Friday, February 15, 2013

Diet Soda - Kicking the habit


Today's Workout: Barre at Barre3 in Georgetown


So I will probably not shatter anyone's world with shock today when I make the statement that diet soda is bad for you. We have all heard it. Here are just some of the reasons why (most of them found on this girl's site)...

 1. Neurotoxic

Diet sodas may use a variety of artificial sweeteners in place of sugar, including aspartame, which acts as a neurotoxin. Annually, reactions to aspartame result for a majority of the adverse reaction reports made to the food and drug administration. Aspartame is also an excitotoxin that builds up in the brain, and can excite brain neurons to the point of cell death.

2: Causes Headaches and Other Symptoms

Another artificial sweetener commonly used in diet sodas, sucralose, may cause a host of health problems including headaches.

3: Acidifying
Soda is made up of a number of acidic chemicals. It is one of the most acidic substances humans ingest. When your body is overly acidic your skin will not be as beautiful or youthful. It will contribute to looking older.

4: Caffeinated
Many diet sodas contain caffeine, which is an artificial stimulant and an addictive substance. Caffeine also excessively taxes the liver and can hamper its ability to cleanse and filter toxins from the body. Additionally, caffeine can trigger stress hormones, which can result in chronic stress and weight gain.

5: Increases Risk of Obesity
Studies show that although diet soda has no caloric value, it may have an impact on insulin similar to sugar ingestion. This is most likely due to the cephalic phase insulin response in the brain. When you taste the sweet in diet soda, your body perceives it as sugar and causes the pancreas to release insulin just as it would if you were consuming actual sugar.

6: Increases Toxic Load
There’s not a lot that’s natural in diet soda. Diet soda places a significant toxic load on your liver and can contribute to toxic sludge in your intestines.

7: Increases Risk of Heart Disease
A study at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine4 showed that people who drank diet soda daily had a 61 percent increased risk of a cardiovascular event. The study followed more than 2,500 participants for about nine years, during which 559 vascular events occurred. Even accounting for age and other risk factors, the risk with diet soda consumption appeared to be at least 48 percent higher.

8: May Contribute to Metabolic Syndrome
A study at University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health in 2008 linked diet soda to metabolic syndrome, a cluster of metabolic disorders including obesity, high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides and hormone resistance. According to the study, consuming diet soda increased the risk of developing metabolic syndrome by 34 percent, which was higher than the elevated risk from consuming two other unhealthy types of foods – meat (26 percent increased risk), and fried foods (25 percent increased risk).

I have heard bits and pieces of this over the years, but found it hard to kick the habit. I don't really drink coffee, and I am constantly battling a lack of sleep while balancing work, graduate school, and some semblance of a social life.

So why now? I had a conversation with some coworkers today about smoking. How we can't believe that people still do it. I mentioned that all of my grandparents died before I was born, or at a very young age, do to smoking related illnesses. A friend made a comment that back when our grandparents started smoking, people didn't really realize just how bad it was for them. I think that is perhaps how it used to be with diet soda. It actually seemed like a healthier alternative to regular soda, but I can't really claim to think that anymore. All I have to to do is go through this list and I think to myself, you know what, it really isn't worth it.

So here it is, my public pledge to kick the habit. I really don't want a grandchild of mine to use my diet soda consumption in a conversation someday about how they couldn't believe I still drank it, knowing how bad it is. There are so many forms of illness in this world that we cannot protect ourself from, why stack the odds against us!

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