Diet soda: Deception in a can

Kendra Thorstenson Columnist

You may think you are making wise choices, but if you aren’t careful, what you thought were wise decisions could turn out to hurt instead of help. That might be confusing, so let me explain.

 Sometimes in life, one chooses diet soda thinking it is the better and healthier alternative, but if you do some researching, you will find that diet soda isn’t a healthy option at all.

Diet soda doesn’t have any calories. This is great for all of those calorie-counting people, but when you take a close look at the ingredients you will see it is sweetened with artificial sweeteners, often aspartame.

 According to Dr. Axe, a certified nutritionist and expert in medicine, “Aspartame has been linked to brain tumors, migraines/headaches, epilepsy/seizures, depression and autoimmune diseases. The company claims it is made from sugar, but they neglect to tell you they alter a sugar molecule and insert chlorine–a dangerous carcinogen (cancer causing agent).”

 But the bad news doesn’t stop there. Diet soda, a beverage designed to help people lose weight by cutting calories, can hinder people from losing weight.

 Brooke Alpert, RD, author of “The Sugar Detox” said, “Artificial sweeteners trigger insulin, which sends your body into fat storage mode and leads to weight gain.”

 So after taking a closer look at diet soda, is it really a healthy option?

 It doesn’t matter what stage of life you are in; if we’re being honest, we can all look back on life and find that we have had diet soda moments. We make a decision thinking it is the best thing for us, and then find out later it was not such a good idea.

If you are not careful, the very things that were sought out with good intentions can turn into the very things that harm you. Just like diet soda, you can make decisions with those good intentions, but they end up hurting you in the end. Here are a few examples of “diet soda” situations I have found in my life and seen in the lives of others. Let these be lessons for you to learn from.

 1.   Homework. It may seem like a really great “diet soda” idea to study and watch your favorite television show on Netflix. You think that multitasking will save you time, but speaking from experience, I don’t think you are really saving all that much time at all. If you are easily distracted, like me, the homework assignment that you thought would take 20 minutes ends up taking two hours to complete. I have learned that some things are just done better separate.

2.   Caffeine. Running on caffeine might seem like a good idea because it is quick, easy and works for a while, but trust me when I say it catches up with you. So best get your energy the old fashioned way, and it doesn’t come in a can, bottle or Styrofoam cup; it is found when you get in bed, close your eyes and drift off to sleep. And guess what? You don’t even have to pay for it. It’s free!

3.   Food. Not bad food versus good food, but food timing. Just this past weekend I went to IHOP at 1:30 a.m. thinking it would be great, but it was a “diet soda” idea. Some friends and I were hungry after an evening at Lifelight, so we thought why not? Approximately two pieces of French toast, two eggs, one hash brown and eight hours of heartburn later, I decided it maybe wasn’t such a brilliant idea. So before you go out for breakfast in the middle of the night, know that heartburn may, or will be a side effect. If you do choose to eat in the middle of the night despite my warning, that’s fine—just remember that moderation is key, too. My sister Kara chose to order a quart of chocolate milk and said it will be a while until she’s able to drink any again. And also keep in mind the “Freshman 15” thing isn’t a joke. It’s real.

4.   Procrastination. You may think procrastinating on a project and waiting until the last night at midnight is a great time to start it because you work best under pressure. Sure. I haven’t personally done this, but I’ve seen friends that have and, believe me, they are not a pretty sight the next day.

 These are just a few examples. I challenge you to stop choosing “diet soda”, but instead to make informed and educated decisions. 

Kendra Thorstenson is an advertising major here at SDSU and can be contacted at [email protected]