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  1. #1 Is diet soda making us fat? 
    Administrator SaintLouieWoman's Avatar
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    Eeek, diet soda is making us fat

    Is Diet Soda Making You Gain Weight?

    Diet soda sounds like an easy way to cut calories, but new research shows it may not be good for weight loss. Learn why diet soda may actually cause you to gain weight, among other problems.


    By Chris Iliades, MD
    Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH






    If you feel better about having a burger and fries for lunch because you ordered a diet soda, you shouldn't. Studies show that diet soda may not be any better for you than regular soda. In fact, it may even be worse.

    Close to 60 percent of Americans drink diet soda on a regular basis. Many of them believe diet soda helps them with weight loss, but there is mounting evidence that diet soda may actually cause you to gain weight.
    Diet Soda and Weight Loss: What Research Revealed
    "Recent literature suggests that those who drink diet soda weigh more than those who don't. That shouldn't surprise anyone. Does diet soda cause weight gain? I think that is the wrong question. I don't think people should drink diet soda, whether they have weight problems or not," says Darwin Deen, MD, senior attending physician at Montefiore Medical Center's Department of Family and Social Medicine in the Bronx, New York.

    Of top concern, drinking diet soda has been linked to developing metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that include expanding waist size, increased blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, lower levels of good cholesterol, and high fasting blood sugar levels. Having three or more of these findings increases your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Here are some other research findings you should know about diet soda:
    • According to the San Antonio Heart Study, the more diet sodas you drink, the greater the chance that you will be overweight or obese. For each diet soda you drink there is a 65 percent increase in your risk of becoming overweight.
    • According to the Framingham Heart Study, if you drink diet soda you are at risk for weight gain and metabolic syndrome.
    • According to research done at Purdue University, rats that were fed artificial sweeteners gained more weight than rats fed normal sugar.
    • Findings from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, show that meat, fried food, and diet soda are all significantly associated with metabolic syndrome.
    Diet Soda and Weight Loss: Why the Weight Gain?

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    Although researchers can't say for sure why diet soda sets the stage for weight gain, there are several possible reasons. "I discourage my patients from drinking diet sodas because while they have no calories, they are created to simulate the sweetness of a regular soda. This leaves the drinker’s taste buds completely overwhelmed. For an example of this, take a sip of water and then bite into your favorite fruit. Then try the same experiment with diet soda. Note that the real food tastes flat after drinking soda," explains Dr. Deen. The distortion of taste may cause the diet soda drinker to seek higher calorie foods.

    Another possibility is that people just eat more because they think they are saving calories from drinking a diet soda. A direct link between artificial sweeteners and a craving for high-calorie foods may exist. There is also the possibility that the link is related to unknown factors involving diet, exercise, or other personal characteristics.

    Diet Soda and Weight Loss: Caffeine’s Role
    Although diet soda has fewer calories than regular soda, the caffeine content may be greater. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a 12-ounce regular Coke contains 35 milligrams of caffeine and a Diet Coke contains 47 mg. At low levels, caffeine can stimulate energy, make you more alert, and may be beneficial for weight loss. In higher amounts it can cause nervousness, increased heart rate, and difficulty concentrating. You may also get withdrawal symptoms such as headache, irritability, or depression if you stop taking caffeine suddenly.

    "Although caffeine can be helpful for weight loss, I recommend getting your caffeine from iced coffee. If you need to add sugar, add as little as possible for taste," says Deen. "I advise my patients to drink water. For a healthy alternative to diet soda, try adding one-third cup of fruit juice to seltzer water for a low-calorie and not-too-sweet beverage.”

    Although the exact relationship of diet soda to weight gain and metabolic syndrome is not clear, it is obvious that diet soda should not be considered a “healthy” alternative to regular soda. When you choose to drink any soda, you are choosing to drink a beverage that is just not as healthy for you as milk, juice, or water.
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  2. #2  
    SEAduced SuperMod Hawkgirl's Avatar
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    I stopped drinking diet soda about 3 years ago...and haven't gained a pound since I switched to regular...actually, I have lost weight.
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  3. #3  
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    Diet soda is perfectly fine if you watch your DIET. Calories in vs out is the basis of any successful diet. I still drink diet soda but not as a source of hydration which is what a lot of people do....
    One does not greet death when he knocks at your door.

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  4. #4  
    Administrator SaintLouieWoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zafod View Post
    Diet soda is perfectly fine if you watch your DIET. Calories in vs out is the basis of any successful diet. I still drink diet soda but not as a source of hydration which is what a lot of people do....
    If you have x amount of calories per day vs x amount of calories expended via exercise, you still need to make the best of those daily allotted calories.

    Here's the tip of the day from the trainer at Sarasota Memorial Hospital's affiliated Healthplex fitness club.

    Avoid fat FREE diets! Many fat-free foods are actually loaded with sugar. Too much sugar is often the real reason people gain weight because if you don't burn it, you store it. Candy, cookies and soda aren't the only problem. Sugar is in virtually every food you eat. Breads, crackers, pretzels, and chips contain sugar. Be sure to check food labels
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member marinejcksn's Avatar
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    I've been mixing my Diet Soda with Whiskey. Maybe why I've gained a few lbs. :eek:
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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaintLouieWoman View Post
    If you have x amount of calories per day vs x amount of calories expended via exercise, you still need to make the best of those daily allotted calories.

    Here's the tip of the day from the trainer at Sarasota Memorial Hospital's affiliated Healthplex fitness club.
    Ok... Not related to what I said really. Of course people need to watch what they eat and low fat diets never work EVER!!!! I believe in eating a good amount of fat. 50 to 60 % of my daily cals are fat.....
    One does not greet death when he knocks at your door.

    Nay you repeatedly punch him in the throat as he slowly drags you away.
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaintLouieWoman View Post
    Avoid fat FREE diets! Many fat-free foods are actually loaded with sugar. Too much sugar is often the real reason people gain weight because if you don't burn it, you store it. Candy, cookies and soda aren't the only problem. Sugar is in virtually every food you eat. Breads, crackers, pretzels, and chips contain sugar. Be sure to check food labels
    AKA "Snackwell's Syndrome".

    People may read labels, but you really don't master portion control until you measure the foods you are eating. I keep a (measuring) tablespoon and a digital scale on my kitchen counter. I write down exactly what I have eaten. If I eat something somewhere else, I make my best estimate and make a note which I put in my pocket. I took my digital scale to the health food store the other day, so I could get a visual idea of what I was actually putting in my salad.

    I'm not so much about the calories, but the salt, potassium, and phosphorus. But when you count salt, potassium, and phosphorus the calories seem to get reduced as well. Now, I sometimes find myself at the end of the day looking at the food diary and needing to eat something. That hasn't happened in my entire life.

    One of the things I object to about most diet plans is the idea that it should be as easy as it can be. Keeping a food diary really isn't all that hard, or time consuming, and when you sit down at the computer to figure up what you have eaten, it's really educational, because you also see the various vitamins and minerals you are taking in. The way you look at food starts to change.
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  8. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novaheart View Post
    AKA "Snackwell's Syndrome".

    People may read labels, but you really don't master portion control until you measure the foods you are eating. I keep a (measuring) tablespoon and a digital scale on my kitchen counter. I write down exactly what I have eaten. If I eat something somewhere else, I make my best estimate and make a note which I put in my pocket. I took my digital scale to the health food store the other day, so I could get a visual idea of what I was actually putting in my salad.

    I'm not so much about the calories, but the salt, potassium, and phosphorus. But when you count salt, potassium, and phosphorus the calories seem to get reduced as well. Now, I sometimes find myself at the end of the day looking at the food diary and needing to eat something. That hasn't happened in my entire life.

    One of the things I object to about most diet plans is the idea that it should be as easy as it can be. Keeping a food diary really isn't all that hard, or time consuming, and when you sit down at the computer to figure up what you have eaten, it's really educational, because you also see the various vitamins and minerals you are taking in. The way you look at food starts to change.
    Impressed with how you're keeping track of things. I was wondering about the phosphorous. I've been trying to really watch the sodium content of foods. I don't eat any prepackage stuff, but prefer fixing my own veggie combinations. I've also been watching the sugar contents. I'm trying to achieve a lifestyle change, eating healthier.

    I was told by a nutritionist that I wasn't getting enough fats, so have been eating those huge Florida avacados, now that they're in season. (not eating a whole one, but cutting them up with fresh tomatoes, several grated fresh peppers and a bit of onion) with a tad of olive oil. SR really enjoys that "salad", I guess a non-fancy caprese salad.

    Do you take any supplements? I take those statin drugs for cholesterol, and have gone through quite a few of them. They all seem to have some side effects with the muscles, so have been taking a magnesium supplement, recommended by a chiropractor in St Louis. I thought she was a semi-quack who blatantly tried to take advantage of her patients' credit cards, but that suggestion seems to help.
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  9. #9  
    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    No. I never got fat from drinking Diet Coke. I got fat from eating too many Reese's Peanut Butter cups and not getting enough exercise.

    I did quit the candy when I started exercising, and started eating more homemade sweets instead. I'm not dieting, though.

    I'm down another size, since I added riding the bike and lifting some light weights at the gym (3 days or so a week) to my daily lap swimming.
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaintLouieWoman View Post
    Impressed with how you're keeping track of things. I was wondering about the phosphorous. I've been trying to really watch the sodium content of foods. I don't eat any prepackage stuff, but prefer fixing my own veggie combinations. I've also been watching the sugar contents. I'm trying to achieve a lifestyle change, eating healthier.

    I was told by a nutritionist that I wasn't getting enough fats, so have been eating those huge Florida avacados, now that they're in season. (not eating a whole one, but cutting them up with fresh tomatoes, several grated fresh peppers and a bit of onion) with a tad of olive oil. SR really enjoys that "salad", I guess a non-fancy caprese salad.

    Do you take any supplements? I take those statin drugs for cholesterol, and have gone through quite a few of them. They all seem to have some side effects with the muscles, so have been taking a magnesium supplement, recommended by a chiropractor in St Louis. I thought she was a semi-quack who blatantly tried to take advantage of her patients' credit cards, but that suggestion seems to help.
    The only reason I am watching potassium and phosphorus is because my blood levels of those two are at the high end of normal and these are nutrients which people with kidney damage watch. When I was only watching the calories and sodium I also lost weight, because I kept my diary and because processed foods and restaurant foods are either unknowns or unreliable in accounting. The sodium difference between an order of french fries in Easton Maryland and one in San Francisco is probably 100%.

    My cholesterol is OK, but I was reading the other night that my high cabbage intake is really good for cholesterol management. I eat a lot of cabbage as I use it to fill my homemade 45 calorie egg rolls.

    http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?dbid=19&tname=foodspice

    Cabbage can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you will cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in cabbage do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they've been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it's easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Raw cabbage still has cholesterol-lowering ability, just not as much as steamed cabbage..............


    Health Benefits
    Cancer prevention tops all other areas of health research with regard to cabbage and its outstanding benefits. More than 475 studies have examined the role of this cruciferous vegetable in cancer prevention (and in some cases, cancer treatment). The uniqueness of cabbage in cancer prevention is due to the three different types of nutrient richness found in this widely enjoyed food. The three types are (1) antioxidant richness, (2) anti-inflammatory richness, and (3) richness in glucosinolates.
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