Is switching to diet soda better for your health?

Study shows skipping sugary drinks is your best bet for weight loss

A Gallup poll found that almost half of all Americans drink soda every day, with the average intake at about two glasses a day. Is switching to diet soda better for your health? 

It’s no secret that soda is not part of a healthy diet. 

“The soda, the cakes, the cookie, the candy, chewing gum, pastries, all that stuff -- yeah, it tastes great, but you don’t need it,” said Dr. Marc I. Leavey, from the Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

To put that in perspective, if you drink a 16-ounce soda every day, that’s an extra 70,000 calories per year. If you cut that out, it amounts to a loss of 20 pounds per year. But what about diet soda? 

While the zero calorie and zero sugar label might look better, the artificial sugars in diet soda can make your body less tolerant to glucose and increase sugar cravings.

In one study published by the American Journal of Public Health, researchers found that people who drank diet soda compared to regular soda, consumed more calories from other food and drink. So if health is really your goal, skip the sweetened drinks all together. 

Some research suggests that our bodies cannot metabolize artificial sweeteners, and if they are consumed often, over time this can lead to real sugars being poorly metabolized resulting in increased calories and weight gain.