Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Diet Soda...America's OTHER Drinking Problem

I grew up on fast food. Probably 3 times a week, my family ate out. With a working mom, and busy running-all-over-the-place schedules, waiting around for dinner to cook wasn't always an option. I grew up going to restaurants, thinking that ordering "just water" wasn't really an option. Why drink water when you can have soda? Well, fast forward to my poor-student-college days, and things became quite different. Why pay two dollars extra for a drink, when I can have water for FREE? I was converted. I am no longer a soda drinker. Ever. At first it was a money issue, but now it's a health issue. I guess I'll occasionally drink lemonade, or another non-carbonated, low sugar variety, but I'm really OK with...water.

A lot of people say "You shouldn't DRINK your calories." I agree...sort of. I drink lots of homemade smoothies, and feel 100 percent OK about the calories I'm putting into my body. But if overdosing on calories worries you, then reaching for a Diet Soda probably isn't the best solution. Yes...I'm about to step onto a soap box here. I realize Diet Soda (or regular soda for that matter) is the drug of choice for many of you. But before you reach for it, think again.

Artificial sweeteners may be just as bad for you as high fructose corn syrup. (And you know how I feel about that!) In 2004, a study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that rats ate more after consuming an artificially sweetened drink than they did after sipping sugar water. Interesting. The reason? According to researchers, calorie-free artificial sweeteners act like stomach teasers. You drink your diet soda, and your body waits for the calories that should surely follow. They never arrive, however, so your body tells you you're hungry and sends you elsewhere to look for them! And where do we find those calorie cravings? In the form of a high-calorie snack bowl! (At least I do...)

Another study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas in 2005 found that diet soda drinkers (one can per day) had a THIRTY-SEVEN PERCENT greater incidence of obesity.

Diet, or not, I'm not a soda fan. My dad, on the other hand, can't live without his Pepsi. For you soda drinkers, what's the lure? Seriously. I've never been attached to soda. I just used to order it. For me, it wasn't a hard habit to break. But for many of you, it would be the hardest thing ever. I really am curious why. And if any of you have been addicted to soda and have given it up, let us know how. I would love to break my dad of his Pepsi addiction (which I know isn't the worst thing in the world...but for a man working out daily and trying to lose weight, he would probably drop 10 pounds in a week. But he won't give it up! He loves it too much.) Any suggestions?


Rachel Corbett said...

Sensitive subject- (may I add that I am happily sipping my 32 oz Diet Coke at the moment). No tips for you on giving it up though. I have been an "addict" for years, only giving it up when I was preggers/nursing. I really just don't see any reason to quit, 0 calories, yummy, I figure it's my one vice, just let me have it! PS Rob- can't wait to see you this summer! It'll be so fun- We can lay by the pool and drink diet coke!

Trenda said...

I think we would be good friends! :) I totally agree with you on this. I never drink soda and I just don't understand the addiction! Water is so much better for you and cheaper. :)

Diane said...

I've seen a little softening, but not much!! I think the doctor would have to forbid him and then it might happen. I'm open to any suggestions!! Great post!

Diane said...

By the way....I think you and Trenda should definitely meet each other.

Missy said...

I don't like soda either. Never really did. I used to drink it because everybody else had one. I usually only started enjoying the drink when I got to the watered down bottom of the ice melty glass, then it tasted ok. Hmmm, maybe I should have just gotten a water I would always think.
I like water. Water is good, and I'm not thirsty after I drink it. I was always thirsty after a soda. Had to get the icky sugar syrup out of my mouth. Blah.
Diet sodas have a weird after taste, I can't even tolerate the ice-watered down version.