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TheDailyMeal: 8 ‘Healthy Drinks’ That Are Actually Terrible for You

Diet Soda

Let this serve as your PSA, you Diet Coke fiends: just stop it. This is not good for you. Let us count the ways.

Besides the laundry list of artificial ingredients and sweeteners, there’s a whole slew of health conditions linked back to diet soda. The most recent (and disturbing) news? In a recent study that followed 2,500 New Yorkers for 10 years, those who drank diet soda every day were more likely to have a stroke, a heart attack, or even die from a cardiovascular disease. That’s serious stuff. And when those results were adjusted for smoking, weight, exercise, and other dietary factors, the stats were still the same — diet soda can wreak havoc on more than just your waistline. Another study published in Diabetes Care journal found that diet soda drinkers were more likely to develop metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

But speaking of that waistline, the fake sugars in that Diet Coke really do a lot of damage to your weight — not quite the effect you’d hope from something labeled "diet." The Atlantic illuminated how artificial sugars can really change your brain’s chemistry, namely, the reward center of the brain. After watching brain scans of 24 healthy, young adults given only saccharin and other sugar-free sweeteners, the researchers saw a decrease in activity in the brain’s reward center. It’s been shown that slower activity in the reward of the center fosters obesity, because once the brain is fooled with those tricky non-sucrose sweeteners, it’s harder to regulate food intake.

(Credit: Flickr/ Yeah Im Kenny)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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