Soft drinks have become the beverage of choice with any meal for most people either in restaurants or at home. A soft drink can be a soda, fruit punch, lemonade, sweetened powdered drink and any sports or energy drink. Soft drinks have earned a bad reputation of contributing to obesity and being the reason behind chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart diseases.
An average can of regular soda (coke or pepsi), or fruit punch provides about 150 calories, almost all of them are from sugar which is the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of white table sugar. And because soft drinks do not give the feeling of satiety as solid food, people tend to take more than needed. Studies have explored possible links between soft drinks and weight gain and consistently showed that increased consumption of soft drinks is associated with increased energy intake.
Diet soft drinks have artificial sweeteners instead of sugar or corn syrup. They were always considered as a substitute to avoid extra calories. Artificial sweeteners deliver zero carbohydrates, fat, and protein, so they have no calorie and don’t affect blood sugar.
Over the short term, switching from regular soft drinks to diet drinks cut calories. The Long-term use, though, may be a different story.
It is possible that diet (calorie free) sweet tasting soft drinks might stimulate the appetite for other sweet, high-carbohydrate foods and confuse brain signals leading to increased food intake and weight gain.
Drinking diet soda may not be the best replacement for drinking sugary soda. Instead choose a beverage from the few varieties in the market which have no more than 4 gram of sugar in 100 ml without any other type of sweetener. It will give you the sweet taste you want with less calories and not this big effect on your weight as long as they are consumed in moderation.
by: Nermeen Tahboub