There are still far too many people who believe that because diet drinks (diet sodas, teas and flavored waters) are marketed to have zero calories and sugar, they aren't bad for you. This could not be farther from the truth. Diet drink ingredients include a variety of artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, saccharin and sucralose which we recommend avoiding.
Natural sweeteners like Stevia aren’t much better either. While there seems to be some argument that Stevia is fine because it’s plant based, it’s actually not a good choice because it is highly sweet. This only keeps your brain addicted to sugary foods and beverages whether they are plant based or not.
If you want to lose weight AND improve your health it's best to avoid drinks with artificial sweeteners altogether.
This doesn’t mean you should go back to regular drinks like sodas sweetened with real sugar either. The regular sugar found in beverages contributes to all kinds of health issues like obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Here are 5 compelling reasons to give up diet drinks today and forever so you can take proper care of your body:
1. Reduce Your Risk Of Stroke And Dementia
One study found that people who drank just one artificially sweetened drink daily increased their chance of having a stroke or developing dementia. Older women had a 23% higher risk of stroke if they drank two or more diet drinks daily and those chances jumped even higher for obese women and black women.
2. Reduce Symptoms Of Depression
Diet soda and other artificially sweetened drinks have been associated with an increased risk of depression among older adults. In a study of over 200K participants with an average age of 61 years, people who drank diet soda or artificially sweetened coffee and tea experienced more symptoms of anxiety and depression.
3. Lower Your Risk Of Cardiovascular Issues
Studies show that older women, especially those who regularly consumed two or more diet drinks per day, increased their risk of developing heart disease by almost 30%. In another study of more than 2,500 men and women, those who drank diet soda every day had a higher risk of cardiovascular issues than those who did not drink them.
4. Reduce Your Risk Of Weight Gain
Regular drinks like sweet teas and sodas have long been associated with weight gain but diet drinks are also linked to weight issues and obesity according to a study of more than 5,000 participants in Texas. Compared with people who did not consume any artificially sweetened beverages, people who drank several diet drinks per day were significantly more likely to become overweight or obese compared with their baseline weight at the beginning of the study.
5. Healthier Kidneys
Drinking two or more diet drinks per day has been associated with reduced kidney function. In a study of more than 3,000 women, those who drank two or more diet drinks per day had 30% poorer kidney function after 20 years than women who didn’t drink them.
The Bottom Line On Diet v. Regular Beverages
I am often asked which is better, regular or diet drinks with artificial sweeteners? I have to say neither are good for you and should be avoided if you really want to properly take care of your body and maintain a healthy weight.
Water is always best. Strive to drink 50-60oz of water daily and if water gets boring, there are all kinds of natural ways to enhance your water drinking experience.
- Add fresh cut lemon, limes or grapefruit to your water to not only enhance the flavor but you can give your immune system a boost with the Vitamin C
- Carbonated waters are a good choice but it’s important to ensure the ingredients list only carbonated water. No artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners.
- Add herbs like fresh crushed mint to your water and one of my favorite H2O hacks is to use a garlic press to mince fresh ginger into my water for some added zing.
- Make a cup of hot tea in a flavor your love like orange, peppermint or lemon (if you have to add sugar, honey or other sweeteners then you have to ask yourself if you really like tea).
I pray this information and tips will help you break up with diet drinks! If you struggle, go to God in prayer and ask Him to help you so you can wield a spirit of self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) You are never in this alone!