When I was in college, worked in the student newspaper that was one block away from Burger King, Wendy's, Taco Bell, pizza shop, sandwich cart, a gyro stand and a beloved food trailer for all Ohio University students called "Buggy Burrito" " We often worked at night, and I used to drink a lot of soda then. And it showed, I was almost the size of a Burrito Buggy.
Take the jogging class, (hey, I needed the credits) and it was so hard for me to run for more than a few minutes on the school cycling track that I decided to make some changes. Would he stop consuming fast food and overburdened burritos? Heavens, no! But I decided that I would change to diet soda when I ate them. See: commitment.
This is how my relationship with dietetic soda began.
Since then, I've always thought that diet soda was a good thing because it had fewer calories than regular soda. I never stopped to really think about what was going into my body instead of those calories from regular soda. As a lot of soda drinkers, I wanted easy answers without suffering the consequences.
If you have been reading this site for the past few weeks, you may have noticed that Livestrong. com is allowing me to investigate all the things in the world that I think are trying to kill me. I have written previous pieces about the dangers of carbohydrates (Know your enemy: Carbohydrates) and sit down (Meet your enemy: Sit down). I put dietary soda on that list because I read the news and, well, what the hell is going on with that thing?
After I left her my back pain disappeared and my migraines decreased by almost 75 percent. Eventually I left all the caffeine and the aspartame products and I am free of migraines and pain. It took me almost three weeks to recover from the withdrawal headaches but it was completely worth it.
Mary Ellen, director of communications
Few calories, little science
It's a scientific mystery, right there with unified field theory and why Justin Bieber is suddenly breaking down. No one can say with certainty what dietary soda does to our bodies. No one has found proof of the crime so far, or in this case, quantifiable research that shows the side effects that zero-calorie drinks cause the human body.
A few studies have shown links between diet soda and weight gain. Wait a moment, you say: "Most diet sodas have zero calories." How can that be possible? Dietary sodas may trigger an insulin response that prevents fat from burning.(See the article by Livestrong.com "Know your enemy: Carbohydrates") Researchers have also considered the possibility that sweet drinks lead to the desire for more sweet, which causes people to eat more. Heart disease, diabetes and depression have also been linked to the consumption of dietary soda.
Remember that the keywords are: "linked to" not "caused by".
There is research that even ensures that dietary beverages mixed with alcohol make drinkers intoxicate more than regular drinks. This is problematic because the more you intoxicate the less your inhibition is. The less your inhibition is, the more likely you are to experiment with leftover pizza slices like bread for sandwiches at 3:00 a. m.
Here is an example of a study that states that dietary soda may or may not be harmful. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill examined the drinking patterns of individuals along with their diets. Study author Kiyah Duffey, Ph.D., (Doctor of Philosophy) said that the team's analysis found that people who consumed diet drinks tended to be less healthy than people who did not consume them.
But that's not the whole story.
More than 4,000 young adults contributed information to this study for 20 years. The participants were then divided into two groups. Group 1 consumed a diet that contained more fruit, fish, whole grains, seeds and milk. Group 2 reported consuming higher amounts of fast food, meat, chicken, pizza and snacks.
The healthiest people were those in group 1, healthy consumers who did not drink diet drinks. According to the researchers, they had a lower risk of having a wide waist, less risk of having a high level of triglycerides and a lower risk of suffering from the metabolic syndrome. What was the second healthiest group? It was the group 1 of consumers of healthy food and diet drinks.
Group 2 members, those junk food consumers, had a higher risk of heart disease no matter what they drank.
What North Carolina research showed is that the circumstances in which dietary beverages are consumed is important.
Many studies claim that diet drinks "Are killing us!" They have received so much attention, are based on observation or have been made on animals. The results are commonly interesting, but they are not conclusive and some of them have fallen under severe criticism. Even researchers who publish critical studies on dietary sodas agree that more research is needed.
"Diet is really hard to measure." Duffey said, "People have all kinds of relationships with food.I think we have just begun to understand the way in which other factors in our lives influence behavior in our diets and how lately they have an impact on our health, how food and other psychological or sociological aspects and the interaction they have with our decisions affect our long-term health. "
Hunting the brown dragon
I asked a group of people who drank a lot of diet soda and then left it, what happened then to their health.
Some said they stopped drinking copious amounts of dietary soda and nothing changed, they felt the same a day or a year later.
Others saw that their health improved.
This is important.
Not everyone who drinks diet soda experiences health problems Not everyone who abandons them sees their health improving.
I included the following stories of real people that I interviewed because they showed the possible improvement of health among people who drink large amounts of dietary soda.
Name: Jeanne S., writer Dietary soda consumption: up to 4 to 6 liters a day "Leaving dietetic soda may have been one of the best things I've done for my health, I no longer suffer from acidity so much. I do not have the strange involuntary movements in my eyes that drove me crazy and, perhaps, best of all, I no longer begin to tremble and panic when I do not have access to a diet soda. " (You can read Jeanne's story about leaving the diet soda in the references links below, I found her while researching for this article).
Name: Mary Ellen, communications director Soda consumption: one can plus one medium or large soda drink per day "After I abandoned it, all my back pain disappeared and my migraines decreased by almost 75 percent. Eventually, I left all the caffeine and the aspartame products and now I am free of migraines and painless.It took me three weeks to overcome the withdrawal headaches, but it was completely worth it. "
Name: Jeanne, writer Dietary soda consumption: Constant replenishment of the dispensing machine "Having left the diet soda has not improved my health dramatically, that I have noticed, I did not lose a ton of weight or I suddenly regained my energy Anyway, what has changed mainly is that I no longer eat so poorly.For me, the best part of eating fatty foods was to have them with dietetic soda.Now that I do not drink it, the bad food does not taste I mean, I still like it, but I do not think it's worth wasting the calories on that if it's not great. "An In-N-Out double-double style burger does not taste the same if it's not accompanied by a diet soda, so basically, leaving the soda I have also stopped eating many things that I should not have started consuming in the first place. "
Name: Holly, marketing Dietary soda consumption: three cans a day "I stopped taking it suddenly the day I was severely molested in the cafeteria for employees by a partner armed with a freeze can of the drink." After a month If I told him where I could put that can, I was redeemed when I noticed that my hair had stopped falling into fists when I was in the shower, that was the first thing I saw, besides that, I am less dependent on caffeine and I do not become Hulk on Saturday mornings when I realize that there is no more dietary soda. "
Let's take it with philosophy
Maybe dietary sodas do harm, or maybe not. Or they may negatively affect some people and not others. Nobody knows with certainty.
So what are we supposed to do until science finds out?
I have a suggestion. Dietary sodas are popular because they promise the sweet taste of a common soda, in exchange for nothing, zero calories from regular sodas. Ask yourself this: Do you really think that you can receive something for nothing? Or do you believe in a universal / philosophical / political version of Newton's third law that says that every action leads to an equally opposite reaction?
I did a really intense field research in college about the actions and reactions in the Buggy Burrito, so I know my answer.