Many people have given up their favorite sugary drink for its diet alternative in hopes of losing weight and boosting their health. But according to a study at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, zero-calorie diet drinks can be just as bad as sugar-laden, calorie-loaded drinks, especially when it comes to weight gain and diabetes.
Researchers found that the artificial sweeteners in diet drinks, such as sodas, stimulate the appetite leading to weight gain. In addition, artificial sweeteners negatively impact the balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the gut, leading to glucose intolerance and triggering type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, while artificial sweeteners contain no actual sugar, they fool the pancreas into secreting insulin. Over time, these “false alarms” can lead to insulin resistance, weight gain, and diabetes.
Since 55-60% of our body weight is made up of water, that’s what we should be drinking: just plain water. If you need to “jazz it up” a bit, add a squeeze of lemon but no sweetener (not even stevia). If you like your water chilled, that’s OK too.
Published December 11, 2017 by Dr. Daniel Thomas, DO, MS