Regular or Sugar Free - Which Healthier?


Guys, you don’t have to be a health nut to know that soda isn’t ideal or even the best thing for you. But is it really all that bad?

Is it ok to just ‘sneak a few’ every once in a while? And if you’re going to have it, is it better to have the regular ol’ sugar-filled version or the zero calorie “diet” kind?

Well, let’s take a moment to weigh the facts:

Regular Soft Drinks - are they as bad as all that?

PROS:

  • It doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharin) that have gotten a really bad rap lately, and over the years.

CONS:

  • The sugar, man! A 12-ounce can of cola has about 8 teaspoons; almost the daily limit as recommended by the American Heart Association

  • Drinking 1-2 cans a day can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 26%

  • Regular sodas are filled with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) which certain studies linked to obesity, heart disease and fatty liver disease.

Diet Soft Drinks - are they actually healthier for you?

PROS:

  • It fills in those incessant craving for something sweet without adding extra calories or carbs.

  • Since it really is sugar-free, diabetics can sip without worrying about the direct hit to their insulin and blood sugar levels

CONS:

  • While diet soda may be considered ‘safe’ for diabetics, they are far from nutritious as the artificial sweeteners in diet soda actually cause you to crave more sugar. When we drink it, our body is expecting sugar. Then when our body realizes it’s been duped, it responds by doling even more sugar cravings - but now at a higher intensity!

  • There are medical studies like this one that suggests diet soda drinkers tend to gain more weight particularly around their belly. That same study goes on to claim that frequent drinkers of diet soda typically gained up to three times more belly fat than their non-diet soda drinking counterparts.

  • Diet soda (at least it’s chemical ingredients) is now being linked with cancer, heart attacks, strokes and neurological disorders.

Here’s the verdict on diet soda and soft drinks Neither regular or diet soda are going to improve your health. They are literally devoid of any health benefits. The truth is that both are linked to significant health issues.

Still, the question remains; what should you choose?

In my opinion, the best bet would be to steer clear of both, IF you can. However, if you do decide to have a soda from time to time, the choice is ultimately up to you and your best assessment of the situation.

If you’re sensitive to sugar, then perhaps the diet soda may be your best bet. But, if artificial sweeteners cause your digestive system to go haywire, you may want to choose the regular soda instead. If you are diabetic, however; sugar free is your obvious choice.

Here’s the alternative to diet soda and soft drinks The long-standing, healthiest drink you can give your body is simple H2O… And while water may not seem as exciting as carbonated soda, you can shake it up by adding flavors from a wedge of lemon or lime. I’ve even used peeled ginger or mint for a flavor change.

Don’t discount sparkling waters (sugar free and artificial sweetener free) either. They can also be a great alternative for a soda replacement since they still contain that familiar bubble and fizz.

References

Wiley Online Library - Diet study & waist circumference study CNN - Diet Soda May Do More Harm Than Good Harvard School of Public Health - Soft Drinks & Disease American Heart Association - Sugar 101 Healthline - Is Diet Soda Safe for Diabetes?


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