Updated: Jan 12, 2020
By: Camila Smith, LCSW
Diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, cyclamate, saccharin, acesulfame-k, and sucralose. Artificial sweeteners are significantly sweeter than sugar and linked to sugar cravings and dependence. Evidence shows that artificial sweeteners affect the food reward pathways differently than natural sweeteners, causing a reduction in the reward response, which may contribute to obesity.
Let me say that again-- ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS IN DIET SODA MAY BE LINKED TO OBESITY! Kind of defeats the purpose of a low-cal food, doesn't it?
Artificial sweeteners “trick” the brain and lead to an increased release of insulin; however, there is no actual sugar to breakdown, which disrupts the metabolic process. This can lead to metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes. Another possible reason for weight gain is that “zero calories” foods (i.e., diet soda) can actually increase the consumption of food! Individuals are misguided to believe that the zero-cal food they are eating does not impacting their bodies; therefore, they are more likely to continue to eat.
Let me not even get started on aspartame.....