What is the main reason to drink diet soda? If you’re like most people, it’s to lose weight, or reduce calories and sugar. Studies keep showing a corresponding weight gain in those using artificial sweeteners compared to those using sugar.
Non-nutritive sweeteners, or NNS, are 200 times sweeter than sugar, so you can use much less for the same taste. These protein based sweeteners are found in diet soda, chewing gum, candy, yogurt, and other diet foods.
Using 29 rats on a diet of plain yogurt sweetened with 20% sucrose, 0.3% sodium saccharin, or 0.4% aspartame, in addition to chow and water as desired over a 12 week period, with all animals having physical activity restrained, all animals in the study ended up with a similar caloric intake but those on the NNS had increased weight over the rats fed sucrose. Part of this may be to fluid retention and lack of activity to a degree, but it does not explain all of it.
Most scientists agree that the best fluid for weight loss is water, and eliminate soda as much as possible. Studies are ongoing to determine if claims about NNS having carcinogens, may stimulate appetite, and may cause cravings for sugar are true, thus far most studies are inconclusive with the exception of above.
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