Is Diet Soda Really All That Unhealthy?

Diet Sodas May Double Your Risk of Obesity

The prevalence of obesity has reached epidemic proportions and many Americans are making efforts to side-step extra calories. They are turning to diet soft drinks -- Diet Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper and Sprite -- as their beverage of choice.

But is this a wise health choice?

Perhaps not, for according to a study by researchers at the University of Texas San Antonio, middle-aged adults who drink diet soft drinks may be drastically increasing their risks of gaining weight later on.

The study monitored the weight and soda-drinking habits of more than 600 normal-weight patients aged 25-64. When researchers followed up on the patients some eight years later, they discovered:

Participants were 65 percent more likely to be overweight if they consumed one diet soda a day compared to if they drank none.

Two or more low- or no-calorie soft drinks raised the odds of becoming obese or overweight even higher.

Those who drank diet soda had a greater chance of becoming overweight than participants who drank regular soda.

San Antonio Express-News July 6, 2005

A Commentary by Dr. Mercola:
Just like an optical illusion, what you see is not what you get.
Despite the superficial logic that consuming fewer calories will produce weight loss, the evidence is very clear that using artificial sweeteners will cause a paradoxical effect and actually cause you to gain weight.

In fact, nearly a decade ago, studies were already revealing that artificial sweeteners can:

- Stimulate your appetite.
- Increase carbohydrate cravings.
- Stimulate fat storage and weight gain.

These chemical cocktails may be a powerful contributing factor in the obesity epidemic many industrialized nations are now experiencing. But, the damage artificially sweetened beverages and other foods can cause does not stop there.

While I am no fan of sugar, it has become abundantly clear to me that, when compared to artificial sweeteners, sugar is greatly preferred -- at least it is natural and you only need to be concerned with leptin and insulin regulation.

When using artificial sweeteners, you not only have the same insulin and leptin issues but you now must contend with the toxic effects of these artificial chemicals.

Artificial sweeteners like aspartame (NutraSweet) and sucralose (Splenda) can contribute to a host of additional side effects.
Sucralose, the sweetening agent in Splenda, is in fact made from sugar (sucrose). However, what the ads don't go on to say is that chemists then add three chlorine molecules to these sugar molecules to create the final product.

Animal studies have revealed that sucralose can cause:

Shrunken thymus glands (up to 40 percent shrinkage)
Enlarged liver and kidneys
Atrophy of lymph follicles in the spleen and thymus
Reduced growth rate
Decreased red blood cell count

If these findings concern you, read on, because aspartame may be even worse. Results of multiple studies, complaints and testimonies have revealed that aspartame can trigger or worsen the following diseases:

Brain tumors
Multiple sclerosis
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Parkinson's disease
Alzheimer's disease
Mental retardation
Birth defects

The bottom line is that both of these substances can poison your body. Deciding to start or continue drinking either one of them would simply be a major movement toward the development of chronic disease.

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