Diet soda hit the market in 1962, when Diet Dr. Pepper was released--and subsequently flopped. The following year, The Coca-Cola Company gave us TaB, marketed to consumers (read: women) who were trying to "keep tabs" on their weight. TaB was the best-selling soft drink on the market by 1982, but its popularity took a tragic nosedive with the introduction of Diet Coke in 1983. Diet Coke remains the most popular diet soft drink and the second most popular soda in the country, coming in on the heels of regular Coke.
According to the American Journal of Public Health, about 20 percent of American adults consume diet beverages, many of them in the belief that diet soda is healthier than sweetened versions. Unfortunately for diet soda die-hards, this is proving to be a costly fallacy in terms of health and weight. The truth is, diet soda may be even worse for you than regular soda. Here are five ways diet soda may be harming your health.
Overeating and Weight Gain
A recent Purdue University study found that artificial sweeteners interfere with the body's ability to manage calories based on whether something tastes sweet. This, according to the research, leads to overeating, weight gain, and a range of health problems.
The National Kidney Foundation cites a Nurses' Health Study that followed 3,000 female nurses, with a current median age of 67 years, over the course of 20 years. The study found that women who drank two or more diet sodas daily had a 30 percent greater reduction in kidney function over that period than those who didn't drink it.
Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
Daily consumption of diet soda in any quantity increases the risk of metabolic syndrome by 36 percent, and it increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 67 percent, according to a study published in the journal Diabetes Care. Researchers believe this may be due to artificial sweeteners increasing cravings for sugar and the disruption of the body's ability to estimate how much energy it needs, leading to increased sugar intake and subsequent health problems.
A study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that daily diet soda drinkers are more likely to suffer a stroke or heart attack than those who don't drink diet soda, and they're more likely to die from cardiovascular disease--even when researchers adjusted for smoking, body weight, sodium consumption, high cholesterol, and exercise.
The consumption of any kind of soda--diet or regular--may increase your risk of depression by up to 30 percent, according to a recent study that compared the effects of soda, coffee, and other drinks on mental health. Older adults are at the highest increased risk, and diet soda produces the greatest liability.
Better Ways to Maintain or Lose Weight
Ditching your diet soda habit is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. And if you want to "keep tabs" on your weight, there are better ways to do it than replacing sugary drinks with diet versions.
Eating a healthy diet and exercising most days of the week is the number-one best way to drop pounds, but if you're over 50, it can be slow-going.
Thrive Naturals offers a range of scientifically proven formulas to supplement a healthy lifestyle and boost the function of the body's various systems for more efficient and lasting weight loss.
Garcinia Cambogia has been shown through research to promote fat loss when it's used as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.
And once you give up your daily diet soda, Thrive Naturals Advanced Probiotic Complex can restore balance to the gut microbiome for optimal energy, metabolism, and digestive health moving forward.
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