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Is Diet Soda ok to Drink?

March 27, 2013 by Melanie Zook

We all know that sugary drinks are not the best for us.  According to a recent study in the British Journal of Medicine, sugar in sugar-sweetened beverages does not induce satiety to the same degree as it does in solid form, which makes overconsumption easier.

Some turn to diet soda as their solution. You’ve seen diet soda in the media again. This is always a hot topic, with studies questioning the safety of artificial sweeteners (aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, etc.) in diet drinks.  These are deemed Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Yet questions still persist about how the consumption of these sweeteners can affect our health—from a possible link between diet soda and heart disease as well as depression, to whether they can really aid in weight loss.

The perception of diet drinks is also a drawback.  People turn to these as an alternative to regular soda to cut down on sugar (and its calories).  But this can make unlimited diet soda consumption seem  “OK” since they have no caloric value.  Artificial sweeteners are also much sweeter than regular sugar, so theoretically, over consuming them could heighten a person’s threshold of what sweet really tastes like.  Perhaps most importantly, these drinks have no nutritive value, and therefore do not contribute to feelings of appetite satisfaction.

Bottom line: Why take the chance with diet drinks (specifically, the artificial ingredients in them) when you can stick to what you know is really good for you? Avoid the mysteries, the fake taste of artificial sweeteners and the excess packaging & save money too!

Water’s the best beverage to turn to.  But if you’re a fan of fizz, add fresh fruit or herbs to sparkling water.  Or, try making your own soda at home with your favorite combinations of fresh fruit or pure fruit juice, herbs and sparkling water:




You can store the leftover syrup in squeeze bottle in the refrigerator for later use.

Mix and match any of your favorite combinations and flavorings. Here are some to try:

Recipe & research contributed by Judi Giordano, an aspiring dietitian and culinary graduate.

Like this recipe and want more like it?  Then check out The DIY Kitchen Cookbook: How to Make Your Own Clean & Healthy Make-Ahead Mixes, Seasoning Blends, Snacks, Breakfasts, Condiments, Dressings & Drinks.  This e-book is full of 62 recipes that are cleaner, healthier, more budget-friendly versions of what you’d normally buy in a grocery store.