My relationship with diet soda began about sixteen years ago. It’s as old as my marriage. “Fresh off the boat” and straight into life in the good old U.S of A.where “diet” everything was a sign of being fit. I don’t recall the diet variety being available back home and even if it was, it wasn’t very popular. Back in college days, I was always the one shunning regular soda because of it’s sugar content but this, this was different. I could have my cake and eat it too! Not once did it occur to me that it could be detrimental to my health. I even remember reading an article about it being as safe as water!
Articles such as these, aggressive marketing and the general lack of information as to the adverse affects of the component in these drinks had a whole generation guzzling down diet pop without a care in the world. I, for one was hooked. I loved the stuff. When eating out I would nod every time the waiter asked if I wanted a refill, usually two or three and at home I would chug down at least one a day. Not as bad as some I guess but everybody’s tolerance level is different and it wasn’t long before my habit caught up with me.
When I was told I had Hashimoto’s and I started reading up on the disease and it’s causes, the very first piece of information I came across was on the ill affects of non nutritive sweetners and the co-relation to auto immune diseases. Upon further research it became evident that Aspartame, the sweetener that is used in diet soda causes damage even in low doses.
here are the top reasons to give up diet soda today.
- It causes weight gain. Ironic isn’t it? It’s true though, and there is research to prove it. The San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging in which data was taken over a ten year period on 749 Mexican American and European Americans 65 years and older. It was seen that the waist circumference of daily users almost tripled that of non users and occasional users.
- It has been linked to autoimmune diseases. As quoted in The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, a patient with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis had the disease resolved just by eliminating artificial sweeteners and diet beverages.
- It has been linked to obesity which in turn puts you at risk for other diseases. Studies suggest that diet soda drinkers often eat more solid-food calories. Obesity can lead to a cluster of conditions known as Metabolic syndrome. This includes high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol and triglycerides levels and high blood sugar. When these conditions occur together it increases ones risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Read more here
So what should you do next time you want to reach for a can of diet soda?
- Try sparkling water, on it’s own or flavored with fruit juice. I like mine with a squeeze of lemon.
- Make some fruit and vegetable infused water (cucumber, lemon-mint, orange, grapefruit are all great options)
- Ofcourse drinking plain filtered water is always the best of options!
Have you struggled with weaning yourself off of diet soda? How did you do it? Share with me below! I love hearing success stories!