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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.

Source: Flickr User √oхέƒx™

Join The Conversation
brucewayne brucewayne 4 years
Uh-oh!I have a bottle of Diet Pepsi right next to me!
KAT0002 KAT0002 7 years
I grew up in a household where we weren't allowed to stock up 24 cans of soda in the house. When guests and friends came over, they had to choose from orange juice, cranberry juice, water, and milk. I don't think it's good to drink soda everyday whether diet or regular. In my opinion, too much of anything is bad.
fashionplate525 fashionplate525 7 years
Thanks for the info. Debbie! :)
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 7 years
I going to have to agree with Quanni E. Of course I'm use to drinking more water than any other liquid and I'm not a person who needs the flavor. It's easier for me than it might be for someone else. My food has enough flavor for both anyway. Luckily my parents never let us develop the habit of drinking soda like we're supposed to do with water the way some people do. Now I drink it even less than I did as a kid.
Ayu Ayu 7 years
I was brough up without ever having any soda at home and only in my teens I first tasted it. I maybe have a glass of coke zero once a month now.
Quanni-E Quanni-E 7 years
How about we all drink water and do away with the sugar? LOL
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
Weffie, Glucose/Sucrose is sugar! Sugar comes in a few different forms, such as Glucose, sucrose, ribose and fructose. I don't really drink fizzy drinks except for soda water. But I like to mix orange juice with soda water. It's like Fanta but without all the sugar!
fribblesandyoko fribblesandyoko 7 years
Regular pop makes me kinda sick cause there's so much sugar in it. I drink way too much diet pop but I also drink a lot of water. I've been drinking diet pop since I was younger and it has never really made me want to eat more sweet foods. It's just a nice switch up from water and doesn't have all the calories that most juices have.
Jabbadoo Jabbadoo 7 years
No soda. Leaded or unleaded.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I'm with lilkimbo--I drink diet soda and I'm not overweight. Drinking diet soda prevents me from drinking more caloric beverages that would make me fatter. I don't eat more sugar because my body somehow feels deprived of sugar in my beverages. As far as the whole aspartame-is-toxic thing, nothing has really been proven as far as aspartame causing cancer. It breaks down into naturally occuring amino acids that you'd get in regular food anyway. The only people that have to be concerned about aspartame are phenylketonuriacs (and they also have to avoid dairy and certain other foods with phenylalanine in them) and people who are sensitive to it. I'm not about to quit my Diet Coke habit right now...I have cut back to drinking only 2 a day; the rest of the time, I drink water or my one cup of coffee. Since that's my biggest health vice, I think I'm doing ok.
superfoxml superfoxml 7 years
well, which evil do you want, high fructose corn syrup in regular soda, or aspartame or splenda in the diet? both are chemical sh!t storms and your body doesn't even know how to process that crapola.
NurseDeAnna NurseDeAnna 7 years
Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max are my vices, for sure.
dancinlaughin01 dancinlaughin01 7 years
lilkimbo, your right, not everyone who is overweight is that way because they drink diet coke or regular coke. Nevertheless, studies have showed your more likely to become overweight by drinking diet coke instead of regular. but of course, this isn't always the case for everyone. everyones body responds differently to soda. for some it may help with weight management and for some, it won't.
shiningeyes shiningeyes 7 years
I understand the reasoning behind the "diet soda can lead to weight gain" claims, but that reasoning only applies to people who eat whatever they're hungry for/eat whenever they feel like eating. If you actually pay attention to what you're eating otherwise, where weight is concerned, diet soda is the better option. No, it's not healthy, but it will still cause less weight gain if you continue to regulate the rest of your diet. Totally agreed with lilkimbo's comment. I actually lost a LOT of weight (and yes, I'm at my ideal weight and yes, I have also successfully kept it all off) while being a Diet Coke drinker. I can no longer stand the taste of regular cola.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
Dancin, you're making a huge assumption that the people are overweight because of the diet soda and not the other way around. And no, I actually haven't noticed that.
TinaDenali TinaDenali 7 years
Neither are good for you and both should be avoided.
dancinlaughin01 dancinlaughin01 7 years
i think the thing about diet soda for me is that because i use to drink so much, i actually got a lot hungrier and my body was craving more calories so i gained weight. truth is, diet coke is full of articifical ingredients that no one should drink. havent you ever noticed, i always see overweight people drinking diet coke and healthy weight people drinking regular coke. its interesting.
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