Diet Soda: A Do or a Don’t

The food in Europe is nothing short of amazing, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t super pumped to enjoy some of my regular eats today! After beginning the day with a nutritious smoothie, I kept the healthy food ball rolling at lunchtime with my new favorite veggie burger, served alongside some of Annie Chun’s seaweed snacks and carrots.

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Seaweed Snacks

YUM!

I think I felt the nutrients soaking into my body. “See ya, croissants,” they said.

Diet Soda: A Do or a Don’t?

About 30-minutes after lunch, I got a craving some something carbonated and sweet so I headed down to the café on the second floor of my office building to pick up a Diet Dr. Pepper and an apple.

Diet Dr. Pepper

Truth be told, I kind of love Diet Dr. Pepper.

When I was growing up, my parents didn’t let me or my sister drink soda except for on very special occasions. I remember thinking that a Shirley Temple (7-Up mixed with grenadine) was so, so fancy.

As a child, I wished I could have soda a few times, but it wasn’t that big of a deal, especially since my parents didn’t keep it around the house. Today I am grateful that they restricted my soda intake as a kid because I never think to order it at restaurants and still drink it very rarely.

I try to avoid diet sodas because of the inclusion of aspartame in the ingredient list, but I don’t worry about drinking a can every now and then and enjoy it when I do.

Questions of the Day

  • What are your thoughts on soda and diet soda consumption?
  • Do you drink diet soda? If so, how often? If not, why not?

Comments

  1. MJ says

    Soda is called “pop” here in Canada. If I drink any, I stick with regular, NOT diet, mainly cause I suffer with migraines and the sugar substitutes in diet soda isn’t good for migraines.

    Caffeine isn’t good for migraines either, but my neurologist said if I’m going to have soda to stick with the regular kind than the diet, because sugar is better for my body than sugar substitute.

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  2. says

    i have a love/hate affair with soda, in particular coke zero. i went a year without soda, but then fell off the wagon :( i’m back to trying to walk away from it. it offers nothing, healthwise. i’m starting to make iced tea to replace it :)

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  3. says

    I used to drink Diet Coke like it was my job. After undergrad, I worked for a consulting firm and Coke was my client for a few months – bad news bears! I drank Diet Coke everyday, multiple times a day. My stomach would hurt and I would feel sluggish, but that still didn’t stop me. Well, after a few weeks of feeling like total crap, I gave up Diet Coke. It slowly made its way back into my life, but recently, I’ve REALLY cut down. Mainly because those same nasty feelings started coming back…even after one can/bottle. Oh well! I’ll prob still drink it with pizza or Mexican food :)

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  4. Vanessa says

    I grew up in a home that drunk Sprite and Coke and that’s about it. I didn’t know any better. I never drank a diet until my mom did the low carb diet when I was a soph in college. Then I never drank a reg pop again. I drink Diet Mtn dew like it’s water!!! I am so addicted that it’s scary! I’ve tried to stop, but just never stuck it out long enough. Although I’ve never been a tad overweight (ran xc in hs,and college and still run today), I wish I grew up not allowed to drink them. My kids will not have them. I won’t either! :)

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  5. says

    I used to be addicted to soda, but now I only have Diet Coke when I need the caffiene or go out to eat. I only drink diet sodas, but it’s mainly because of the taste- -regular soda is just too sweet for me, and it always has been!

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  6. says

    So glad you wrote about this! I treat diet soda like other treats that i enjoy. If I really get a craving, I go ahead. But because it’s not really good for you (and has been associated with things that are bad for you) I try not to drink them too often. They truly can be a great pick-me-up though. (And great mixers!)

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  7. says

    As a scientist, I can throw my 2 cents into this debate. Aspartame causes brain tumors in rats, so I have a feeling it can’t be too great for us mere humans! I used to be super addicted to diet soda, but after hearing about these studies, I decided to quit. now if only i could kick this coffee habit! :-)

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  8. Anzo says

    Personally, I’m highly allergic to artificial sweeteners. Consumption of aspartame, sucrulose, etc. gives me a terrible migraine and the left side of my face and left arm goes numb! Yikes. Check out the book “Sweet Poison” by Janet Hull for the health effects of artificial sweeteners, and this article for how it’s actually is causing obesity:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080210183902.htm

    I don’t mean to come across as harsh or too blunt, but I feel pretty strongly about the topic!

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  9. says

    I love me a diet Dr. Pepper every once in awhile. I try not to think about all the chemicals when I drink it, and I’m avoiding the books that are out there that talk about how bad fake sugars are for you…I believe if my consumption is limited, then its not that bad…

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  10. says

    despite knowing how terrible diet drinks are, they are my guilty pleasure which i do indulge in! It kinda contradicts the rest of my approach to healthy living/eating but hey, no one is perfect!

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  11. Jessica says

    I always knew pop was available when I was growing up. We had it more often than most of my friends but it wasn’t a daily habit. My parents taught my sisters and I to consume in moderation and listen to what our body really wanted without depriving us of the good or the bad. I learned to listen to my body’s cues at a young age… which may be why I stopped drinking pop at 12 and now consume it once every 1 to 2 years.

    Worked for me, but we’re all different. Just wanted to throw how never giving a kid something will make them binge on it when they do have the chance. It’s all about balance and learning that as we grow is such an important thing.

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  12. says

    Soda was ALWAYS available in my house growing up. My mom was NOT a fan of prohibiting foods. She would always let us have little debbie goodies when we got home from school and we would always get a treat to McDonalds, Burger King, or Pizza Hut when we desired it, didnt already have dinner plans, and had done our homework without complaint. I know that might sound like a bad thing, but I learned that NO foods are bad. To this day, I drink diet coke when I need a soda, but in no way feel addicted to it.

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  13. says

    If I really want a fizzy drink like that then I would rather have the “full fat” sugar version than the diet one with aspartame in. Aspartame gives rats brain tumours :/

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  14. Floey says

    Diet Dr. Pepper gives me the runs :( For some reason my tummy thinks it’s a laxative so I definitely can’t drink it. I do love some diet pepsi though…which is probably the only diet soda that doesn’t make me gassy the rest of the day.

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  15. says

    I used to be addicted to diet soda and would throw back several cans a day. It took a while but I eventually weaned myself off of it and experience less digestive distress because of it. Still, I think the occasional diet soda splurge is good for the psyche :)

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  16. Steph says

    I used to practically live off of diet coke. It would sometimes satisfy my sweet tooth but then it would leave me wanting a real sugar and kinda give me some stomach discomfort. I gave up soda for good about 2 years ago, and honestly I dont miss it at all. Give me a good bottle of seltzer and i am a happy girl :)

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  17. says

    Growing up, we never had soda. I hated it — the taste, the carbonation, and how regular soda left that filmy feeling on your teeth from the sugar. But in high school, I started drinking diet vanilla/cherry cokes and really acquired a taste for it. I thought I was drinking too much so a few years ago I gave it up for Lent, and I rarely drink it now.
    I try to avoid artificial sweeteners as much as possible. They truly are not good for you, whether they actually cause cancer in humans or not. But, the problem with drinking regular soda (nowadays) is the high fructose corn syrup, in addition to the non-nutritive calories. Water is the way to go!

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  18. says

    I don’t really drink soda, but did you try it in Europe?? It’s so different. Our American version has triple the sugar or sweeteners to fit our “tastes.” But the European one is still so good!

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  19. angie says

    I don’t drink much soda, but if I do I would just rather have the regular, sweetened-with-good-ol’-sugar kind. I really think aspartame is awful for us and I’ve heard of studies that suggest they often backfire either by causing bloat or screwing up your brains signals that you’ve had sugar which just throws your body into confusion and ends up making you want to eat more. I don’t know…I guess I feel like even processed sugar is a more natural option than a chemical made to attempt to fool the body.

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  20. says

    I never drank soda growing up – not because I couldn’t but because I didn’t like the stuff. Now, the only time I indulge is if I’m drinking an alcoholic beverage. There’s just something about a rum and coke that is so delicious!

    I’m glad I never got into the habit though. I try to stay away from artificial sweeteners as much as possible, as well as any high sugar drink. I’d rather eat my calories! I’ll usually stick to tea and water.

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  21. Kat says

    I rarely had pop growing up so while I do think it’s tasty, I almost never think to have some. I have it maybe once a month and I usually go for diet Sprite.

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  22. says

    I say everyone has some vice and mine is caffeine-free diet coke. Something will kill me eventually, and having one can on most days of the week might just be mine.

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  23. says

    As a child, my mother rarely had soft drinks (soda) in the house so I didn’t really create a habit. I work in a supermarket and I occasionally got a craving for a coke, so bought one on a break. Once I started drinking it, it was hard to give it up.. so I think it is best I just stay away from it!

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