Diet Drinks - Good or Bad for Weight Control?
Diet Sodas Contain Zero Calories
Calorie-free diet sodas, like Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi or Diet-7 Up seem very good for weight control. By comparison, a cup of orange juice contains 110 calories. And these diet sodas are certainly popular - according to data collected by Information Resources Inc, (Aug 2002), diet soft drinks represent about 30 percent of the US soft drink market, 6.6 percent up on the previous year, and this ignores diet-drinks sales in most convenience stores. See also: Diet Sodas to Lose Weight
Health Concerns About Diet Drinks - Caffeine & Sweeteners
Against a background of rising obesity and concerns about diet nutrition, critics of diet drinks point to the adverse health effects of two particular ingredients of diet drinks: caffeine and artificial sweeteners.
Caffeine in Diet Drinks
Concerns about caffeine in diet sodas revolves around it's addictive effects on the brain, as well as the kidneys. Caffeine has diuretic properties, and is a dehydrating agent - one reason, say the critics, why a person is inclined to drink so many cans of soda every day without ever being satisfied. Critics also claim that caffeine-containing sodas can cause a gradual gain in weight from overeating as a direct result of confusion of thirst and hunger sensations.
Artificial Sweeteners in Diet Drinks
Critics of diet sodas point out that artificial sweeteners cause the brain to react to sweet taste (cephalic phase response) by preparing the liver to receive a new supply of sugar. And if no sugar appears, the liver signals an urge to eat, or possibly over-eat.
Lack of Nutrition in Diet Drinks
Irrespective of the possible adverse effects of diet sodas on weight control, no one disputes the lack of nutrition in these diet drinks. Typically, diet sodas sole contribution to dietary and nutritional requirements is a little sodium.
Best Diet Drinks
Water (or pure fruit juice 1/3-2/3 diluted with water), is still the best and healthiest diet drink. It quenches thirst, contains no calories (or 30-40 with fruit juice) and has a number of beneficial metabolic and physiological effects. And water is great for weight control.
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