Myth Busted! Diet Drinks Do Not Increase Appetite
During a diet, many people change regular drinks with diet soda, simply because they are so addicted to the caffeine and to the sugary taste that they really need to find a replacement for these. There were a lot of warnings for them saying that diet soda intake actually leads to weight gain. The explanations were that when food is sweet or fat, the brain is used to receive more calories and since the diet sodas have no caloric intake, the brain is confused and starts to store from other sources more calories as fats. Another explanation was that artificial sweeteners can disrupt hormones associated with hunger, resulting in the consumption of more food, which leads, of course, to weight gain.
In contradiction with this hypothesis, a new research led by Carmen Piernas, expert from the University of North Carolina, has shown that diet beverages may not be as bad as people believe. In her study,half of the 318 overweight or obese adults from North Carolina participating in the research replaced at least two of their daily servings of sugary drinks with water, while the other half replaced them with diet drinks. They were asked to watch and report their food consumption after three and after six months. The surprise was that both the water and the diet soda drinkers reported a comparable amount of fat, sugar, carbohydrates, and total calories. The only differences found were that at six months people who drank water were having more fruit and veggies in their diet and the diet drinkers did not eat as much dessert, compared to their diets before the study. The conclusion was that the consumption of diet soda does not increase the preference for sweets and certainly does not make people eat more.
Before starting to use even more diet sodas than we used to have before, we should wait and see if the other negative effects of these drinks for the human body can be busted. There are still on the list of bad things the kidney problems, the cells damage caused by sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate, and the depression.