Why is Diet Soda Unhealthy?


Question:  Will you tell “someone” why Diet soda is still unhealthy to consume in mass quanities even though it has no calories? – Amy

True, diet soda does not have any calories, and has not been proven to make people gain any weight (see blog post “Does Diet Soda Cause Weight Gain?”  from January 29th)  However, it does contain other components that may affect health in other ways.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

First, many diet sodas contain caffeine.  Although caffeine is safe in small amounts, too much can lead to insomnia.  Diet soda also contains phosophoric acid, too much of which leaches calcium from your bones.  Women have a hard enough time getting and retaining enough calcium in their bones, so this warning pertains especially to ladies.  Phosphorus can also alter the pH balance in your body, making your blood more acidic.

Diet soda also contains sodium.  1 12-oz can only has about 50mg (we can have 1500mg in a day).  But, if you drink mass quantities of soda, this amount can add up fast.   Americans consume far too much sodium, which is a leading contributor to heart disease.

The other consideration would be the artificial sweetener used in diet soda.  This is usually aspartame, which has so far been proven to be safe in studies done on lab animals, but when it comes to long-term human research, we are all the guinea pigs!

I advise clients to limit soda intake to 1-2 cans per day.  Drink water most of the time, and for ladies especially, replace some of that soda with lowfat milk!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *