An increasingly weight-conscious public has heightened the demand for diet soda in recent times, to the point where it has become almost a fad. Diet soda is a carbonated drink made from carbonated water to which flavors and artificial sweeteners have been added. The first diet soda was launched in 1952 in Brooklyn, New York by Kirsch Bottling. It was a sugar-free ginger ale and was intended for use by persons suffering from diabetes, and not for dieters. However, because of its sugar-free make-up, people who were anxious to lose weight by reducing their carbohydrate intake began using it for that purpose.
Some people believe that drinking diet soda will set them on the path to physical fitness by helping them to lose weight. The soft drink industry has capitalized on this trend by manufacturing a variety of diet drinks, with Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola heading the list. Diet beverages make use of different sweeteners, however some critics claim that these drinks have an unusual aftertaste, but others disagree.
Recently, diet soda manufacturers have begun using Splenda in conjunction with aspartame for sweetening their drinks because Splenda (sucralose)has a more natural sugar taste. However, some critics charge that the taste is not better, only different. Coca Cola diet drink uses a combination of sucralose, aspartame, corn syrup and acesulfame potassium.
Despite the popularity of these low calorie drinks, diet soda is blamed for weight gain rather than weight loss. Studies have shown that artificial sweeteners cause weight gain by dropping blood sugar levels, thereby causing the person to eat more at the next meal. It was found that rats given artificial sweeteners showed increased caloric intake, weight gain and increased fatness.
Diet soda has also been linked to heart disease. One study found that people who drank even one soda had a risk of getting heart disease. The weight gain caused by drinking diet sodas can put pressure on the heart and this can lead to illness. Also, the caffeine content of sodas can contribute to heart disease. Another health concern associated with the use of diet sodas is cancer, as it has been found that aspartame and other artificial sweeteners contain carcinogens which can lead to cancer.
From the above it can be seen that one should not depend on drinking diet soda in order to lose weight. By following proper nutrition guidelines, a person can achieve physical fitness and ultimately good health. Foods that are low in cholesterol like fruits, vegetables and lean meat will help to alleviate heart disease and promote healthy weight. By making healthy lifestyle choices that include proper diet, exercise and drinking water, one can enjoy a healthy