Is Diet Soda Healthier?


diet-sodaThe diet soda business is expanding almost as fast as American waistlines. Compared to 15 years ago, consumption of diet beverages in the U.S. is up 20 percent. Diet sodas are seen by many as a healthyalternative to sugary beverages, which have been linked to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But how healthy are diet sodas?

A new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at how overall diet and consumption of diet sodas contribute to health. Researchers found that, while both diet and diet sodas can affect you, what you eat has a larger impact.

Over a 20-year period, people who ate a “prudent” diet-more whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds-had the lowest risk of developing metabolic syndrome, when compared to those who ate a “Western” diet of meat and poultry, fast food, pizza and snacks.

Signs of metabolic syndrome include elevated blood sugar, high blood pressure, excess abdominal fat, and elevated triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol. All of these can put you at increased risk of heartdisease, stroke, and diabetes.

People who consumed both a prudent diet and diet sodas, however, only had a slightly higher risk of metabolic syndrome, 20 percent compared to 18 percent for the prudent eaters who didn’t drink diet sodas.

The highest risk of metabolic syndrome-32 percent-occurred with people who ate a Western diet and drank diet sodas. This, says researchers, suggests that diet is really the driving factor behind health, although diet sodas do contribute.

This may help explain previous mixed results on whether diet sodas are healthy. One study found that diet sodas had no affect on weight gain, while another found that drinking three or more diet sodas a day could lead to weight gain.

What is clear is that eating a healthy diet is likely to have a far bigger impact on your health. If drinking the occasional diet soda helps you achieve that, then that could be a good thing.

{Men’s Fitness/ Newscenter}


  1. This article makes it sound like drinking artificially sweetened diet soda is healthy for you. Well, when compared to sugar-sweetened soda maybe that’s so. However recent studies have proven that when consumed on a regular basis, artificially sweetened soda such as Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi, are unhealthful for everyone, not just children and diabetics. When we consider Americans consume 17.5 billion gallons of soda each year – that’s 56 gallons per year for every American man, woman and child – drinking artificially sweetened diet soda is a serious health issue. This is why we’ve switched our family over to drinking only Zevia Soda sweetened with stevia, an all-natural sweetener that’s healthy to drink. See

  2. #1 is partially right. Why drink soda at all? I don’t drink soda – diet or sugared – and I certainly don’t feel deprived. There are lots of good things to drink when you’re thirsty. Why, you could even drink water!

    Advocating Stevia, however, strikes me as a little faddish. Throw out the soda completely. Drink water, fruit juice, tea sweetened slightly with natural sugar, or anything else that your great-grandma would have recognized.

    Come to think of it, that could be a good test: Would your grandma have recognized whatever-it-is as real food? Or just junk? Or, “What on earth is that?” If she wouldn’t have, think twice about consuming it. (Also, if you need a college degree in chemistry to understand the ingredients list – that’s another issue we could talk about 🙂

  3. I also know about ZEVIA soda!!! they are kosher and delicous and healthy. Its so wonderful to drink them!
    they are truly delicious. highly recommended.

  4. diet soda has negative health aspects however, if someone “needs” soda and is overweight they should drink diet because sugar is extremely unhealthy, they should try to wean off of it i can testify its possible i used to drink several cans of diet coke daily, now i only drink water, seltzer and skim milk:) to make the switch start by making sprizters and slowly drinking seltzer and water straight also fresh lemon makes it easier to drink the whole 8 reccomended glassed, soda does not count as water!!!

  5. This is a correlation, not causation. Diet sodas don’t make one heavier, but the lifestyle that enjoys packaged artificial products with regularity is also more likely to drink a good deal of soda. While diet is the healthier alternative, the lifestyle overall is one I need to lose.