Now don’t get me wrong, I used to LOVE Diet Coke. It fact I used to drink at least a couple cans of Diet Coke a day in the summertime back in high school. I can’t even tell you I don’t crave it occasionally (or help myself to one on the rare occasion that I can’t resist!). So what’s the problem with Diet Coke? A couple of things, unfortunately.
First off, Diet Coke is made with not one but two artificial sweeteners – aspartame and acesulfame-K. These artificial sweeteners have been found to actually increase your appetite. The opposite effect you want when drinking a diet soda in order to consume less calories. How does this happen? Because your body is tasting sweetness, your brain is tricked into thinking it is getting calories when really it is not. This can then cause your body to crave more calories to make up for the calories it is missing out on. In addition, it has been shown that artificial sweeteners such as the ones found in Diet Coke fail to activate the reward pathways of the brain the same way that natural sweeteners do, again, triggering your body to crave more calories in order to be satisfied. You could actually end up consuming more calories than if you would have just drank a regular soda – not cool!
Some of the other side effects of aspartame and acesulfame-K are headaches and dizziness. And let’s not forget about their link to cancer – scary stuff.
What else is in Diet Coke? Artificial color. ‘Caramel E150d’ to be exact. I don’t know about you, but a color that was created in a laboratory and then added to my food so that it looks “more appealing” has always seemed a little sketchy to me. Not to mention artificial coloring is linked to allergic reactions, fatigue, asthma skin rashes, hyperactivity (think ADHD) and headaches.
Next time you’re in need of a caffeinated beverage pick-me-up, opt for an unsweetened ice tea or other natural alternative instead. Or if you must have a pop (or soda, whatever you call it depending on where you’re from!) go for a non-diet version (although be warned, regular Coke is also artificially colored). If you are drinking pop in moderation, the extra 100 and so calories won’t kill your diet. It could even save you from overindulging later!
Ingredients: Carbonated water, colour (caramel E150d), sweeteners (aspartame, acesulfame-K), flavourings (including caffeine), phosphoric acid, citric acid. Contains a source of phenylalanine.