2.14.2012

Soda: Is Diet Ok?

This is one of the most hot topics that I get many questions about. Mostly, the question arises when individuals tell me they do not care for the taste of water. "Diet soda is OK right?"  

I have had my love affair with diet soda. There is something about that crack of the can tab opening up to delicious, sweet and fizzy goodness. The flavors are endless and manufactures are creating more and more consumer-friendly flavors to compete with the full calorie counterparts. Diet soda has no calories, so it should be OK, right?

Not so much. As a dietitian, there is a common thread amongst most of my clients. All of them consume diet soda and all of them struggle to maintain their weight. Most of all, all of them have extreme difficulty resisting higher carbohydrate foods. This is where the problem lies. No-calorie, diet soda may increase your carbohydrate food cravings. Why you ask?

Simple. Diet soda is made with non-caloric sweeteners that ultimately encourages the same body chemistry as sugar-laden sodas. Your body has the same chemical reaction to diet soda, by releasing insulin. This release of insulin, each time you consume diet soda, may cause your body to gain weight, especially mid-section body fat. 

Diet soda also has a few other ingredients that can cause other chemical issues in your body, like depleting calcium from your bones. 

My new favorite weapon of choice is natural seltzer waters. There are different brands and flavors, truly I love them all. Pellegrino and Canada Dry brands are my favorite. And....I still can get the satisfying pop of the can tab opening.