However hard we wish, there are always going to be some uncomfortable truths about the things we love. Takeaway will always be more expensive than we can afford. England will always disappoint at a major tournament. Delicious fizzy drinks will always be bad for us. It’s painful to admit, but some things are unavoidable.
But, at least for the latter example, clever companies seem to have figured out a way to provide a similar, if ultimately depressing alternative. Diet drinks have been around for decades, and have done a stand up job of persuading everyone that there really is a healthy way to enjoy your soda. Alas, none of it is true. Here is the sad reality behind why you should never actually drink a diet can ever again.
1. Type 2 diabetes
Though diet drinks contain none of the sugar that is usually blamed for causing diabetes, artificial sweeteners are still more than capable of wreaking havoc with your blood sugar levels. They do this indirectly, by messing with the probiotic gut bacteria that helps regulate and maintain blood sugar. It may not be such an obvious threat, but it’s still an issue.
2. Cardiovascular Issues
All those chemicals needed to keep diet drinks tasting sweet without sugar clearly come at a price. According to an extensive study from the Journal of Internal Medicine, individuals who drank diet soda every day for 10 years were more likely to develop cardiac disease and hypertension than those who didn’t.
3. Metabolic Syndrome
A loose name given to a whole hodge-podge of nasty conditions, metabolic syndrome can refer to anything and everything from hyperglycemia, hypertension and dyslipidemia to diabetes. A recent study found that individuals who drank diet soda every day for two years had a 36% increased risk of developing the syndrome versus those who didn’t - a clear indication that diet drinks can be a ticket to all sorts of nastiness.
4. Kidney Damage
A study from the University of Harvard looked into the possible long term effects of regular diet fizzy drink consumption. What they found, specifically relating to organ functionality, was troubling to say the least. According to their work, diet soda drinkers were found to have a 30% reduction in kidney function after drinking regularly for 20 years.
5. Sugar cravings
It may be artificial, but the sugar-like substitutes found in all diet fizzy drinks can still play tricks on your body. Studies have found that the additives can still trigger the body’s sugar receptors, leading to more cravings for the sweet stuff and ultimately making it harder to avoid eating unhealthy things on a regular basis.
6. Weight gain
It might seem massively counterintuitive, but it appears that “diet” drinks are actually about as diet-friendly as a large Domino’s. A study found that, despite the claims of marketing gurus, individuals who regularly drink diet sodas actually had a significantly high BMI score than those that don’t - suggesting that artificially sweetened beverages are not the best way to lose a few unwanted pounds.
We would all like there to be an easy way to indulge in the things we enjoy. That’s what makes the prospect of a healthy version of our favourite drink so appealing. Unfortunately, science doesn’t work like that. Until we make a really revolutionary breakthrough, we’re just going to have to accept that everything we love will hurt us in the end.