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Diet soda and weight gain

Is there a link between diet soda and weight gain? Many overweight people constantly drink diet sodas. Some normal weight people consume diet drinks to avoid unhealthy quantities of sugar or high frustose corn syrup. Today 59 percent of Americans drink diet soda, and weight loss success is more elusive than ever. How can this be?

Only one can a day.........

A 2005 study from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio might make you toss those diet sodas for good. Researchers studied the soda-drinking habits of 1500 people over eight years. They found that for each daily bottle or can of diet soda people drank, their risk of being overweight increased by 41 percent.

The lead researcher, Sharon P. Fowler, MPH suggested a reason for the correlation between diet soda and weight gain. When we drink something that tastes sweet, our bodies prepare to process the carbohydrate calories. When the calories do not appear in our digestive tract, our body goes searching for them.

Abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome

Researchers from the famous Framingham Heart Study published a different study on 9000 people. They found that soda drinkers had a 48 percent higher risk of metabolic syndrome than those who did not drink sodas. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that are linked with heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Two major metabolic syndrome factors are:
  1. Abdominal obesity

  2. A faulty insulin response
The study found drinking sodas correlated with both risk factors. Regular sodas and diet sodas were equally linked with metabolic syndrome.

These studies alone don't prove that diet sodas cause weight gain. It is possible that diet sodas are just a marker for obesity. Maybe as people gain more weight, they tend to drink more diet sodas. However, several other studies do show that diet sodas stimulate appetite.

Optimal Weight for Life

In 2009, The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published an article entitled "Artificially Sweetened Beverages Cause for Concern". The author was David S. Ludwig,MD,PhD. He is the Founding Director of the Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) clinic at Childrens' Hospital in Boston.

Ludwig made three main points:
  1. Artificial sweeteners "confuse" the systems in our bodies that regulate hunger, satiety, and weight.

  2. Our taste buds adapt to the intense sweetness of artificial sweeteners. Normal healthy foods like fruit, vegetables, and whole grains taste bland. We have less interest in eating them.

  3. We don't know the long term effects of using large amounts of artificial sweeteners. We are sending weird synthetic compounds down ancient biological pathways. This could cause other health problems. 

The best weight loss beverage

Have you ever ordered a high fat, high calorie meal with a diet soda on the side? We see people do this all the time. Maybe drinking a no-calorie beverage seems like a way to keep the calories down a bit. But what is the point, if it also increases your hunger and makes you overeat?

Read the label on a can of diet soda and you will realize it is not a real food. The toxic, acid-forming ingredients can only promote disease, not health. To lose weight and improve your health at the same time, follow our vegan weight loss plan carefully. Drink water, not diet sodas and not liquid calories. You will get great results.

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