

  • Susan says:

    I drink 4-6 diet Cokes a day. My weight has been stable for years and I am 5’7″ with a 27″ waist. I am fit but don’t have a fitness routine. I don’t eat vegetables either. Diet Coke will continue to be a part of my life.
    I think genetics plays a larger part in a person’s health than is given credit. As a nurse I take care of MANY patients 15-20 years younger than I am who don’t drink as much diet soda as I do and look and act 15-25 years older who also have numerous illnesses, ie diabetes, cancer, thyroid issues, obesity, etc. Again genetics seems to have a substantial contribution to a person’s health in spite of what they eat or drink.

  • Joan says:

    I never drink diet or regular soda.
    I used to drink mostly water, some skim milk and occasionally some OJ or a diet hot chocolate.

    Lately I’ve been decaf diet green tea because I was barely drinking any water. I probabably should go back to the water.

  • Sandy says:

    Yes, I do — about 2 a day, diet Mt. Dew and diet Dr. Pepper. I, too, haven’t had a problem, with my sweet tooth. I’ve actually cut way down on my sugar because I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and I think that adds to it flaring up. Plus, my husband is a Type 1 diabetic (‘Juvenile Diabetes), so we rarely have sugar around anyway. So – I live healthily, but I’m deprived most of the time. Sometimes fruit just won’t cut it. I cut way back months ago on the diet soda; don’t know if I can elminate it. I’m going to check out that “Zevia” mentioned earlier; I’m very interested in natural, zero-calorie sweeteners.

  • MattH says:

    I drink Diet soda for the caffeine since I don’t drink coffee. I think I will switch to tea. I wonder if there are types of tea with higher levels of caffeine? I know Green Tea is very low.

    • Dr. Vincent Pedre says:

      A typical 16 oz. coffee has anywhere between 100 – 150mg of caffeine. A large green tea with two tea bags steaped for an extended time (15 minutes), will have 48 – 80 mg. So, if you can wean yourself down from the coffee, you can still gain sustainable energy from green tea without the cortisol/insulin effects of regular coffee that leave you feeling tired several hours after your cup. Green tea leaves have other phytochemicals, such as l-theanine, which help counter the caffeine effect, giving you a more even energy throughout the day.

  • Diane says:

    I do not drink diet or regular sodas unless there is absolutely nothing else to drink. I probably drink 2-3 a year. I can most definitely do without them.

  • kaymarcie says:

    I just won’t drink diet soda. I am a real pain when it comes to artificial ingredients, but I just don’t think our bodies are capable of dealing with them in a benign way.

  • eddyrobey says:

    Yes, I drink one each day

  • bonnie says:

    After my son told me about these facts, I’ve stop drinking Diet drinks altogether.. thank you for this info

  • Phylis says:

    I do but after reading this article I will definitely leave it alone.

  • Patty Smith says:

    This really made the case for me to stop a heavy addiction to diet
    soda. I have relied on it for a long time as a sort of daily IV drip.
    I have been drinking them instead of water for a long time. Back to
    water. What a startling article. I have read others, but this one
    (regarding the ever increasing waist circumference) really made me
    take notice. And yes, my waist has gotten bigger, much bigger.
    Off to find some detox tea! Thank You…

  • Linda Depoy says:

    I had a 30 yr old nephew who passed away in June 2010 of a very rare lung cancer. He was addicted to diet soda. I have always wondered if that may have caused his cancer. He was not a smoker. We are all still heart broken over the loss of him.

  • gail says:

    this was very useful. i know people say not to drink diet sodas, but i hadn’t seen the reasons.

    i stopped drinking a lot of soda when i went from working in an office with a soda machine to working at home. carrying home cases of diet pepsi just wasn’t worth it, even though i was drinking 2 to 3 cans a day at the time.

    i also have a water carbonation system, the penguin. i love it. using that has really helped me transition to just plain water also. (they sell syrups to make your own sodas, but they’re not good. i just use a little lime, and occasionally cranberry, when i think to buy it.)

    i’ve been very curious about the carbonated water, if it’s just as bad as soda or diet soda, so i’m glad the doctor gave it the ok in the article.

  • carolineno says:

    ugh-no!

  • ShemCreek says:

    No, I never use artificial sweetener.

  • Leona Gibbs says:

    I sure do. Not every day however lately I have found myself drinking more than I used to. I was limiting myself to one diet pepsi a week but seem to have fallen off the wagon. This article is inspiring me to get back on my soda diet.

  • Donna says:

    I used to drink diet coke usually more often in the summertime. It’s been about 7 years since I drank any and I feel better. I was often dealing with splitting headaches and sometimes felt jittery. Now only once in a while I experience a bad sinus headahe especially during allergy seasons. My neighbor died suudenly of a heart attack about 6 years ago. She drank diet soda by the quart, regularly and was pencil thin.

  • Diana S. says:

    What about natural soda such as “Zevia” sweetened with stevia. I try to avoid all refined sugar and even foods that convert to sugar including high glycemic fruit. If I did not treat myself with a natural diet soda a day for a treat I might not be able to be as diligent. It is expensive but so worth it and comes in many flavors. Cream soda is my favorite. Cola if I need a caffeine pick-me-up.

  • Debi says:

    I drink diet soda all the time. It started when I was gaining alot of weigh and the diet soda helped now I taste all that sugar in regular soda and my tongue curls. I did loose the weigh and on top of that it helped me cut down alot in taking sugar in my coffee and tea. I dont have such a sweet tooth anymore. I was very concern about sugar because my dad passed away years ago from complications with diabetes. He took the insulin for years. He had a weigh problem to, he was injured in the army and was hospitalized for that for years. So you can see why I watch what I eat and drink. Is this certain and what about the caffeine in regular soda? I’ve also been drinking decaf coffee for 13 years is there a study on that too?

  • VJ says:

    I quit drinking any kind of soda almost 2 years ago and I have never drank diet sodas.

    With all the current information on what these diet drinks do to your body, and it isn’t just hype, why would anyone continue to drink them?

    What is wrong with water. I use a Soda Stream to carbonate it. Gives it a little fizz and is more interesting to drink than just plain. And it’s good for you! Really. And I don’t mean bottled water. What a scam!

    • debi says:

      what is soda stream??? Where can you buy it? Is it safe?

      • VJ says:

        I got mine from http://www.sodastreamusa.com/store.aspx?gclid=COWtxouX564CFSdgTAodBVi8jA

        I love it! It makes it very easy to drink water. If you like the fizz of sodas this gives you that without any of the bad stuff of soda.

        Tip. We have had our Fountain Jet for 3 years and it hasn’t given us any problems. Those are the least expensive. It will use a 33.0 oz cylinder or the 14.5 cylinder. We have found that the smaller one doesn’t last hardly anytime. We always use the larger cylinder bottle. Lasts a long time. And we “charge” 2 or 3 bottles per day. It is easy to order online. You just return the unused bottles when you receive your new order. Bed, Bath and Beyond carries them but you can only get the smaller cylinder bottle there.

    • Reese G says:

      VJ, Bottled water a scam? Oh yeh! If people only knew how many of those bottled waters get their supply from a tap they would probably lay down and cry for all the money they blew on it!

      • VJ says:

        Isn’t that the truth?! We put an article in our newsletter this month about bottled water. Isn’t is scary!! The amount of money people spend!! if you compare it to auto fuel, the bottle of water in you hand costs about $10 a gallon!! Hello!!! Our research determined that a bottle of water costs 10,000 times more than tap water. And producing the bottle costs three times more than filling it. Four out of five empty water bottles go into landfills, enough to wrap around the planet three times!!!

        Seventeen million barrels of oil, enough to run one million vehicles for a full year, are used each year to just make water bottles. And twenty-two percent of bottled water contains contaminants at higher than heathy levels.

        All this information if readily available on the internet. Do people just not care? Or is it just easier to grab a bottle from the frig? This is not hype. These are true numbers.

        • Dr. Vincent Pedre says:

          Re: the cost of water bottles. This is why I got rid of the Poland Spring water cooler at my office, and replaced it with a Nikken Aqua Pour Deluxe gravity water filtration system, which filters regular tap water. We simply fill it up on the top, and the water that comes out the bottom is clean, pH-balanced, and free of drug metabolites or any heavy metals that may be leaching through old pipes. It was my solution for a more sustainably-minded medical office. Think about how much gas/oil would be saved if offices didn’t spend money on importing their water in water bottles!

  • 1955nurse says:

    OMG – yet one MORE thing that’s going to kill me! If the air that I’m breathing doesn’t get me, then the CRAP that’s in my tap water will – or the additives in my food, the microbes ON my Fresh Food, & on & on! Then 1 day they tell us that our coffee is causeing cancer – then a year later they tell us NO – it’s actually GOOD for you! It can all be very confusing, and anxiety-producing!!! It gets to the point where you don’t know WHO or WHAT to believe anymore….

    • Sunshinejb says:

      Isn’t that the true!!!

    • FOF Editor says:

      Agree! It is hard to know. At the end of the day, there are some pretty heated opinions on both sides of this issue. Thanks for your comment…

    • Reese G says:

      My line of thought on WHO to believe is … believe your grandparents and great grandparents. That is the generation that worked hard, always tried to be honest in dealings with others, and their food was honest, too. They drank coffee in the morning and in the evening. They ate potatoes and corn and real butter. They didn’t drink soft drinks much because they just weren’t around and, at least in the case of great grandparents, they were marketed as a medicinal! They balanced what they consumed with the work they did. It was only after WWII when women had gotten a taste of working and getting a paycheck and they decided they liked it and didn’t want to go back to the old “barefoot and pregnant” life they had known before that we started seeing Mr. Birdseye’s frozen dinners and foods with artificial preservatives and all the additives in them. People began eating in front of the old Bendix tv set instead of sitting around the table. And it was only on the tv shows – Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best – that families sat around the table. The rest of us just watched them living the fantasy “perfect” life. And the more we moved away from “living” in the kitchen and laundry room, the more we moved toward the convenience of pre-packaged foods – and all of those additives and preservatives and artificial fillers and sweeteners. It was fast and easy and convenient and, although the foods didn’t really taste exactly like the old gen counterparts, they weren’t bad. So we kept buying (and eating) the chemical melange that now passes for real food.
      Face it. Whatever you do in life … or eat … or whatever, whether you exercise a lot or not at all, SOMETHING is gonna kill ya. The trick is to be happy and healthy until that time. Enjoy life! And to do that, you have to be able to get in there and ‘play the game’, kick a little asterisk every now and then, laugh as often as possible, and love and embrace the world! So … who do you listen to? Listen to your ancestors. Eat the way they did. It was good for them. Chances are, it’ll be good for you, too.

      • 1955nurse says:

        I agree w/you – up to a point. Growing up, I lived in the MidWest & had a Grandfather who ate very little “Store-bought” food. He grew vegetables, raised chickens, & cattle. He died @ the age of 62 from Heart Disease & Atherosclerosis. His arteries had hardened from all the animal fat (butter, lard, beef fat etc.) he consumed on a daily basis. He was very active and worked every day until he fell ill. So EVERYTHING about the old way of eating wasn’t all good! Also I do agree that the very nature of our lives has become sedentary – whether from necessity (job related) or choice. I think the most important thing to remember is that we ALL have to become our own Health Advocate, & filter the information we receive. When I become too overloaded w/all the information that bombards me (with Health-related things @ least) I take my questions to someone who is educated & can help sort it all out – A Medical Doctor. Our world has changed in ways my Grandparents couldn’t even begin to foresee – both good & bad. It’s my responsibility to sort out what I can, so I can be as Healthy as I can be!

  • Teresag says:

    My drink of choice is water or iced tea. I drink a Diet Coke occasionally. What about coke Zero? As of today, absolutely no pop for me!!!!

    • FOF Editor says:

      Hi Teresa G! thanks for your comment . . . We looked it up, and Coke Zero contains both caramel coloring and aspartame, so it certainly counts as the type of diet soda we describe in this article…

  • vclark500 says:

    Occasionally I drink soda but not oftern.

  • thewordsmith says:

    I stopped drinking sodas a couple of years ago. I’ve also lost almost 80 pounds in the last couple of years! I also made other lifestyle changes so I can’t credit the non-soda lifestyle change solely for the weight loss. But I am certain it was a contributing factor. I also don’t drink powdered drinks like Kool-Aid (too many artificial ingredients!), or Crystal Lite (won’t drink artificial sweetners – at all)

    I have developed an aversion to artificial additives in food. I’m not artificial – the real deal – and I see no reason to be putting artificial things in my body. I have, however, develped an addiction to frozen fruit juices but I stick to the non-sweetened ones like Welch’s grape juice. Natural fruit and berry sweetness only. Absolutely NO SUGAR ADDED! It’s not an easy transition at the start but, after a couple of months, you just stop thinking in terms of sodas.

    I do, of course, still consume sugar. Green tea, my drink of choice, just would not be the same without a dose of sugar in it. I actually tried artificial sweetener in it once or twice but … it just doesn’t taste the same. Cured me of that in a hurry!

    • FOF Editor says:

      Congratulations on your weight loss! That’s amazing . . . So interesting to hear that kicking your soda habit helped. Also interesting that you developed an “aversion” to artificial sweeteners. Makes sense if you consider that these things may be building up in our systems for years. Thanks for the comment!

  • jmb0923 says:

    I am desperately trying to kick my diet coke habit. What are your thoughts on flavored waters like Propel?

    • FOF Editor says:

      Hi there – I interviewed Dr. Pedre for this article. I actually looked up the ingredients in Propel and it does contain a number of preservatives as well as artificial sweetener (sucralose), which I know Dr. Pedre is not a fan of. Here is the complete list of ingredients:

      WATER, CITRIC ACID, SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE (TO PROTECT FLAVOR), NATURAL FLAVOR, POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVES FRESHNESS), ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), SUCRALOSE, SODIUM CITRATE, POTASSIUM CITRATE, ACESULFAME POTASSIUM, NIACINAMIDE (VITAMIN B3), CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA (TO PROTECT FLAVOR), VITAMIN E ACETATE, CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE (VITAMIN B5), PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6)

  • aernest says:

    Oh heck yes, I drink them, but far fewer than I used to. Maybe one a day now, as opposed to 2-3 a day before. It’s the caffeine.

    • FOF Editor says:

      Hi there! I interviewed doctor Pedre for this story and he talked a lot about caffeine as well…perhaps that’s the next story!

  • Angela K says:

    What about things like Crystal Light? Have there been studies on those? Obviously some of the factors would be the same but others (like caramel color, which isn’t in my flavor) aren’t.

    • Gregory Anne Cox says:

      The biggest problem is the artificial sweetener so Crystal Light would fall in to the same category as diet sodas, sadly.