Losing weight has its own set of unique challenges, especially when certain foods, particularly sugary ones, carry so many hidden ingredients.
According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, people who drank diet soda packed on triple the amount of abdominal fat over 9-years as opposed to those who didn’t drink diet soda.
A total of 749 people participated in the study, which surveyed how many cans of regular or diet soda they drank a day, with an age range of 65 and older.
Taking into account other lifestyle habits and conditions, such as smoking, levels of physical activity, and diabetes, researchers noticed a strong correlation between overall abdominal weight gain and diet soda intake.
In fact, people who drank diet soda more frequently gained 3.2 inches around their waists.
Adding extra abdominal fat, especially around the waist, carries an increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation, and Type 2 diabetes.
As diet companies and food manufacturers continue to advocate these low calorie sweeteners as a healthy alternative, it’s important to point out the metabolic implications they cause.
When food makers create their low-fat versions of popular favorites, they oftentimes overcompensate, adding even more artificial sweeteners to increase general palatability, such as the case with soda, making some foods 200-600 times sweeter than their regular table sugar versions.
Calories, by nature, induce satiety, but since the sugars in diet sodas and other nutritionally void foods lack certain triggers confusing the brain, individuals are more likely to experience increased craving sensations for even more sugary, sweeter treats.
Artificial sweeteners have also been proven in animal studies to change gut bacteria, leading to a higher incidence of insulin resistance and glucose intolerance.
As more research becomes available, the emphasis on healthy eating becomes even more important.
The most sensible approach to losing weight and keeping it off would be to lower carbohydrates and eliminate processed beverages and sweeteners, which are totally counterproductive and offer zero nutritional benefit for anyone looking to slim down.