Diet Soda: Good or Bad?

by in Healthy Tips, March 9, 2010


You’d think soda was our national beverage the way people guzzle it. Opt for the regular stuff and you’re downing lots of extra calories and sugar; in comparison, calorie-free diet soda seems like a harmless alternative. But if you need a soda fix, is it better to swig sugar or artificial sweeteners? What about the caffeine and phophorus?

Here are some things to know about diet sodas (or any diet beverage for that matter).

The Good
The bright side to a diet soda is the lack of sugar-filled calories. Switching from a standard 12-ounce can of regular soda to the diet version will save an average of 100 calories and almost seven teaspoons of added sugar per can! If you’re someone that drinks multiple sodas a day, that can lead to some serious weight loss.

The Bad
If you do opt for diet soda, don’t think you can just drink and drink because it’s calorie-free. There are four good reasons to cut back:

  1. In place of sugar, diet beverages use artificial sweeteners — chemicals that should be consumed in moderation. There are theories that these artificial sweeteners might increase cravings for more sweet (and high-calorie) foods
  2. Many of these drinks contain caffeine, which may curb appetite temporarily, leading to overeating later in the day. A little pick me up is fine but if your total beverage count for the day comes from coffee and caffeinated sodas, you may want to cut back. Here’s a list of the caffeine content in popular beverages.
  3. Many of these drinks (especially colas) contain phosphorus, an important nutrient for bone formation and cell structure. The only problem is, too much can leech calcium from your bones, weakening them.
  4. The more soda you drink, the less water you’re taking in — water is free of calories, too!

Bottom Line: If you must have them, consume diet beverages in moderation — one 12-ounce serving a day MAX! If you’re looking to cut calories, make some room for water or seltzer, which you can flavor up with fruit slices or a splash of fruit juice for extra oomph.

TELL US: Are you a soda addict?

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Comments (116)

  1. Tiare says:

    I am a addict. I can not stop drinking sodas. and now i have a hard time choosing between regular or diet. I need to loose wieght but I heard from sevral health professionals that aspartame is bad for you and was put in to our drinks and food by the government, for population controll. Is there anyway to get me off sodas alltogether? Its not the caffine for me, its the carbination and tast of soda that im hooked on. I usually drink caffine free sodas anyhow. Cant someone help?

  2. James says:

    I drink a 44oz Diet Mt Dew every morning, then 1 12-oz can of diet soda in the afternoon – a total of 56oz of diet soda in a day. I also drink about 2 16oz bottles of water in a day (32oz total), so I'm drinking almost 90oz of total liquid in a day. Is it bad that over 60% of that liquid is soda?

  3. danawhite says:

    Hi James –
    I would recommend cutting back. Water is always best to keep you hydrated but some people find it boring – here are some tips for flavoring up your water.

  4. evpookie says:

    I am a total soda junkie, i have gone from 6 cans of pop down to 1. I drink water and just choice what meal i want my soda with. All in moderation, i exercise and watch my portions, that is the best i can do. I've tried time and time again to not drink any of it and then all i do is binge drink my pop so this is my alternative i don't feel depreived.

  5. Jimmie says:

    I am a diet Coke addict. I drink 2-3 liters a day. I am also a diabetic on oral medications. I am a nurse with alot of muscle cramps/spasms, joint pain, and have gained 50 lbs. in the last 20 years.
    I know I need to cut back, but I really enjoy my drink in the a.m.
    I am going to try and do better and see what happens. Wish me luck.

  6. Lifestyle buddie! says:

    Hey there Fern~~~~Saw this article this morning and immidiately thought about you!! Read it and see what you think! Have a great week-end!!

  7. lifestyle buddie says:

    Hey Fern!! Saw this article this morning and thought about you!! Read it and let me know what you think. Have a great week-end!

  8. aisha mohamed says:

    yah i am n diet pepsi is not dat good either wayz!

  9. johndaddy says:

    Good post.
    Contains aloe vera and witch hazel for a refreshing, soothing taste experience. Alcohol-free. Our Natural Spearmint Mouthwash is a pleasant departure.

  10. Annette says:

    I use to drink regular soda then as I started working on my health switched to diet soda. Of course that too was found to be bad but by then I was stuck on it. My friend said I drink diet soda like someone who drinks alcohol. You know that first swig of an ice cold beer on a hot summer day….like it was the best thing on earth. Decided to give it up after all the reports starting showing how bad diet soda is for your body. It was hard to kick the habit (one diet soda a day maybe two) but mange it I did. Of course I have that occasional diet soda as a treat. I'm glad I got that monkey off my back.

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