Some studies on diet sodas say that the product does deliver on the promise of losing weight, while other studies disagree with that premise. As a result, mixed messages are being sent.
According to Marion Nestle, author of “What to Eat” and a nutrition expert: ”Diet sodas have no calories, but on a population basis, they seem to have no impact on weight. Their use has increased in parallel with the rising of obesity.”
Yet other diet soda studies claim that drinking them can increase the odds of having a stroke or developing metabolic syndrome (which can lead to heart disease). The (so far) never ending tug-of-war over the pros and cons of diet sodas can confuse consumers and create tension in the food and scientific communities. The research and debate will continue, but in the meantime, here’s a few ideas and suggestions:
Having an occasional diet soda won’t be a problem; those who drink at least two cans of diet soda a day are going to be more at risk for soda-related health issues. A move from regular to diet soda is a good health move, but the best of all is to forego soda totally.
It’s also best to enjoy a diet soda or any soda, in moderation. (many people think that since diet sodas have zero calories, they can have as much of it as they want; nope!) Some propose having one diet soda for every other day; some say just once a week.
Artificial sweeteners have also come under scrutiny, with some being recognized as safe, while others are still being studied (or need to be studied). For example, according to Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, sucralose is on the safe list; aspartame is listed under caution.
“Read the labels”, Jacobson advised. “The best option is to look for a product sweetened entirely by sucralose.” Overall, he believes that the fewer, the better when it comes to diet soda.
“The best diet drink would be water or water mixed with fruit juice, seltzer or seltzer mixed with fruit juice”.
Source: “The skinny on diet sodas” by Bill Daley-Chicago Tribune, Dec. 27, 2012