Since about 5 years old, I have loved Coca-Cola. If I was good at my grandparents, I was allowed to go downstairs & pick out a “cold drink.” By 14 or 15, I learned about eating healthy and calories. While I was never on a diet, I knew 140 calories of a sugary coke wasn’t going to be good for me. Once I hit the honors classes and college, I craved Coke and picked up Diet. YUM! Caffeine, bubbles, and flavor without calories! My own little piece of heaven. I just didn’t think anything about Diet Coke’s ingredients.
Now, at 22 I’m a little scared to give it up even after reading that Diet Coke causes health problems due to the artificial sugars, coloring, and even the plastic bottles. Health problems like disorders, strokes, cancer, and more. My mind keeps saying “Well, you don’t eat any artificial sweeteners and eat so healthy, what’s a Diet Coke going to hurt?,” “Only a glass really,” and “It’s my one vice–leave me alone!” Therefore, I call it an addiction. With my addiction, I also have withdrawal symptoms….afternoon headaches. The headaches can be bad enough that my willpower dissolves, and I’m back right where I started–drinking this junk!
Today has been my first day without a diet coke in a very long time. While I plan on still allowing myself a Diet Coke every now and then (1 a month or so), I am giving up my all too typical 1 Liter in a day habit!
Does anyone else struggle with soda? Anyone want in on quitting with me?
Here are just a few facts about Diet Coke & any other drink with artificial sweeteners….
Troubling Ingredients in Diet Coke & other diet drinks
- Aspartame — Livestrong reports, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims the ingredient is safe to consume; however, several side effects involving the ears, eyes, chest, skin, neurological system, gastrointestinal system and metabolic system.
- Phosphoric Acid (maybe) –– My 10th grade speech teacher told me my Diet Coke would dissolve a steel nail overnight. I didn’t care if it did or didn’t at the time, but just for kicks I looked it up. It’s false!
- Caramel Coloring — While the jury is out on just how much the coloring can affect your health, it is still worth noting. The National Toxicology program tested a contaminant in the coloring and found that it caused cancer in mice and possibly rats. Other studies have shown any type of artificial coloring may lead to ADD in children.
- Benzene — Benzene is a known carcinogen (aka cancer causing chemical), and the World Health Organization has declared that NO amount of benzene is safe. Nevertheless, it is possible that the chemical is in all types of soda containing benzoate salts and ascorbic acid! Crazy huh?
The Plastic Bottle Isn’t Safe Either
- Phthalates (aka DEHP or DINP): Phthalates are added to plastic to help make them flexible. This chemical has been linked to reduced sperm counts and decreased fertility in animals.
- Bisphenol A (BPA): BPA is a chemical that can leach out of polycarbonate plastic containers into the liquids they hold. The chemical affected the body within 4 days in animals. Several studies have shown that BPA can change your insulin resistance (upping your chances of diabetes), as well as, have an affect on major systems in the body because of its ability to mimic estrogen. Even low doses have been linked to obesity, breast and prostate cancer, brain damage, a damaged immune system, and other serious conditions.
Health Problems Related to Diet Coke
- Dehydration which can lead to overeating, bloat and constipation. Dehydration also makes working out harder and cause cramps in your muscles. OUCH!
- Eroded Enamel — The community dentistry at Southern Illinois University reported many sodas have phosphoric or citric acid. Both acids break down our teeth’s enamel. Not only are you more likely to suffer from cavities and sensitivity, your smile will also not be pearly white without enamel.
- Loss of Calcium — According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the phosphates found in diet coke leeches calcium out of the bones. This translates into 3 to 4 times the chance of fracture for a person drinking diet coke.
- Heart Disease & Diabetes — Presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions, researchers studied about 4,000 women and found that those who drank more sugary soda were more likely to have heart disease and diabetes than those women who had one soft drink a day or less.
- Stroke — Diet cokes also have been been linked to higher levels of triglyceride blood fats, which can lead to blocked arteries and increase the risk of stroke, according to The Daily Mail. The negative effects of full-sugar drinks were not seen in men….figures huh!
After doing research today, I feel like it is all worth recording , but some of the information I found was exaggerated and did not make my post. Even if Diet Coke isn’t going to kill me, it isn’t going to improve my health, and therefore, I am quitting.
What about you? Any tips?
I tried SodaStream, and I really liked it. If you aren’t ready to go cold turkey on Diet Coke — I really recommend checking out the Soda Stream machines!