In an ideal world, everyone would drink water and fresh-pressed juices and calorie-laden sodas, which offer no nutrients and are chock-full of sugar, wouldn’t exist. But let’s get real—that’s never going to happen. In an effort to not feel so bad about drinking soda, millions of Americans reach for diet soda over regular soda for the mere fact that we’ve always believed that the diet version are lower in calories. However, that school of thought may not actually be all that true.
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New research published by the National Institute on Aging and the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore shows that choosing diet soda may not offer any additional benefits and are not helpful in weight loss. The study says that drinking diet soda may actually cause you to pack on the pounds the same way as if you were to drink regular soda.
While there’s no definitive answer on why diet soda may be to blame for unwanted weight gain, it’s thought that the use of artificial sweeteners may alter the composition of gut flora, making glucose intolerance worse and putting you at risk for obesity. And another theory says that consuming artificial sweeteners tricks the brain into eating more in order to make you feel full.
To further drive the point home, the study is in agreement with research done back in 2011 by the University of Texas, which saw an increase in waist circumference over a decade in diet soda drinkers versus regular soda drinkers.
So the next time you order an ice cold soda, you may as well enjoy the original because the only thing you’re giving up at this point is the taste.
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