Why You Should STOP Drinking Diet Soda Right Now! – According to World Atlas, people from the United States are surprisingly not the world’s biggest soda drinkers, folks down in Argentina are. Those statistics tell us Americans consume on average an incredible 155 liters of these drinks per year.
In Argentina it was 156 liters on average. In third was Chile, Mexico (137 liters) and Uruguay. World Atlas explained that by soft drink it meant “flavored, carbonated, non-alcoholic beverage”. You can look at other statistics and find the Brits downing on average 206 liters a year, but you have to look at the fine print because sometimes soft drink can mean any sweetened drink, including juices and sports drinks.
What we do know is this, soft drinks, sodas, are very popular. We’ll discuss today if that is such a good thing. For years now people have been warned about drinking too many sweetened drinks. We have been told that such drinks have been significantly consequential in what has been called an obesity crisis, from the USA, to over the pond in the UK, to many countries around the globe.
If you’re fortunate enough to have visited many countries around the world, you’ll know you can’t go far without seeing Coke, or Fanta, or Pepsi or Sprite, not just the drinks but the ubiquitous advertising. Coke in fact is one of those universal words we all understand, like “OK”, “Taxi”, “Pizza” or probably right now a bunch of words related to tech.
In 2018 in fact, Coca-Cola according to Forbes was the sixth most valuable brand in the world. This is partly down to the advertising, not just the fact it tastes, er…ok. You will see these often sensual video ads wherever you travel, usually consisting off it, good-looking people drinking a Coke and announcing that Coke is it, it’s the real thing, and then a few svelte women and handsome men will look extremely happy and show you they are living life to the full.
That’s quite a statement for a soft drink, and perhaps if Coke was to embrace realism the scene might be closer to some hyperactive child making his parents crazy or some 300-pound,unemployed Dorito-lover sitting on the couch watching re-runs of America’s Funniest Home Videos in the afternoon.
We don’t mean to sound too cynical, but we doubt the ecstasy people feel in the ads after drinking a Coke is very close to how things usually look. But Coke, and other soft drinks, have of late lost some of their mirth, because a lot of people have started getting serious about this obesity crisis and sugary, carbonated drinks reportedly have a good stake in the crisis.
Back in 1982, Coca-Cola created the diet Coke, and this throughout the years has won over a lot of people. Pepsi had already brought out its diet drink, and later both companies started creating all kinds of supposedly healthier drinks. You might think Coke Zero and Diet Coke are similar, but we are told the former is supposed to taste like normal Coke and the latter have a taste of its own.
The difference is chemicals, but we’ll get around to that soon. We can tell you that Coca-Cola, followed by Pepsi followed by Red Bull, are the world’s biggest companies in terms of soft drink sales. Other soft drinks such as Fanta and Sprite, also big sellers around the globe, are owned by the Coca-Cola company. But those drinks don’t sell anywhere near as well as the flagship drinks.
We’re told though by Coke on its own website, that less sugar is popular. Here’s what the company said, “Our original and iconic cola is still our top-seller. However, 43% of the cola we now sell is made up of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke or Coca-Cola Life, which have less or no sugar”.
Ok, so we have explained to you in a somewhat long-winded way that people still drink Coke and other big brand soft drinks on average with as much enthusiasm as a thirsty elephant at a watering hole. But people want a different kind of drink because sugar has been demonized somewhat, from newspaper, to popular Podcasts that feature people telling us how we can live long and prosper, to depressing documentaries on TV that show us 14-year olds in Arkansas that require a crane to lift them out of bed.
Multi-billion dollar companies know their audience and at some point they accepted that no amount of implausible advertising can break the spell of a burgeoning movement, when thezeitgeist just says NO to something! They had to adapt, change up their game, or get left behind in a sugar blizzard which people are trying hard to avoid.
So then one day you’re sat in your usual local eatery that now offers almost zero-calorie,fake-fish, organic rocket vegan-Ciabatta sandwiches, happily swilling down your can of sugar-lessor near-sugar-less soft drink. Could you get any healthier?! You feel like King Arthur chugging from the Holy Grail, or a Greek mythological character that has slayed some dangerous beast.
You are pure, you are right, and you will you certainly let all your friends, and possibly strangers, know how right you are on Facebook. But then you are hit with something that feels like a lightning bolt, your face turns bright red, because someone has just told you that diet sodas are bad for you.
What an inconvenient affront this is. It’s taken you 19 years to get off sugar and some dude gets in your face and almost makes you choke on your designer sandwich. And he says he is right, he knows this because he read it somewhere on the Internet. Ok, you get the picture. This is a contentious issue.
Only recently we watched an interview with David Sinclair, a Harvard professor who is one of the world’s leading scientists trying to extend the life of human beings. He drinks diet Coke, and when he told Joe Rogan that, Rogan almost had an aneurism. We’ll talk about what happened next soon, but first let’s see what others say.
First of all, there are all manner of poorly researched health sites and dismally informed health gurus out there. Sometimes the information is barely researched at all, and some copywriter has just copied another website, mixed the words in a salad spinner and rearranged them. Be careful what you believe kids! We looked at a BBC article on this topic.
Ok, so Britain’s “beeb” has been accused of a lack of impartiality at times, but its till has good investigative journalists and can call on experts when need be. It says a regular soft drink, often with around 200 calories in it, is certainly not the best way to drink your life away.
We might also remember that some folks drink a lot of cans or carry away a soft drink from the convenience store that is so big they almost call on a friend for help. The BBC cites a study by the Imperial College London and two Brazilian universities and the conclusion of this study was… you’re not going to like this…that diet soft drinks are no better for you than the full sugar ones.
This is what the study said about artificially-sweetened beverages, aka, ASBs, “There is no solid evidence to support the claims that they are any better for health or prevent obesity and obesity related diseases such as type 2 diabetes”. And that was the problem right, the obesity and the life-long ball and chain of diabetes?
That study told us that in the UK these drinks make up a third of a teenager’s sugar intake and in the U.S. it is half. This study tells us that these kids will compensate with other sweet foods if they don’t get their sugar-hit from the can; the scientists said those kids will get their fix somehow.
“Although there was no direct evidence for a role of ASBs in weight gain, they found that there was no evidence that ASBs aid weight loss or prevent weight gain compared with the full sugar versions”, said Imperial College London. Let’s move on. Over in the U. S. the American Journal of Public Health tells us that many obese people drink these diet sodas, so we might ask again if these people just tend to eat a lot of sugary stuff or just too much in general and then think they are taking care of their future with a can of sugarless?
It gets worse, The Obesity Society in its Obesity journal said researchers followed 3,700 American adults for eight whole years. Some had to drink three cans of diet soda a day and others no soda. What did they find? Well, they said those that drank diet drinks put on the most weight and were twice as likely to be obese than the non-soda-drinking puritans.
“Are artificial sweeteners fueling, rather than fighting, the very epidemic they were designed to block?” asked the journal. Ok, so it doesn’t mean that if you drink a diet drink that you will not be fat, butit might not mean that if you drink them you will definitely put on weight.
A lot depends on your lifestyle and what kind of body you have. We might add that causation is a tricky business, and just because something is associated with obesity it doesn’t mean it caused it. But, as far as we can see, there is some correlation to obesity with drinking tons of sugary drinks.
So, why is taking the sugar out not working as it should? Or why even is there a possibility these angelic soups of non-sugar chemicals are making some people put on weight?“ It seems to contradict the laws of physics,” writes Inc. com. In that article it says it could be the fact that when you taste something sweet your body produces insulin.
This could be why, according to that article, “Insulin is what tells our cells to either use sugar as food or store it as fat–without it, our bodies can’t process the sugar that lands in our bloodstreams. When your pancreas produces insulin to deal with anticipated sugar, but then no sugar arrives, it confuses your body and disrupts its metabolic process”.
This story said as we have already said, that these drinks also get your sweet addiction going and they might also make some people think one diet Coke must mean they are good to go with that family-size bag of cheesy-chips just before bedtime. Of course those poor rats had to get in on the action and in laboratory test rats were studied after being given diet drinks.
The result, we are told, was that their bodies acted as if they were about to receive a sugar hit. That sugar hit never comes and this messes with the rat’s head, literally it does some strange stuff in the brain. A researcher told the BBC, “When the animals get real sugar they’re not as good at processing it, their hormonal responses get blunted, their blood sugar levels go up and it leads to weight gain”.
That explains a lot about the eight year 3-can-a-day overweight folks in the U.S. Now we come to one of the main sweeteners, something that could easily pass for ice and in some circles is demonized with a similar force. It’s called Aspartame. Is this stuff really a silent killer as all those wholesome websites will tell you?
Is imbibing this crystalized devil’s breath tantamount to slow suicide? Will enough give you cancer; will it make your babies pop out after only 8 months in the womb, will it make you cough, splutter, your eyes water, etc, etc? Now back to Joe Rogan and his interview with the life longevity bloke from Australia.
Rogan said that in labs when those poor rats were given a lot of aspartame they got cancer and died. No sooner were these dead rats in the trashcan than people all over the USA and beyond were vilifying drinks’ makers as veritable serial killers. But as Rogan said, these rats were given a heroic dose of aspartame, a dose no human could ever take even if he main lined Diet drinks from a drip all day.
We looked at the NHS website in the UK, because we will go out on a limb and say that organization likely did its research. The NHS said a lot of aspartame fear-mongering studies had “little scientific basis”, but added that indeed it is way sweeter than sugar. So, if like those rats, you brain gets all messed up with this stuff, you might just put on some weight.
The US National Cancer Institute as well as the European Food Safety Authority have undertaken huge studies including thousands of people and the conclusion was this sweet white powder doesn’t cause cancer or harm pregnant women. “Aspartame is quickly and completely broken down into by-products – including phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol – which then enter our system through normal routes. Hardly any aspartame enters the bloodstream”, we are told.
Another trustworthy resource, the U.S. National Library of Medicine asked, “Was the worlds creaming for all this sweetness, and what has it done to us?” It also said this, “Evidence does not support links between aspartame and cancer, hair loss, depression, dementia, behavioral disturbances, or any of the other conditions appearing in websites”.
It adds that trials don’t prove in any way that the much-maligned sweetener is bad for your health, but says that there is no evidence that switching to diet drinks will mean weight loss or no weight gain. Why do people hate aspartame so much? This is what the paper says, “People resent interference with foods, and synthetic food components are regarded with suspicion”.
And maybe they should be, and we should always be careful what we put in our mouths. But the fact is, or at least the fact according to scientific research and not some conspiracy theorist trying to drum-up likes on social media, is that this sweetener won’t do the damage many people once said it would. But it likely won’t make you lose weight and it is possible that it will make you put on weight.
You might not get a sugar rush, but you’ll get a synthetic high. Maybe you should just lay-off hitting the cans of sugary drinks and drink more water. Water is the only virgin in town, she’s the angel that our body craves, the purest juice that there is, a toxin-flusher, thirst-quencher, a soulmate and a life-long friend. Stay healthy, get buzzed on aqua. That’s our slogan for all you liquid-lovers.