I am asked about my opinion on artificial sweeteners more than any other nutrition question. Honestly, it’s the hardest one to answer because I do like to drink an “occasional” diet soda. Ask me if I ever drink a REAL soda though and the answer is a really easy– NO way! I can’t even imagine downing all that sugar. A 12-ounce can of regular Coke contains 39 grams of total sugar, which is about 9 1/3 teaspoons of sugar. Yikes!
Would you ever put 9 spoonfuls of sugar on your bowl of cereal? Probably not. Puts it in perspective.
Then there is the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart attacks when we eat too much sugar. Plus there is new evidence that drinking regular sodas may speed up the aging process. So if the weight gain doesn’t bother you maybe the WRINKLES will? I thought so. 🙂 Yep, regardless of weight, you regular soda drinkers will look older than all your friends.
But back to the original question, assuming you want to be thin and you don’t want to have wrinkles. My guess is that diet soda now is looking kinda good. But will drinking diet soda or using artificial sweeteners help you lose weight?
The quick answer is probably not. In fact, a new study published last year showed that using artificial sweeteners can actually raise blood glucose levels. What? I know–it doesn’t make sense! But nutrition researchers think this is because the use of artificial sweeteners changes our gut bacteria. And somehow this gut change renders us more susceptible to weight gain with higher blood sugar levels–which causes higher insulin levels…
Well, when your blood glucose does up, so does your insulin. When insulin is up – you’re not in weight loss mode. Remember from past posts I explained how we want to keep our insulin low because it’s a fat storage hormone.
So if you drink large amounts of diet sodas and are still gaining weight, you may want to join Diet Soda Anonymous. Kidding. But it would be worth a try to drink less and to satisfy your sweet tooth in other ways.
Or try this instead! Order an iced tea or sparkling water (AKA club soda) with a “splash of lemonade or cranberry juice.” Or when you’re at home drink water infused with fruit and mint or even this lavender ice tea. It’s actually really refreshing.
Here’s to feeling healthy and staying thin… with fewer wrinkles! And no regular or diet soda!