Recently, one of the students from CSUB asked to shadow me as part of her university course requirements for nutrition. I agreed. Last week, the student shared with me her personal experiences after drinking a diet soda. I asked her to provide me with a writeup as part of her work. She shared with me the article written below and I am submitting the article under guest writer.
Guest Writer: Amanda Anderson, CSUB
Diet soda sounds like heaven on Earth for those who are trying to cut calories. What price would you be willing to pay though to cut a few calories out of your daily caloric intake, especially if you have been told that would help you lose weight when you are overweight?
A few years ago, I was an avid diet soda drinker thinking that I was making a healthier intelligent choice. However, when my doctor said that I was dehydrated, I started to drink water and cranberry juice on occasion. For a few years, I mostly drank water and cranberry juice. I was very surprised to get a better feeling. I felt like I had more energy than I did when I drank all of the caffeine I had consumed with the diet soda. I continued to drink more water with the occasional cranberry juice because I knew I had to stay hydrated and the water was doing just that.
Recently, while I was at a friend’s house, this past weekend, she had offered me a diet soda. Not giving much thought to it at the time, I figured that one diet soda (12 ounce can) wouldn’t hurt and so I drank it. As I already said, I had been drinking just water and cranberry juice so a soda might be a welcome change just to have something different. Within a couple hours I had the worst headache imaginable and for the entire weekend I was nauseous and hungry to the point I could not get satisfied. For some reason, despite my upset stomach, I felt like I needed to eat and I craved fatty foods. I would imagine to a lesser degree, this is probably what an addict must go through. It seems as though in that short period of time with just one 12 ounce can, I was addicted. During the weekend, I didn’t think that it was the diet soda, but then after I analyzed what I ate, how I felt and the cravings I had never had before in addition to all of the food and drinks I had consumed, the soda was the only variable that had changed from my normal typical diet.
What are millions of people putting into their bodies? If you have a diet coke bottle around you, read the ingredients. Other than carbonated water, do any of the ingredients sound natural or safe? Do you know what the ingredients/chemicals are doing to your body? I didn’t think so. The primary culprit for these reactions in the ingredient list is aspartame, which is linked to many detrimental health effects on the human body especially the brain. According to certified nutritionist Dr. Janet Hull, aspartame is correlated with 100 side effects, including: confusion, slurring of speech, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, depression, aggression, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, irritability, nausea, abdominal pain, and peptic ulcers (Livestrong). Hopefully you have lost your craving for diet soda by now. Diet soda is not safe for your body and the only fluid, in my opinion, one should be drinking is water. Water is completely natural and with a splash of lemon juice can also be quite delicious. Enjoy your summer with some ice water and leave the coca cola at the store!
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The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.