Monday, February 21, 2011

The Diet Soda Dance

Over the weekend I heard a news report about new research showing that drinking diet soda every day increases your chance of a stroke by 61%. And when I sat down to Google it, I naturally found this article urging caution about taking the results too seriously because there hasn't been enough work to establish a true link between the two.

Of course we should keep drinking diet soda! A refreshing and filling beverage with no calories? Bring it on! Oh meant water? Never mind.

In reading the article debunking the research, these quotes jumped out at me: 

"In my 20 years of clinical practice, patients who consume diet soda tend to have more of a sweet tooth; to get more sweet cravings; to eat more foods with added sugar; and to like and eat more processed food than patients who avoid both regular and diet soda," said Dr. David Katz, director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center.

"Any way you slice it, soda drinking is not healthy and should be done sparingly," said Dr. Peter McCullough, consultant cardiologist and chief academic and scientific officer for St. John Providence Health System and the Providence Park Heart Institute in Southfield, Mich.

"The study highlights the increasingly negative information we are getting about the consumption of non-caloric sweetened beverages," said Dr. Jana Klauer, a New York City-based private practice physician specializing in weight control and nutrition. "People drink them to save calories and enjoy a sweet taste, but diet soda hasn't lead to weight loss and now appears to be causing more problems than it solves."

So, here's my take on it: sure, the research may be flawed. And, there are plenty of corporate interests invested in making sure we know that.  I still say that drinking something that can clean car battery corrosion is still a toxic idea. 

I used to be hooked on Coke Zero. I'd drink it all the time and every day at 3:00, I wanted one. And I had one. Eventually, it was the only unhealthy thing in my diet. I ate really clean super nutrition, but drank diet soda. So, I stopped. It wasn't that easy; as with most processed and artificially flavored frankenfood, I had withdraw problems. But every time I drank diet soda I felt like I was corroding my body, and I stopped. It's been over four years since I've had even a drop.

It can be done! Read the writing on the wall - this stuff is bad for you. It may not be proven yet, but read the statements above. Do you really need proof?

If so, just watch Wall-E.

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