Too often, my patients assume that artificially sweetened soda is the lesser of two evils. And it’s easy to see how they’d make this mistake. It’s called “diet” soda, after all.
But the lack of calories doesn’t make it less dangerous. And in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
As part of a recently published study, researchers followed just over 66,000 French women between 1993 and 2007. During this time, participants reported their intake of both sugar-sweetened and artificially-sweetened beverages.
The women averaged about 11 ounces of sugary drinks and 19 ounces of artificially sweetened drinks per week. And researchers found that those subjects with the highest consumption of either were at a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
In fact, women who consumed more than 20 ounces of artificially sweetened beverages per week fared even worse than their sugar-drinking counterparts–facing more than double the risk.
Just to give you some perspective, that adds up to a little less than two cans of Diet Coke. And not per day, either. Per week.
I don’t know how many more times I have to say it. Soda is poison, regardless of how you sweeten it.
If you want something fizzy, stick with sparkling water. Period.
Source: “Consumption of artificially and sugar-sweetened beverages and incident type 2 diabetes in the Etude Epidémiologique auprès des femmes de la Mutuelle Générale de l’Education Nationale-European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort” Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jan 30.