Drinking soda has never been a big part of my lifestyle & nutrition choices, and I have lots of reasons why. It doesn’t mean I won’t have an occasional soda, because I do, but they are certainly a rare treat. What you will never find me drink, however, is a diet soda. I consider it the “junkiest” of junk food, with its artificial ingredients (chemicals,) it’s no part of a healthy diet. This week, I came across an article whose findings should be shared as they explore possible causes of the paradox of weight gain with the consumption of diet sodas.
In this study, brain activity of the subjects who were regular diet soda drinkers were compared to those who were not regular soda drinkers. What they found was that the people who were regular consumers of artificial sweeteners had a dulled activation of the area of the brain that helps us keep track of how many calories we eat. Normally, as we eat, this area would naturally keep track of our intake and keep our appetite in check. Without it, we are more prone to keep eating additional calories throughout the day. The higher the quantity of diet soda these subjects consume on a regular basis made this effect stronger. Over time and exposure, these chemicals have the power to rewire the brain and potentially make this a more and more permanent change.
If you are a diet soda drinker, and you think you are using these products for health reasons, this is information you should take to heart. Among the other problems of diet soda, this is profound. There are other things you can drink that are more healthy for you and may help you accomplish what you are after in the first place.
Here is a link to photo credits and a synopsis of the article.