Diet drinks are sugar-free, artificially sweetened versions of fizzy beverages with virtually no calories.
Defined in US law as a food of minimal nutritional value.
They may be marketed as sugar-free, zero-calorie or low-calorie.
Multiple artificial sweeteners can be used to give diet soft drinks a sweet taste without sugar.
Aspartame, is one of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners.
Cyclamates were the first artificial sweeteners used in diet soft drinks.
The Food and Drug Administration banned cyclamates in the United States in 1970 on evidence that they caused cancer in lab rats.
Cyclamates are still used in many countries outside of the United States.
Other sweeteners have been used with increasing frequency: sucralose (marketed as Splenda) and acesulfame potassium (“Sunett” or “Ace K”).
Acesulfame potassium is usually combined with aspartame, sucralose, or saccharin rather than alone.
The newer aspartame-free drinks can also be safely consumed by phenylketonurics, because they do not contain phenylalanine.
Changing the food energy intake from diet drinks will not necessarily change a person’s overall food energy intake or cause a person to lose weight.
Consumption of diet drinks may correlate with weight gain, and an increased incidence of metabolic syndrome.
It is surmised that diet drinkers are less likely to consume healthy foods, and that drinking diet beverages flavored with artificial sweeteners more than likely increases cravings for sugar-flavored sweets.
Individuals who drink soda, especially diet soda are 30% more likely to be diagnosed with depression over a period of 10 years.
Survivors of stage III Colon cancer undergoing chemotherapy after surgery benefited from drinking artificially sweetened beverages.
Patients who drank at least one 12 ounce serving a day of dietary beverages had a roughly half the risk of cancer recurrence or death compared with survivors who didn’t usually drink these beverages.
High consumption of artificially and sweetened types of beverages associated with higher risk of heart disease
Sugary drinks and artificially sweetened beverages are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, which suggests artificially sweetened beverages may not be the healthy alternative they are often claimed to be.
Researchers looked at data from the French NutriNet-Santé cohort to investigate the relationship between the risk of cardiovascular disease and consuming sugary drinks and artificially sweetened drinks.
Records for 104,760 participants were included.
Artificially sweetened beverages were defined as those containing non-nutritive sweeteners.
Sugary drinks consisted of all beverages containing 5% or more sugar.
First incident cases of cardiovascular disease during follow-up from 2009-2019, which were defined as stroke, transient ischemic attack, myocardial infarction, acute coronary syndrome and angioplasty.
Compared to non-consumers, both higher consumers of sugary drinks and of artificially sweetened beverages had higher risks of first incident cardiovascular disease.
Studies suggests artificially sweetened beverages may not be a healthy substitute for sugar drinks.