We have so many options in this world, especially when it comes to food and drink. From drinks packed with sugar, to sodium, and all the way to alcohol, it’s hard to make a decision when you’re wanting a little something extra special with your meal. Those of us trying to stick to a healthy diet might even go for calorie-free drinks, such as diet sodas and teas. Unfortunately, as we all know, these diet drinks aren’t actually the best option. And recent research is showing that with the possibility of weight gain, cancer, and diabetes, a diet drink risks the health of the microbiome, as well.
Diet Drink Risks
Although their actual sugar content is at a whopping zero grams, their risks for weight gain are just as prevalent. Diet drinks contain tons of sodium, an element that can dehydrate you and make you feel hungrier. Along with these risks, there are also immediate health risks such as diabetes, as the “fake” sugar makes it harder for your body to digest actual sugar.
When you indulge in that sweet treat after consistent diet drink intake, it won’t metabolize and will turn quickly to fat. Some studies have also indicated that diet drinks and artificial sweeteners have a direct link to cancer. Yikes! Run away!
Diet Drinks and the Microbiome
Too many diet sodas in our lifetime can alter our body more than we think. Diet sodas have been directly linked to metabolic diseases. These diseases make it hard for your body to process any type of fatty, sugary, or calorie-filled food. A new study published in the journal Nature introduces a new idea: Diet sodas may alter our gut microbes in a way that increases the risk of metabolic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. These experiments showed that artificial sweeteners can alter the mix of bacteria in the guts of mice and people. And it may lead some to become glucose intolerant.
In this same study, the researchers concluded that the artificial sweeteners in diet drinks actually have the capability to alter the microbiome — permanently!
Stick to REAL sugar
Even though it may feel like the better choice, consuming too many diet drinks risks the health of your whole body. It just isn’t worth it! It’s better to have one sugar-filled drink every once in a while than to constantly sip on diet drinks. So take that cheat day — after you’ve earned it — and enjoy a cold root beer. But in general, stick to water.