Why Diet Drinks are NOT a weight loss aid
Have you ever felt less guilty for drinking a diet drink because you know it doesn’t make you worry about your waistline? Well, you may have to start rethinking. As much as we like to believe that diet drinks are good and do not contribute to any weight gain, the reality comes biting from the back. Increasing amounts of research has been done on this topic. The negative impact on one’s weight due to the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages along with other health outcomes is being recognized on an increased level. This realization has been one of the main reasons, enough to make the people turn away from these sugared drinks to other high-intensity artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin and sucralose, which provide sweetness and at the same time, are a way out to reduce the risk of the said consequences.
Diet drinks could lead to:
Hoarding evidence advocates that consumers who are frequent users of these sugar alternates could be at an increased risk of excessive weight gain, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. Obesity is yet another outcome one has to face for the consumption of these diet drinks. This finding is backed by a study done by Purdue University.
The issue though is not about how healthy a diet drink is, rather, it is about the options. Whether taking a sugary drink, or one with an artificial sweetener, one should keep in mind that it is still an artificial drink at the end of the day and diet or no-diet, artificial drinks do not do good for anybody either way.
How is it harmful?
Diet drinks may be the only substitute for people who are habituated to sugary drinks, but when the artificial sweetener is used, it creates other problems in the human body. The use of artificial sweeteners could lead to “metabolic derangement”. When we get the taste of sugar, the body starts releasing the hormones in order to process the sugar. It is kind of a feedback loop that helps the body predict what is coming. So when artificial sweeteners are used instead of actual sugar, the body might get confused. This confusion could lead to the body not releasing those hormones needed for processing sugar even when there is none there. This means that diet drinks could blunt the body’s response to sugar, thus throwing off the metabolism.
This change may be slow, but this hormonal change will then trigger an increase in consumption of food. It further may lead to bigger spikes in the blood sugar levels which are linked to things like diabetes.
Another factor that links the diet drinks to weight gain may be the thinking process of an individual. The majority of people today rely on diet drinks as something that is easily available. It is convenient for one to find such drinks just about anywhere. So when they shift from a sugared drink to an artificially sweetened one, for some, it’s a huge shift. It has been proven that when people shift to diet drinks they usually tend to increase their intake on food. It is known as the “diet coke mentality”. This is a mind-set problem, because they justify eating foods that are high on calories by replacing their drink that are calorie-free. This may even be more harmful than the consumption of a sugary drink, because then it opens up a wide variety of options for an individual to choose his eat.
Diet drinks may seem like the best alternative to regular sugared drinks, but just because it is an artificial sweetener, it should not be assumed blindly that they have no physiological effects on the body and that they are calorie/sugar free. There is no short cut on this. A diet drink may be as harmful and damaging as a normal sugary drinks, but studies done over the years have shown that there has been an increased turn of consumers who have turned to diet drinks in order to control calories. Replacing a real drink with a diet drink and then hoping that you will lose weight may be similar to biting your nose off to spite your face.