Is Diet Soda Making You Fat?

Skip the Diet Soda
Posted Mon, Mar 24, 2008, 11:33 am PDT
Get ready to ditch your soda habit. I’m kicking Diet Coke — it takes time, and I’m down to five a week from a high of 12, but it’s worth it.

Here’s why: Recent research has shown that artificial sweeteners in soda may interfere with your body’s ability to estimate how many calories you’ve ingested, so you eat more than you need.

In a new rat study, animals that ate fake sugar consumed more calories overall and gained weight, compared to those that didn’t eat artificially sweetened treats.

This is just one study, but it’s enough to make me want to kick the can habit. Need more convincing? For every diet soda you sip daily, your risk of becoming overweight can rise by 37 percent, according to researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

We also know that regular soda is a total sugar bomb — most people I know gave it up long ago. At roughly 225 calories a pop, a 20-ounce bottle of regular soda packs nearly as many calories as a chocolate bar (but is much less satisfying).

Typically, soda also contains zero nutrients — so who needs it? Still have some soda around? Fine, stow it for guests who haven’t decided to quit. Next time you want a fizz hit, try seltzer with lime (or for a caffeine fix, green tea). What are your favorite low-cal soda substitutes?

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