How many people do you know who lost weight simply by switching from Coke to Diet Coke? Probably not many. That's because unless followed by other lifestyle changes, choosing diet drinks is absolutely useless. Diet sodas are carbonated beverages. Instead of sugar, they are sweetened with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, cyclamate, saccharin, acesulfame-k or sucralose. Almost every popular sugar-sweetened beverage on the market has a "light" or a "diet version" Diet Coke, Pepsi Max, Sprite Zero, etc. These drinks are calorie free, which technically should help people lose weight and prevent sugar-related diseases like metabolic syndrome and diabetes. However, the evidence for these beverages having any use is completely nonexistent. There is an association between diet soda and depression. In a study of 263,925 adults aged 51-70, individuals who drank soda were 30% more likely to be diagnosed with depression over a period of 10 years. The link was stronger for diet soda than regular soda. Diet soda is also associated with preterm delivery. In a study of 59,334 pregnant women in Denmark, 1 serving per day of diet drinks was associated with a 38% increased risk of preterm delivery. 4 servings per day increased the risk by 78%. Bottom Line: Diet soda consumption is strongly associated with both depression and preterm delivery.
Also, Type II diabetes has increased at an alarming rate in the past few decades and now afflicts about 300 million people worldwide. This disease is highly associated with obesity and sugar consumption, so some would argue that replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with calorie-free drinks would help. However, there is no evidence of these drinks being helpful against diabetes. A study of 6,814 individuals aged 45-85 years, daily consumption of diet soda was associated with a 67% increased risk of type II diabetes. In another study, 66,118 French women were followed for a total of 14 years. Women who consumed the most diet drinks had a 121% greater risk of developing type II diabetes. Data analysis from two large Harvard studies revealed that diet drinks raised diabetes risk in women, but not men. Each daily serving increased the risk of a diabetes diagnosis by 6%. Bottom Line: The association between diet soda and diabetes is very strong, especially in women. One study showed more than a doubling in risk.
The main reason people switch to diet drinks is to cut back on calories in order to lose weight. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work. In a study of 3,682 individuals from San Antonio, Texas, consumption of diet soda was associated with double the risk of becoming overweight or obese. Other prospective studies also show an association with artificial sweeteners and weight gain. However, we do have one randomized controlled trial, where 318 individuals were split into 3 groups: A control group, a group that replaced sugary soda with water and a group that replaced sugary soda with diet drinks: At the end of the 6-month study, there was no significant difference between all three groups. In this controlled trial, diet soda didn't make things worse, but didn't make them better either. Neither did water. I'd like to point out that many short-term feeding trials show that artificial sweeteners can increase appetite and food intake in the short-term compared to sugar, but other studies show the opposite effect or no effect at all). Bottom Line: Observational studies show a strong link between diet soda and obesity, while one controlled trial shows no effect at all.
Many of the studies above are so-called epidemiological studies, which can not prove that diet drinks caused anything. Such studies can only show an association. Whether diet soda can cause harm or not has yet to be proven in controlled trials, but it is clear that there is a strong statistical association between diet soda and disease. One possible explanation for the link is the fact that people who are already gaining weight are more likely to turn to diet drinks. There is of course, no physiological need for these drinks in the diet, although many people tend to enjoy them.
Half the American population admits to drinking soda every day and the average American is buying 170 liters of soda per year. Yet, consumers are looking to make better choices. So, what if that soda was smarter? Imagine the calories and artificial sweeteners that could be avoided. We don't have to, it`s about 68,000 calories and almost 20lbs! That kind of math is hard to ignore. Since Zevia is sweetened with stevia, it's naturally zero calories. The unique formulation makes Zevia ideal for oodles of people including the health conscious, "bad soda" enthusiasts, dialysis patients, diabetics, moms, dads, kids, grandparents, cousins, strangers and neighbors. In fact, a branded form of stevia is now the #2 most purchased table top sweetener behind Splenda, and the #1 natural sweetener. Zevia comes in a plethora of flavors, fifteen to be exact! With ten of those being caffeine free, it's a great option for the whole family, whatever your taste preference. Speaking of flavor and taste, ours range from the tried and true variety: Cream Soda, Cola, Ginger Root Beer, to kid-friendly, adult favorites like Grape, Orange and Lemon Lime! And everything in between which is why we like to say, with Zevia, there's flavor for all.I tried two different flavors of Zevia and I`m quite impressed!
1) Zevia All Natural Soda, Black Cherry
I will be the first to admit I do NOT like diet drinks. I think they all taste funny or just flat out bad. I am a fan of regular sodas though, even knowing how horrible they are for me. Well what I like about Zebia is that it has No Artificial Sweeteners and it`s Sweetened with Stevia. Also, there`s NO sugar and it`s caffeine free. Not to mention it is also Vegan, Kosher and Gluten-Free. With that combination generally it means it`s disgusting. Thankfully that is not the case! With the black cherry flavor it tasted like a black cherry Italian soda I enjoy making with some syrup (that I had actually accidently bought the no sugar one). While it says no sugar, the way it`s flavored and put together I honestly really couldn`t tell and I`m one who has a real sweet tooth. Since I tend to sip on my drinks throughout the day I was able to notice that compared to caffeine carbonated filled drinks, this one lasts longer with the taste before going "flat." Even when it does get flat you can still taste the flavor rather than getting that nasty syrup taste as other typical sodas do. This particular one came out in a clear color rather than the typical dark soda brown. Overall, a great tasting drink with lots of flavor that`s a healthier option!
2) Zevia All Natural Soda, Ginger Root Beer
As with the black cherry flavor, the root beer has the same benefits, but of course a different flavor. The ginger root beer, while it tastes like root beer, has a bit of a unique taste to it because of the ginger. The ginger is not strong, but you can still taste it within the drink. I think the ginger blends in well to give it that "bite" without it being too strong and overpowering. In fact, I believe that`s what helps it really taste great with the flavor - I could be wrong though. I was able to notice that compared to caffeine carbonated filled drinks, this one lasts longer with the taste before going "flat." Even when it does get flat you can still taste the flavor rather than getting that nasty syrup taste as other typical sodas do. Once again another great drink by Zevia!