Every other week, it seems as if there’s a new study cautioning people against the health risks of diet soda.
But just how dangerous is soda – especially for a person who drinks it every day? Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of FoxNews.com, answers one viewer’s concern.
Hi Dr. Manny, I drink a few cans of diet soda every day. Could this be bad for my health? Thanks, Beth
According to recent studies, diet soda may be linked with an increased risk of stroke. Prior research has already linked soda with obesity, kidney damage and certain cancers.
“Just because it says ‘diet,’ doesn’t mean it’s healthy or the key to losing weight,” Alvarez warned.
While making the switch from regular soda to diet may save on calories, drinking more than one per day may actually increase a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes.
Patricia Bannan, a registered dietician, offered a second opinion:
“While I think having a regular diet soda once in a while is OK, I recommend people limit them as much as possible,” she said. “The reason for that is twofold – number one, both regular and diet soda is very sweet and it can trigger your sweet tooth and get you accustomed to eating very sweet foods and craving more sugary foods. The second reason is that both regular and diet soda have undesirable ingredients. Regular soda is packed with sugar, packed with empty calories, and diet soda has a lot of artificial ingredients.”
Bannan recommended drinking flat or sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice, or making ‘infused’ water using cucumbers, berries, limes or mint.
For more health questions and concerns, email firstname.lastname@example.org or join Dr. Manny’s weekly health live chat Wednesdays from 2-3pm.