A nice cold soda is a beautiful thing, no? Refreshing and hits the spot on a hot day. As enjoyable as it is to drink, it is really not good for you. The leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease which has been linked to the over consumption of sugar and poor lifestyle choices. One of the worst things you can consume is soda. It is recommended that the average American adult consume no more than 9.5 teaspoons of sugar a day but a 12 ounce can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar. Brain scans have shown that sugar is as addictive as cocaine which is likely why we can't seem to give it up. What's the answer? Diet soda. Well, not really. Far from it, actually. But it is the answer people are turning to for their soda fix. Diet sodas are sweetened with artificial sweeteners and these interact with our brains in a very frightening way. When we consume artificial sweeteners, like sucralose, they trigger the reward centers in our brains to an even greater degree than sugar. Diet sodas may be low in calories but our brains don't see it that way. The artificial sweeteners trick our brains into thinking we are consuming calories when we are not. This leads to appetite control troubles in the long term. Dr. Susan Swithers, professor of behavioral neuroscience at Purdue University, says:
Right now, the data indicate that over the long term, people who drink even one diet soda a day are at higher risk for health outcomes that they are probably drinking diet sodas to try to avoid, like type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension and stroke.See what's happening? Diet soda is leading to some of the same health troubles that people were hoping to avoid by drinking diet soda in the first place. The real answer is to stop drinking soda, diet or otherwise. Water is the best thing you could be drinking but if that is too boring, grab a tea, coffee or even a fruit smoothie, anything. Is this news enough to make you give up your soda?