For lots of healthy types, the frequently stated fact that diet soda might be “empty calories” actually goes down just fine compared to office cupcakes, which they’re not regularly sacrificing. And reaching for a diet soda fits nicely into the “allowable-exceptions” category of a healthy lifestyle.
But should you allow diet soda a free pass?
While sipping diet soda seems harmless, especially in the context of a generally healthy life, a surprising number of substantial studies show the opposite. Drinking diet soda and aspartame can greatly interfere with your health. As Dr. Helen Hazuda, professor of medicine at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, found, “diet soda may be free of calories, but not of consequences.’ And she wasn’t taking bout the caffeine.
Interpreting the data of two studies, Dr. Hazuda pointed out that it caused a blood sugar spike in mice, and suggested that diet sodas may inhibit the signal that tells you when you’re full.
Here are 6 more reasons to give up diet soda:
1. It dulls complexion
Diet soda lowers your pH levels, which can cause acne and zap you of radiance. We need a high level of alkalinity for our bodies to be healthy and expressed in our glowing complexion, explains Dr. Jeanette Graf, author of Stop Aging, Start Living: The Revolutionary 2-Week pH Diet. As Dr. Graf told us recently, “If there’s one thing you should never consume, it’s soda. Soda is an extreme acid-forming substance which will lower your pH level dramatically.”
2. It is mood altering
The mood-food connection is ever-rising, and aspartame in diet soda can really do a doozey on those with anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. Aspartame is also on an EPA list of potentially dangerous chemicals contributing to neurotoxicity, right under Arsenic, so that’s kind of saying it could alter your brain, too.
3. It causes weight gain
Ironically, we actually gain weight from diet soda. Two servings or more a day increases the waistline by 500%, according to two 2011 studies conducted by the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.
4. It causes diabetes and heart disease
When waist circumference (belly fat) increases, this contributes to diabetes and heart disease, a 2010 study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine confirmed.
5. It makes your kidneys sluggish
Diet soda may interfere with the kidneys, found a Harvard Nurse’s Study, which reported a 30% drop in kidney function with just two servings of diet soda each day.
6. It has been linked to cancer
Aspartame is “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA but substantial data has shown its link to cancer. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) cautions against Aspartame because it’s poorly tested and contains three well-recognized neurotoxins. Aspartame was found to increase cancer risk if exposure begins in the womb, reported a study at the Cesare Maltoni Cancer Research Center, while various studies have linked lymphoma and tumors in rats. Lastly, beware of the BPA in cans and caramel coloring.
Kind of takes the fizz out of it, right?