Diet Sodas Are Terrible For You

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Want to lose weight, ward off diabetes and still drink something that tastes sweet and fizzy? Grab a diet soda! After all, they’re sweetened with zero-calorie sweeteners that give you the sugar fix you need without boosting belly fat.

Except that’s all a great myth, as a growing number of studies is finding. Artificial sweeteners, whether sucralose, stevia, aspartame or any of the other increasing number of ingredients being added to this category, are being linked to just as many negative health problems as sugar, in its many forms, according to a new review of five years’ worth of research. (Learn the bitter truth about some “natural” sweeteners.)

This new research, published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, reviewed all the most recent literature on the relationship between artificially sweetened beverages and their effects on weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The authors’ conclusion? Artificial sweeteners aren’t doing anyone any good. “Data from these recent studies suggest a link between consumption of artificially sweetened beverages and a variety of negative health outcomes…especially in adults,” the authors wrote. “In none of these prospective studies was artificially sweetened beverage consumption associated with a significantly decreased risk.”

There have been a lot of theories as to why artificial sweeteners don’t yield the positive effects they promise. One of the big ones is psychological: People who drink diet sodas perceive them as healthy and then overeat other unhealthy foods. But Susan Swithers, PhD, professor of behavioral neuroscience at Purdue University and lead author of the review, says that that can’t explain away everything these studies find. In most of these studies, the authors controlled for total calorie intake and still saw increases in disease risk among people who consume diet drinks. Another theory is that people who drink diet sodas tend to be heavier anyway and therefore already at risk. But again, when weight was taken into account, diet sodas were still linked with increased disease risk. (And that’s not all. Check out these other 9 Disturbing Facts about Soda.)

What seems to be the best scientific explanation, Swithers says, is that “artificial sweeteners fail to produce the responses your body expects to produce when you taste sweet things.” She writes in her review that sweet tastes send a signal to your gut that something high calorie is on its way. Your gut anticipates this high level of energy, but when it doesn’t arrive (artificial sweeteners have no calories), your gut doesn’t utilize the food efficiently. And that causes a cascading effect that interferes with your body’s hunger signals.

Swithers says that animal studies have also shown that artificial sweeteners interfere with your body’s production of a hormone called GLP-1. It’s a hormone that regulates your blood sugar levels and your feelings of satiety. It’s also been shown to protect your heart, she adds. “We can’t say with 100-percent certainty that GLP-1 plays a role,” she says, “but when people get artificial sweeteners, they’re not releasing things like GLP-1.” (Discover how too much diet soda may be bad for your kidneys.)

The conclusions are concerning, considering that, according to data presented in the study, roughly 30 percent of adults and 15 percent of children consume artificial sweeteners. Ironically, increases in consumption of these sweeteners has increased in lock-step with obesity rates over the past 40 years.

The bottom line? The healthiest diet drink for you is water. Or try one of these other healthy “diet” drinks:

Coffee. Coffee is rich in antioxidants and might even protect against diabetes.Green tea. It delivers the caffeine kick you crave, plus a lot more. In addition to fighting cancer and lowering blood pressure, green tea is a natural brain booster: It contains an amino acid called theanine, which enhances mental performance, according Keri Glassman, RD.Super smoothie. Whip one up at night, and save it to enjoy at work tomorrow. Fruits and veggies are natural energy lifters, but so is chocolate — toss in a dark variety for a healthy helping of caffeine. (Need some suggestions? Check out some of these awesome smoothie recipes.)

By: Emily Main
Source: www.today.com

2013-09-25T10:23:35+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: I'm a raw vegan, and still suffering from acne. I stay away from all sweeteners, except fresh whole fruits. I started to have lots of greens juices these days, and my skin has improved a little bit. What about spices such a cayenne pepper, is it bad for your skin? What about goji berries? I know they are diet fruits, thats why I stay away from them for a while. I even fast for a while. I just don't know how my skin can getter better.

    A:

    Greetings! Have you detoxed (Full Body Detox)? Acne is a blood disorder. Please read our article "Skin Disorder = Blood Disorder" for more information. Our Healing Facial Kit will be out later this month. Recommended reading: The Mental Science Manual. Stay positive! Don't focus so much on the problem. Use visualization techniques, and see yourself as you desire to see yourself, with flawless skin.

    Article:
    Skin Disorder = Blood Disorder

    Product Links:
    Full Body Detox
    The Mental Science Manual

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    Q: I wanted advice on what are good healthy natural sweeteners?

    A:

    Maple Syrup (Grade B) Stevia (herb) Agave Nector

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    Q: What do you recommend as far as sweeteners? This is my first day using the FULL BODY DETOX.

    A:

    Maple Syrup, Agave Nectar, Stevia

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    Q: I just purchased the Pancreas Kit for children, for my 4 year old who was diagnosed with type one diabetes. I have been feeding her a raw diet of just vegetables. The diet includes no dairy, no grains, and fruit for a week. I also started the Pancreas kit last week too. I was wondering if there is any reason why her blood sugar levels would go up? All she is eating is veggies, and her sugar levels are at 300 most of the time. Even if she doesn't eat anything, it still goes up to 300. I also know it says you cannot tell us not to give, or not to give her insulin, or not. I am still currently giving it to her. Does the pancreas kit work just as well if the are receiving insulin or not? Or does it hinder the process?. I would really appreciate other advise you would offer. Thanks so much!

    A:

    Drugs and herbs don't mix! They cancel each other out. The blood sugar will go up and down due to the body attempting to regulate, and normalize the blood sugar levels. Perfectly normal! It's called "healing crisis. Whatever you guys choose to do, simply keep monitoring the person. Ask the person how he/she feels (very important).

    Article:
    Healing Crisis

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    Q: I have been experiencing very trying health issues for many years (over 25 years). The trouble began when my gall bladder was removed 26 years ago. I had mood swings, lack of energy, and severe diarrhea. Approximately 13 years ago I had an additional surgery for an umbilical hernia. Due to pre-op tests, my physician diagnosed me with thyroid disease and placed me on synthroid. This medication dramatically improved the digestive issues I had experienced for many years. I had very loose bowels when menstruating and when I was ill. I am overweight and have dealt with weight issues all my life. Three years ago I had a scare where I thought I experienced a heart attack. I spent three days in the hospital and learned of many health risks. My triglycerides were extremely high along with my sugar being borderline. I have been tested for diabetes on a number of occasions in my life but never show to be. There are numerous cases of diabetes in my family. My mother and one sister are insulin dependent and one other sister is on some form of pill medication for diabetes. At that time, I gave up sugar and began a regime at the gym. The have not eaten any sweets other than what I get in a little ketchup occasionally or some other kind of sauce that may contain some sugar. I have gone to the gym with minimal results in losing weight. I had a total hysterectomy six weeks ago. My regular GP has been on vacation and I've been dealing with one of her associates. This dr. sent me in for glucose tolerance and she has since diagnosed me as Type II Diabetic. She put me on a medication called "Metformin" and has me taking a 500 mg pill twice daily. I have only been on this medication for three days. I have been very careful to eat only what they say I can. I am experiencing the same issues as before with the diarrhea. Last night I was up all night with this and it is like water coming out of me. I am unable to find a physician who understands that I want to lose the weight, but cannot when I'm constantly dehydrated and feeling lethargic. When I have this constant problem, I am not able to do what I need to do for my overall health. Sorry to be so wordy but I wanted to explain the full extent of what I am experiencing. My friend told me to get on this website and explain my issues. He feels that you may be able to guide me in the direction of a natural product or products that can help me to have normal bowel movements and therefore begin doing the physical exercise that is needed for me to reduce my chances of becoming an insulin dependent diabetic.

    A:

    I WOULD LIKE FOR YOU TO FIRST TRY THE FULL BODY DETOX (TAKING THINGS ONE DAY AT A TIME). AFTER THIS CLEANSE, I WOULD LIKE FOR YOU TO PERFORM THE PANCREAS CLEANSE AND REGIMEN . LET'S TAKE THIS SLOWLY AND GET YOU BACK TO OPTIMAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING. FIRST THINGS FIRST, OKAY? ALSO, PLEASE CONSIDER A CONSULTATION AS THERE'S ONLY SO MUCH TIME I CAN GIVE TO RESPONDING VIA E-MAIL DUE TO ALL THE E-MAILS WE GET DAILY.YOU CAN HEAL. JUST CONCENTRATE ON HEALING, NOT DIABETES. LET'S START HERE, OKAY?

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    Q: Hi, I'm a 36 year old African/American woman with 4 children whose been trying to lose weight off and on for the past 16 years. I lose the weight but then I gain it right back after I go off of my diet. I know that I need a good body/colon cleanse, but what I need to learn how to do is to eat the right food's to keep my body healthy. I've been conditioned to eat the foods that I do eat, I need to know how do I go about "de-programming" myself from the bad food's and program myself to want and crave the healthy one's? I'm open to any suggestion's you have, even using crystals and meditation. Thank you.

    A:

    Time is limited here in "Ask the Herbalist" so I humbly request you consider a full length health consultation. However, I can tell you that you'd greatly benefit from a FULL BODY DETOX Cleanse.

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    Q: For about 2.5 months I have been on the path of taking care of my temple (body). I am more dedicated than I have been in the past. One I was diagnose with so-called diabetes (type II) took the pills (made me sicker than I was) and now my doctor has stressed taking insulin injections. Which I am totally against it. Since I have been taking the Pancreas formula, changed my diet (no meats, juicing, fresh fruits, green veggies (organic))& vigorous exercise (cardio), my A1c has gone from 10.9 to 8.6(should be 6.5) in the span of 2mths. Glucose 137 (should be 70-125) has been high as 238 and higher. However, my doctor insist that my diabetes is not controlled, and will not get better because the pancreas function in type2 diabetics declines as time goes on. Therefore, insulin injection will deter kidney failure, heart attack, body amputations, and blindness. I know our emotions help with the conditions of the disease body. What can I do to continue to lower blood sugars to a healthy level? Lower trigylcerides and cholesterol(lower in the last two months)? My blood pressure is 122/80.

    A:

    Performing the Pancreas kit and regimen as much and as often as you can and you'll get your desired results.

    Great maintenance formulas include CIRCUL-AID, PANCREAS FORMULA, SUGAR BUSTER, and BIO-INSULIN.

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    Q: What Are Some Natural Sweet Treats (Junk Foods) I can Consume? Under free will you can consume what you like, but healthier products are best. You will find plenty of "healthier" snack, treat, and junk foods at good health food stores such as Whole Foods Market, PCC Natural Food Stores, Erewhon, Trader Joes, Natural Grocers, New Frontiers, etc. Just make sure to abstain from salt, sugar, and other harmful chemicals in the products you buy. We list many companies of alternative foods and products (and their website addresses) in our ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL.

    A:

    Recommended: ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL

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    Q: Good morning. I tried the WEIGHT RELEASE CLEANSE AND REGIMEN and followed the diet. I must say that I am amazed at how good I feel. Energetic and focused but alas, I only lost 3 pounds in the 3 weeks. I am 5'5 and currently at 181 pounds. My body is extremely resistant to weight loss. I have done several different types of detox including the IZO juice cleanse in the last year and had not lost weight. I don't even seem to respond to a very low calorie diet. I do have elevated liver Enzyme levels and a recent blood test showed low B6 vitamin and not proper protein digestion. I exercise 3 times a week and I eat rather health and mostly organic. Please HELP. Thanks

    A:

    This means that your body focused on another area that was of more importance than weight release. your mind wanted weight reduction but your body intelligence focused on something else. Go with the flow of the body intelligence and trust it. You apparently have an energetic block that prevents you from physically releasing weight (since you've tried other programs). Consider scheduling a consultation so we can get at the energetic/emotional root of your problem. Simply stop worrying about "losing" weight. Focus on what you desire (to see yourself in the size you desire). Don't focus on what you don't want (i.e. to lose weight).

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    Q: I am interested in starting the Full Body Detox program. At this time, I would like to know which program is best for me. At current, I have started removing things from my diet as of 2 weeks ago (pork, chicken, red meat, I'm trying with the fish but it's hard!) I am not eating cheese but I still eat yogurt and every now and then I will eat a boiled egg (egg whites). I have removed soda from my diet, no coffee, I drink herbal or green tea, pomegranate juice or orange juice and I drink filtered water (I have a countertop filter that I change every 6 months and the Brita pitcher that I change every 2 months). Along with the supplement, is there an eating plan that you can suggest for me? I am eating more fruits and vegetables, but I would welcome suggestions on certain foods that I can eat while I begin my cleansing.

    A:

    The Full Body Detox kit comes with a prescribed dietary plan and notifies a person what they can and cannot eat during the detox.

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    Q: I am in need of cleansing my body and weight removal! (Removal and not loss because I don't want to find it again)! I need to remove about 80 pounds of unhealthy weight from my body and would like to do so in a natural way. I looked at both your Female Cleanse and the Full Body Cleanse, but don't know which is a better option for me to follow right now? I eat a lot of organic foods, I juice (some) but need to increase my water intake (A LOT). I don't drink much soda at all and when I do it is organic carbonated lemonade. I realize carbonated drinks are not good for us and limit how much I drink. My body lets me know when I have eaten something that is not good for me by causing my hands and feet to swell. To reduce this I drink water. I am allergic to wheat and try to stay away from it as much as possible. I have few ailments and have started working out again (cardio and weight training). I also looked at your weight loss products, but thought I should maybe detox first. What do you think? Any assistance you can offer on your products and which ones I should take is of great appreciation.

    A: The best thing for you is the Full Body Cleanse. The Full Body Cleanse will allow you to remove unwanted weight, while also optimizing your entier body so that you can maintain that weight and live a healthier lifestyle.

     

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    Q: I have incorporated fish into my diet because I have been craving. Is moderation okay.... meaning my fruits for breakfast a regular lunch with salad and a salad for dinner okay to pretty much moderate other foods? It is challenging for me to become a vegan. Do you have any suggestions on how to still eat healthy to maintain an alkalized body with certain foods with moderation that are not raw? I still drink my green veggies at least twice a day. I am praying that my results will be negative.

    A:

    FISH IN MODERATION IS OKAY FOR YOU. TO MAINTAIN ALKALINITY, DESPITE THE ACID-FORMING THINGS YOU EAT, JUST MAKE SURE TO EAT AS MANY GREEN FOODS AS POSSIBLE. YOU CAN ALSO TAKE 6 CAPSULES OF ELECTRIC GREENS CELL FOOD TOO! YOU’RE DOING GOOD SO KEEP YOUR THOUGHTS POSITIVE AND ON YOUR DESIRES.

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    Q: Hey herbalist, so I have been doing a lot of research on caffeine, and the benefits and harms of it. I am looking for some added information about the differences between the caffeine found naturally in coffee or tea, and the kind found in pure caffeine pills. I have heard that the pills are much more harmful, but have not been able to find proof of why. With the exception of "its made in a lab, therefore it must be worse". If you could shed some light on the matter, I would greatly appreciate it! Just one more question. I have read that caffeine blocks the re-uptake of glutamate. This can cause glutamate toxicity (resulting in dead brain cells), but I am skeptical as to how often this occurs. Will that happen if one takes just 200-mg of caffeine? Is it for the chronic caffeine users who drink 6 cups of coffee a day for 10 years? Thanks so much for your time and effort! looking forward to some knowledge!

    A:

    Nature does not make caffeine or any substance in mono-structured form, including caffeine. Caffeine consumed by itself is harmful (a la caffeine pills -- nature does not produce caffeine pills). Caffeine pills are INORGANIC and thus not absorbed by the body (the cells). Bio-caffeiene from plant sources is ORGANIC and thus absorbable. Organic substances can be absorbed through the cells. Inorganic substances cannot. Inorganic caffeine blocks reuptake of glutamate, and that's another reason why synthetic caffeine is harmful. Organic caffeine does not block reuptake of glutamate.

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    Q: If I may ask, what is it specifically about the baby's diet that is conducive to eczema? We try to give her a normal, healthy, nutritious diet. Exactly which foods are acid-forming so that we may alternate them out of her diet? As for my wife, she has taken several detoxes in the past with no results. She is now expecting and breastfeeding so I don't believe a detox would be the best thing for her at the moment. Are there any other suggestions you can offer us for currently treating these problems?

    A:

    The acid-forming foods are eggs, meat, dairy products, and refined grains. Shop for vegan foods. Your wife can drink DETOX TEA and use HEALING SKIN OIL (externally) as well as drink vegetable juice (which greatly cleanses the blood). Please consider a consultation so that all questions may be thoroughly answered and so you all can get on the path of healing together as a family.

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    Q: I had a hysterectomy 8 years ago. I have been single for a number of years due to the death of my husband. I now have a wonderful man in my life and I enjoy making love with him. Often I have episodes of vaginal dryness that is so embarrassing and also it makes me loose the desire to continue because I have to use an artificial lubricant so he can penetrate me. I have looked over the list of products designed for women and I am not sure which female product that would best suits my situation. Please help.

    A:

    Please read the article "VAGINAL DRYNESS" so as to get to the root of your problem. You don't want to be dependent on a product though products can assist you.

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    Q: Nothing is stopping me except the lack of a workable plan of action, which I am in the process of putting on paper. There is a question that I've wanted to ask you for a while. Do you have or can you put together a sample daily menu of food choices based on what you eat, or what your research has shown to be good? I do have a couple of conditions I want to cure.... I have arthritis in my neck and upper back caused by a whip lash, and I have high blood pressure that I take medication to control. I read the article about controlling disease, and I am interested in curing these conditions. I have started an exercise regimen, and need a diet plan to go along with it. I want to lose weight as part of my healing.

    A: You may want to start with the Full Body Cleanse to begin your healing. In regards to a dietplan, check out the Alternative Diet and Lifestyle Manual. This manual has a lot of suggesstions and recommendations for a vegan-based, raw foods diet that you will want to accompany your cleanse. When performing the cleanse, following the guidelines of this diet is integral in achieving the results you desire.

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    Q: I notice that my 5 year old son as a cavity, and also his teeth are of a grayish color. He does not eat a lot of sweets, and artificial foods. I try to eat food that is organic, lots of fruits and vegetables. My concern is that, he is not getting enough vitamins, protein, and calcium. Is there of particular diet that you would recommend for my child?

    A:

    To make sure your child is getting enough nutrients, give the child Dherbs.com Children's Nutritive Formula 9, Calcium Extract, and Moringa Seed Extract. (Read our article on Moringa in the articles section of our site).

    Article:
    Moringa

    Product Links:
    Children's Calcium Extract
    Children's Iodine Extract
    Moringa Seed Extract

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    Q: I have been experiencing diabetes for 14 years, using insulin twice daily along with another diabetes control pill (januvia). This has all been to no avail as I continue to suffer from the disease along with hypertension. As someone who has practiced spiritual principles for many, many years, I feel that I am pretty much in tune with my True Spirit. However, I realize that my eating habits and the use of medications are aiding in the continuance of the seeming illness. I would love to try your product but I have for many years suffered from a lost of control of appetite. The only program that has ever really helped to decrease my appetite was Atkins diet, which is near impossible to stay with. I lost weight and the sugars decreased. However, I was not able to continue eating only meats and virtually no fruit or veggies and therefore gained all the weight back. I even has a lap band inserted, which did nothing for the decrease of my appetite and I consequently found foods to eat which would go through the band. Please help!!

    A:

    Your situation is psychological and emotional in nature. Our Pancreas kit will greatly assist you (physically) in healing from diabetes. Please read our "Diabetes" article to better understand this insidious disease. You have work to do within, Beloved!

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    Q: I see also that you recommend a complete diet with these programs. I am guessing its a vegan diet right? I wanted to ask something on that is coconut milk and coconut oils ok for that? I personally had a very hard time trying to eat that many vegetables and many ph balance vegans seem to think fruits aren?t good either. I eat that many vegetables one it tears me up the next day and two I just cant consume enough calories that way. I can try and make up for it by eating things like almonds but I eat to many almonds I get the same problem the next day. Now coconut milk (unsweetened) and a digestive enzyme works for me for picking up extra calories.... but I hear very conflicting information about coconut and its saturated fat content. Is it ok to use daily as a part of the diet for cleansing? And your oxy-drops are those the same as the drop for ph balancing water?? Or is it something different? I am wanting to start lifting weights as I need to put on some muscle and I?m wondering if its something that would be beneficial in combating muscle soreness by increased oxygen in the body.

    A:

    The diet we recommend is vegan-based, and RAW FOODS. Fresh fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds are ideal.

    Coconut Milk and Coconut Oil are excellent products to have in your diet. The healthy fats will keep you fuller.

    Oxy-Drops can help balance your electrolytes that need to be replenished after a workout in order to keep your body performing efficiently. 

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    Q: I just completed the Full Body Cleanse about two weeks ago and started the Pancreas Formula for my pancreas... I don?t have the money for the full kit but after the Full Body Cleanse I?ve notice my blood averaging +-200.....it had reached a low of 124 during detox. I bought cromium and have used it since the onset of detox at about 1200 mcg per day! My Pancreas is a piece of crap!!!!! I haven?t had ANY thing with added sugar or artificial, just green tea with stevia to sweeten it. NO Treats! The only regular food I get now is like lean cuisine type once or twice a day with fresh vegetables or fresh made Veg juice....I had went from 327lbs to 289lbs during detox but since I?ve went back up settling at about 296 and stable. I have cut everything I love out of my life! No Sugar, No Milk Products. About 6 ounces of meat A WEEK eat mostly live vegetables yet I see a Pancreas that needs to be punished for ruining my life!!!!! I try to help it and this is what it does for me! I don?t know what to do next.

    A:

    If you can't afford the full kit or kits, order and drink some of our Herbal Teas to help maintain the pancreas in its normal healthy secretion. Cinnamon Tea can also provide additional benefits.

    We also recommend a daily pancreas regimen of: Pancreas Aid, Pancreas Formula, and Sugar Control.

    Your vegetable juice should consist of GREEN BEAN (Snap pea) and/or BRUSSEL SPROUTS, to help maintain pancreatic health.