Monday, February 27, 2012

9 More Reasons to Quit Drinking Diet Soda

Congratulations, you did it! You cut out the sugary soft drinks in favor of calorie- and sugar-free diet soda, and you've lost a few pounds as a result of the switch. Throw in some regular exercise, maybe a veggie-only meal or two each week, and boom — you're healthy, right? So what if you lose count of how many 20-ounce bottles of Diet Whatever you drink in a single day? So what if you have to pee every 10 minutes? So what if your stomach always feels bloated and gassy? Diet soda's good for you, right? Check out nine reasons why giving up diet soda might be your next healthy decision. (Photo by Darwin Bell licensed through Creative Commons.)

  1. It makes you thirstier

    Imagine a liquid you drink when you're thirsty that only makes you thirstier. Sound insidious? Well, say hello to your favorite diet soda, which on average contains 35 to 40 milligrams of sodium (salt) in a 12-ounce can. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, and if you're 40 or older, that number goes down to 1,500 milligrams. So while you probably don't drink 35 to 40 cans of diet soda a day, you do consume sodium in other foods, and that amount can add up quickly.

  2. Sucralose

    You've probably experienced a "sugar crash," where you suddenly feel irritable and the need to take a nap half an hour or so after consuming something especially sweet. But what about a non-sugar crash? There is documented and anecdotal evidence showing that sucralose, a common artificial sweetener found in diet sodas, may cause headaches, migraines, and gastrointestinal issues. Ironically, sucralose may intensify your appetite for sugar, throwing your body out of whack and sending you back for a second or third morning donut.

  3. Aspartame

    Scientific research has and continues to point to the strong possibility that aspartame, which is used to artificially sweeten diet soda, is a carcinogenic agent. That means aspartame might cause cancer. Strangely, this information did nothing to dissuade the Food and Drug Administration from approving aspartame back in the '80s, though the decision was considered very controversial at the time.

  1. BPA

    Canned soda, and nearly all cans used by the U.S. beverage industry, contain bisphenol A, better known as BPA. Scientists have linked BPA to several health issues in experiments with rodents, including mammary and prostate cancer, genital defects in males, obesity, and behavioral problems like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Studies also link BPA to lower sexual desire in men, difficulty in maintaining an erection, and a lower level of overall satisfaction with sex. Canada, but not the U.S., has officially declared BPA toxic.

  2. It makes you pee

    You can blame this one on the caffeine, which most medical experts describe as a diuretic. Studies indicate that caffeine in excess, say five to seven cans of diet soda a day, will make you urinate more often than you want to. But when a sodium-laced drink is telling your body it's thirsty, chances are you're going to keep reaching for can after can of the stuff. And not replacing the fluids you're losing with every visit to the bathroom is detrimental to your health as well.

  3. You'll gain weight

    Eating Well, Time, and other sources continue to report instances of weight gain among people whose main drink of choice is diet soda. Some research indicates that artificial sweeteners in diet soda can affect the body's ability to metabolize insulin, which results in lower blood sugar and may cause a person to make up for it in their diet in other ways.

  1. Gas

    The occasional burp or fart is certainly nothing to run to the doctor about. But the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that the combination of artificial sweeteners and carbonation in diet sodas can create a chemical reaction in the digestive system of otherwise healthy people resulting in uncomfortable gas and bloating. The Mayo Clinic states that the aforementioned sucralose, as well as other common artificial sweeteners including sorbitol and mannitol, can trigger gas and bloating. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are a few of the severe reactions people can develop to artificial sweeteners.

  2. Plastic bottles will never go away

    To be more precise, plastic bottles take 700 years to begin composting, that is, decompose until they become a part of the planet's soil. Diet soda is commonly sold in plastic 16- and 20-ounce bottles, and sales of diet soda, not to mention bottled water, are huge. Unfortunately, with several million plastic bottles going to American dumps every year, the recycling industry cannot keep up with the amount of plastic bottles we're throwing away. And 80% of plastic bottles produced aren't even from recycled material to begin with.

  3. Water helps you lose weight

    Yes, water, that flavorless, clear, and life-giving beverage will taste incredibly refreshing if you've recently kicked your dependence on soft drinks, both sugary and diet. Besides tasting good, water is an effective way to lose weight, as it suppresses the appetite naturally and reduces fat deposits inside your body. And drinking water may inspire and give you the energy to help bring clean water to developing countries and address the possibility of future global water shortages.

Taken From Insurance Quotes

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