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Is Diet Healthier Than Regular Soda?

With so many people watching their calorie intake, they're always looking for ways to cut back without having to sacrifice much. That's why diet soda has become so popular. A regular 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola contains 143 calories, but a can of Diet Coke or Coca-Cola Zero contains only one.

Calorie-wise, yes, the diet version seems healthier, but if you take a look at the ingredients, there's a big difference. Diet Coke and Coke Zero contain aspartame, also called NutraSweet or Equal, while Coke is made with sugar. Aspartame is 180 to 200 times sweeter than regular sugar, and is the artificial sweetener of choice when it comes to most diet sodas. While the FDA approved its use in foods and beverages, some side effects include headaches, dizziness, mood changes, or skin reactions after consuming it. Aside from that negative, even though it's low in calories, diet soda may also lead to weight gain. To find out how keep reading.

Studies show that when you eat a low-calorie food that tastes like it has a lot of calories, the body ends up craving what it hasn't received, so your appetite may be stimulated, and cause you to eat more. Drinking sweet beverages may also make you crave other sweet foods, which can also lead to higher numbers on the scale.

Truthfully, soda in general is not healthy, whether it's diet or regular. It offers no nutritional value whatsoever, so if you can give it up altogether your body will greatly benefit. Go for plain old crisp and refreshing water as your beverage of choice. If it's too blah for your taste buds, then squeeze in some lemon or lime juice, or drink herbal tea instead. If you crave something sweeter, there are plenty of fruit juices out there to choose from, just make sure it's 100 percent juice and not fruit-flavored sugar water. Fresh-squeezed juices will offer nutrients such as potassium and protein, which you won't get from guzzling a can of Coke.

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