Last month, the journal Nature published a study that showed consuming non-caloric artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose, is associated with glucose intolerance – a condition leading to higher-than-normal blood glucose levels.
Yikes! That’s bad news for those of us who live on diet sodas.
Interestingly, the study explains that though artificial sweeteners have no sugar or calories, they appear to disrupt the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. How? Through changes in the gut microbiota. Basically, if you didn’t suspect it before, now you have scientific proof that diet sodas aren’t a healthy alternative to sugary drinks.
So, what can you do to wean yourself off diet soda? Here are a few ideas:
If you can’t live without fizz, trying making an initial switch from a caffeinated diet soda to a clear, non-caffeinated one. Diet lemon-lime soda or ginger ale can be a baby step. Sparkling water (like La Croix or Dasani Sparkling) won’t save you much money over diet soda, but they’re a more wholesome alternative.
If the ritual is your thing, brew yourself a cup of fruity hot tea instead. Find one you like, take a few minutes to let the tea bags steep, and think about how healthy you are as you sip the stuff. Or, splurge on a special water cup or bottle to drink your healthier beverages from. And you don’t have to go cold turkey; a good way to cut down on – or at least be aware of – your diet soda consumption is to alternate soda with water. And keep up the good work – it can be tempting to splurge on a 12-pack after one diet soda slip-up at lunch, but after a while, the clean life will become second nature (and much more natural).