Just because diet soda doesn’t contain sugar or calories, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you. Whether it’s Diet Coke, Coke Zero, or the countless number of “light” sodas offered on grocery store shelves, it’s important to realize that instead of sugar, beverage companies typically use artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose to mimic the taste of non-diet sodas. The fact that diet sodas rely on sugar alternatives to satisfy your cravings of something sweet and bubbly should be the first warning sign: Diet soda is not necessarily a health-conscious choice, nor does it offer nutritional value. So while choosing diet soda over regular soda may seem like a healthy decision, there’s more to the drink than meets the taste bud. Here’s what you need to know. If you drink a reasonable amount of diet soda — or as the Mayo Clinic puts it, “a can or two a day” — it’s unlikely you’ll experience major negative health effects. But over time, the paradox of thinking that diet soda is healthier than regular soda can take a toll on your health in several ways. Over the years, numerous studies have reported links between diet soda with weight gain and serious, life-threatening diseases. Scientific opinion is mixed and, at times, conflicting. While studies focus on the dangers of artificial sweeteners, what’s important to understand is they aim to find correlations, not necessarily cause-and-effect. For most people, cutting diet soda out completely may not be the answer.
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