Friday, June 6th (yes, Today!) is National Donut Day, and no less than six chain donut stores are offering free donuts (hey, anything in moderation, right?). Unfortunately, donuts don’t really help you lose weight – I fibbed, although a study claiming as much might well be in the works after last month’s Diet Soda study got so much attention.
Oh, didn’t you hear? A study funded by the America Beverage Association claims to have proven that habitually drinking diet soda helps people lose weight more than drinking water and other non-artificially sweetened beverages. The group who drank diet soda instead of water lost an average of four pounds more than the water group.
Words fail me. Almost.
Here are the problems with this study:
For one, all of the 300 participants had to already be habitual diet soda drinkers, consuming several a week at least. Half of the group was then asked to stop cold-turkey and switch to water, while the other half were allowed to drink as much diet soda as they wanted during their completely un-monitored diets. The problem with this approach is that people only have so much willpower, so if you’re asking them to not only follow a diet but give up their favorite drink (one which might be addictive), of course they’ll have a harder time losing weight!
The other issue is that artificial sweeteners are extremely sweet, and if you are in the habit of loading your system with that much sweet flavor, your taste buds adjust to treat that as normal. When that sweet flavor is taken away, naturally sweet foods like fruit won’t taste “right” – driving people with a “sweet tooth” to eat more sugary foods to get the same satisfaction.
These are the real facts of drinking diet soda:
- Diet soda has been found to harm kidney function, according to a Harvard Medical School study of over 3000 women followed for 11 years.
- Potassium Benzoate, a preservative in the two major diet brands (Coke and Pepsi), is a skin, eye and mucous membrane irritant – and can form a carcinogen when combined with vitamin C and sodium (which many diet sodas contain).
- Diet soda’s acid rots teeth.
- The carbonation and acidity of diet soda depletes calcium in the body, leading to weak bones and kidney stones.
If you want a great-tasting, healthy drink that WILL help you be fit and healthy, try all-natural, fresh-squeezed Juice!