The Christmas Holidays are just around the corner. Christmas is a time for celebration and festivities and that usually goes along with feasting and eating.
Because we are generally becoming more aware of the dangers of the sugary drink called soda, many are resorting to sugar free or diet soda to enjoy the pleasure of soda but without the harmful effects of sugar.
We have been made to believe that such drinks are a much safer alternative because of the significantly reduced sugar levels.
But is this realty true?
While it is true that there may be less or even no sugar, there is something in the drink that allows it to maintain its sweet taste.
These substances that give diet sodas their sweet taste are called artificial sweeteners and include substances like aspartame, sucralose and saccharin.
BUT believe me, research shows that some of these artificial sweeteners especially aspartame may have much worse hidden negative health consequences than sugar.
Are you enjoying the pleasure of a soda without being aware of the possible hidden costs?
What happens within the body when you drink diet soda? What health disorders are directly related to drinking artificially sweetened sodas?
Hidden Health Costs of drinking diet soda
Research studies are revealing that the consumption of diet soda is directly linked to many health issues.
Many reputable universities such as Harvard and Stanford are leading the way in providing study results along with other research facilities.
Take a look at what happens when individuals drink too much diet soda.
Higher Risk of Obesity
Although diet soda is lower in calories, the drink can increase the waistline of an individual by 500%!
When your body tastes sweet, the brain expects sugar and calories. And when the calories don’t show up, your brain gets confused and initiates a chain of events that will first of all require you to make good on your promise of sugar that came with the sweet taste by making you crave and consequently eat more sugary foods in a way that you usually are not able to control.
Secondly the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas cause a situation of confusion in the body’s ability to regulate calorie intake which is based on the sweetness of foods.
Type 2 Diabetes
Nearly 300 million people suffer from type 2 diabetes worldwide.
Many studies link soda consumption to this type of diabetes development. Individuals who drink large quantities of diet soda suffer from altered insulin levels. Insulin is needed by the body to regulate blood sugar levels.
Increased Risk of Heart Attack
Individuals who drink at least one diet soda daily are at an increased risk of developing a heart attack. The increased risk is one in five individuals will suffer from, or dye, from an attack.
Allergies & Allergic Reactions
Individuals consuming diet sodas may experience an increase in allergies. They may also be more prone to allergic reactions as compared with non-soda drinkers. Medically, people who drink diet sodas are at an increased risk of developing asthma.
Headaches & Migraines
Synthetic sweeteners, such as aspartame, can cause headaches, migraines, altered mentation and even seizures.
Individuals who consume diet sodas with aspartame notice a number of headaches in direct correlation to the amount of diet soda consumed.
Reduced Kidney Function
Research studies at Harvard reveal individuals who drink diet sodas for long periods of time may suffer from a reduction in kidney function by thirty percent (30%). This is quite significant. And if you combine this with lots of animal protein then it gets worse.
Increased Stress, Anxiety & Depression
Caffeinated beverages can increase stress and anxiety in individuals.
Most diet sodas contain caffeine which stimulates the nervous system. The ingredient is also shown to increase stress hormone activity within the body.
Individuals who consume at least four servings of diet soda per day are at an increased risk of developing depression by thirty percent (30%).
So while many of us may want to continue enjoying the benefits of soda while hoping that they are avoiding sugar and its calories, please reconsider.
I am in no way suggesting that you should consider drinking regular soda because that too has very many negative effects including increasing significantly your risk for diabetes, cancer, weight problems and heart disease.
My advice is to totally avoid soda or have it in extreme moderation.
Consider getting yourself a NUTRIBULLET, a superfood nutrient extractor that makes smooth tasting, easy drinking healthy juices.
This will make your Christmas equally enjoyable but much healthier and guess what, you may just come out of the festive season leaner.
The writer is a nutrition expert and E Dof Welcare Uganda Ltd