Is Diet Soda Bad for You?
I sometimes have patients and audience members object to the idea of diet soft drinks. They have expressed concern about chemicals, toxins, and poisons having heard studies proposing harmful effects. Let’s just clarify here for a minute what I am recommending. I am not advocating that everyone who currently does just fine with ice water, ice tea, and the occasional glass of wine rush out and stock up on diet drinks. What I am saying is that if you, like many people, currently drink full sugared, full high fructose corn syrup, high calorie soft drinks, then it would be better if you switched to the zero calorie diet variety.
Are there toxins and chemicals in diet drinks? Are the zero calorie sweeteners like saccharin and Splenda bad for your health? While there is a great deal written about these subjects, in my view the answer is that it is unknown, but possible. There may indeed be some adverse effects of the sweeteners that over time will become manifest. But this is a far cry from the very serious and highly negative effects of sugar and high fructose corn syrups in these drinks. So if you are weighing whether or not to drink a small quantity of a theoretically, long term, low level poison to your system versus drinking a large amount of the well known, totally proven and very harmful poisonous effects on your body of high calorie soft drinks, the choice is pretty obvious.
Make the switch from full sugar, full high fructose corn syrup drinks to the zero calorie variety. Then diversify. Experiment with other drinks. Use good old plain, American ice water (or water from whatever wonderful country you reside in). The point is that the worst thing you can do is continue drinking the high carb, high sugared soft drinks. All the other alternatives are so much less damaging to your health.
Explore those alternative options, diversify, and enjoy water whenever you can and if you are worried about effects from artificial sweeteners.
You can do it. Your body is worth it.