Since it’s inception, diet soda has been promoted as the perfect alternative to sugar laden drinks for those who are calorie and weight conscious. And although it is true diet soda has no calories, this certainly does not mean it doesn’t not affect your figure. Furthermore, according to published studies of diet soda, it may actually make you crave more sugary foods and drinks than if you had just drank a regular soda with sugar in it.
The reasons why diet soda may adversely affect your cravings and weight are varied, but we will discuss some of the most common reasons that have been discovered after doing studies of diet sodas.
There are several theories, but these are the two most popular:
This is a hormone in our brain that makes us feel good. It is an important hormone, as those who suffer from depression have low levels of serotonin. When we eat something sweet serotonin levels are altered, making us feel good, but if the body does not feel it’s sugar needs are being met, it will make us crave foods that are converted into sugar such as breads and sweets.
The illusion of eating less
Another theory is that people who consume diet soda and other foods that are diet or “light” will give the person a form of mental “consent” to cheat on something else they eat or drink, or they may unconsciously believe that because they saved calories on one thing such as diet soda they can now eat more of other foods.
For example, there are those who believe that if you eat a large meal at a fast food restaurant such as a large order of fries and a double meat and cheese burger, you are still doing ok because you have saved calories by drinking a diet soda. While it may be true that you saved calories from the diet soda, you have also given yourself mental permission to indulge in a huge calorie and fat filled meal and not feel guilty about it.
Which is the best type of soda to drink?
The correct answer is none. Drink sodas only occasionally, and if you do drink any sodas, drink the real thing with real sugar, not diet sodas -of course this does not apply if you have a blood sugar problem such as diabetes. Leave drinking sodas for special occasions, not for every day drinking. This in turn will actually help you appreciate the taste even more so when you do drink them, such as only on weekends or when you eat out. Also keep in mind sodas are rich in sodium which causes the body to lose calcium. Calcium is vital for the health of our bones.
A normal 12-ounce soda has 12 teaspoons of sugar in it. The World Health Organization recommends that the maximum daily consumption of sugar should be 10 teaspoons. If you drink just one soda you have surpassed their recommendation by a single drink.
Find healthful replacements for soda
Try drinking water or tea without sweetening, or a natural fruit juice with no added sugar, or low fat milk. Lemon, oranges or other fruits placed into water will also help to give it some flavor without large amounts of sugar.