I’m not sure why I bother writing about diet soda (and regular) anymore. It seems like anyone who makes it to my blog has seen enough to convincing evidence to swear them off, at least as a staple, by now. But, finally, we have actually scientific data to show why all those studies have been showing that diet soda drinkers fare even worse than real soda drinkers (who do awful) over the course of their lifetimes. I’ll keep this short and anecdotal, then point you to all the scientific breakdown you’ll likely ever want to see over at Denis’ Nutrition Nerd Blog.
The first time I wrote about diet sodas, probably 30 years ago, I made an educated guess (based on working with clients who would lose weight without making any dietary changes but eliminating diet soda, and its 0 calories,from their diets) that it somehow played a role in tampering with digestion. It was true, right? All my clients would lose weight. I didn’t have the means to study gut bacteria (or anything) and, shoot, science was still mired in” no fat diets” leading to an epidemic of Epstein-Barr Virus (and chronic fatigue) so the health world kind of had bigger fish to fry. It wasn’t until years later, when the longterm lifestyle studies came in, showing diet soda drinkers were dying quicker than soda drinkers, that it finally got into the cross hairs. Enter Denis:
Thanks to a new study featured in the journal Nature, we now know a lot more about this particular devil—and it turns out he’s a real son of a bitch. According to the study, three sweeteners, saccharin (Sweet n’ Low), sucralose (Splenda), and aspartame (NutraSweet) can cause glucose intolerance—the body’s inability to properly manage the absorption of excess sugar into your blood leading to type two diabetes—by altering your gut bacteria.
This study is incredibly water-tight and, I tell ya, it’s a game-changer. Despite the fact that I’m not alone in my dislike of artificial sweeteners, the establishment—including the American Diabetes Association—has long recommended zero or low calorie drinks, including diet soda, as a solution for diabetics. That might/should change.
But wait, there’s more! While that’s basically enough for me, Denis didn’t come close to stopping at diet soda, as the study took a look at artificial sweeteners across all application and the ADA’s dubious hesitancy to stop recommending them. But, shoot, none of you use them either, right? Click the link above and you’ll be privy to 9 major scientific blows against artificial sweeteners in general. It may not be a good enough reason to go back to real sugar, but it’s a fantastic reason to try and re-train your taste buds (this is very easy to do, btw) so that you don’t require everything you eat to be saccharine sweet!
PS – I just noticed this cool blog feature “related posts” that’s down below. If need any more convincing, there you go.