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Soda and Diet Soda: How Do They Affect Your Health

Updated on March 11, 2015
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America has had an ever increasing problem with obesity and diabetes. Many people these days are more conscious of what they put into their body. Fitness programs, diet regimes and calorie counting methods have been created to help combat the growing problem of overweight americans. Now whenever possible health conscious people prefer the healthier alternative in an attempt to help keep our bodies in fit physical condition. This paper will discuss the effects that both diet and regular sodas have on our bodies; what the differences between diet and regular sodas are and which one is the healthier choice. Also I will provide some alternative solutions to soft drinks, and what to look for when searching for a new beverage.

In Jeff R. Schutts article titled, “Soft Drinks” he explains that when soda first came into existence it was marketed and produced by pharmacists. These pharmacists sold soda as medicine. In the same article it states that early forms of soda, “...promised to recover loss of manhood, imbecility, locomotor ataxia, and softening of the brain.” After many years of research and study the true nature of soda as we know it today has been revealed to have none of the previously mentioned side effects. We know soda to be largely made up of high fructose corn syrup, carbonation and a variety of natural and artificial flavors.

The high intake of sugars found in soda lead to increased weight gain, elevated blood pressure, and kidney damage when consumed in high excess. It has also been known to cause diabetes and raise glucose levels in the blood, according to the American Diabetes Association. These side effects have paid a high toll in America’s growing obesity problem. This may come as no surprise when we learn that America is the world’s leader in soda consumption.

As a way to fight these side effects as well as still having the option of drinking delicious carbonated beverages, soda companies invented diet soda. These sodas replaced the high fructose corn syrup which sweetens the soda with an artificial sweetener, mainly aspartame, sucralose, or acesulfame potassium. These artificial sweeteners do not contain calories or carbohydrates because they are not derived from real sugar. These sodas are a healthier choice and do not cause any of the harmful side effects when compared to regular soda. So do diet sodas negatively effect your health?

Although diet sodas do not contain natural sugars or sweeteners, it does contain artificial sweeteners. Some doctors claim that the bodies natural response to these artificial sweeteners is to prepare itself for incoming glucose. When the body doesn’t receive the glucose wanted it sends signals to brain which create cravings for actual glucose and sweeteners. It is an adverse side effect from the artificial sweeteners. When drinking diet soda you may often finding yourself craving something sweet such as cake, or brownies. This is because the sweeteners found in diet soda are not natural sweeteners and do not contain glucose which your body uses as a source of energy. Your body will crave the actual sugar and carbohydrates which are found in cakes and brownies and not in the diet soda.

Diet soda is not directly unhealthy for consumers, and does not cause immediate health problems. The soda acts as a catalyst for the natural urges we have already, which then increases our appetite for sweet foods. If you have low self control and are trying to lose weight, switching from regular soda to diet soda may not help as much as you had thought. In calories and carbohydrates you are forfeiting for diet soda, you would make up for in the urges satisfied by the discretionary foods.

Although diet soda is not directly linked to cause heart disease, diabetes, or kidney problems, there are still many drinks out there that are the better choice. Drinks such as Orange juice which is sweet and contains vitamin C known for strengthening the immune system. Also milk which contains high amounts of calcium and protein for strengthening your bones and muscles. Finally good old fashion H2O. Seeing as how the human body is largely composed of water we can see how important it would be for us to drink it on a regular basis.

There are many other alternatives to soda we can drink that will help improve our standard of living and even prevent future health problems. We can help our body stay in better shape and live healthier by checking the nutritional facts which are found on the label of every manufactured drink. Drinks that are high in calories, whose carbohydrates or derived mostly from sugars, and contains high volumes of caffeine, are not the best choice for your body. The nutritional facts help us to know what we are actually putting into our body and can help us know what more we need for the day. Drinks that contain vitamins and minerals are a great source and an easy way for getting the nutrients you need.

We learn that although diet soda may be a better choice for you than regular soda, there are still some risks that can be caused by overconsumption. We also learned that by taking a look at the nutritional facts found on the label we can compare the nutritional values of our drinks. I have made the decision a long time ago to not drink soda for ultimately it is not good for your body. I drink water milk and juices which are great substitutes for soda. They help us stay strong and healthy. I encourage all people to avoid daily consumption of soda, and whenever possible to drink diet soda to avoid adverse health risks.

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    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 

      3 years ago

      Great article. I don't drink sodas, either. Water, water, water. Great topic!

    • LoNo profile imageAUTHOR

      Logan Norene 

      3 years ago from Provo, Utah

      Yeah of course! I just hear a lot about how aspartame and other sugar substitutes cause cancer or are worse for you then sugar in some regards, but its not. If you are going to drink soda (which I agree and avoid entirely as well) diet soda is the better choice, and no scientific research has lead sugar substitutes with a direct correlation to cancer.

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 

      3 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      This is an interesting article. Thanks for writing.

      Personally, I have stopped drinking any kind of soda, regular or diet. They are both terrible for the body. Water is the best choice to maintain a healthy weight, in my opinion.

      Thanks for the information.

      Namaste,

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