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Ru Wikmann - The Sculptor - London Personal Trainer

Are Sugar-Free Diet Drinks Healthy?

Jan 6, 2017  |  Category: Health

The New Year New You hype is in full effect, so it's time for some "health news". Or dare I say blatant lies? As we're living in a post-truth era many folks are used to turning a blind eye to bogus info but I say ENOUGH with the BS!

I’m talking about an article published by Independent a few days ago which has already had over 2000 shares  - “Sugar-free diet drinks do not aid weight loss and are no healthier than alternatives, research suggests”.

It sometimes really pisses me off how mainstream media spreads false information purely for clickbait reasons. If someone named John von Radowitz also writes articles such as “Stop telling children Santa is real, experts urge”, would you trust this person to give you health advice?

Sure, I understand that the fella is simply doing his job. And I’m just doing my job, which is the quest for truth and beauty while connecting the dots between training, nutrition, movement and mindset.

Anyway, enough ranting, here are my two cents on this article.

Think About The Bigger Picture

The thumbnail with the fat guy holding a burger and a DIET Coke should say it all. Yes, it will be better to opt for a sugar-free drink if you're overweight, because you wouldn't want to compromise your already poor insulin sensitivity with all that sugar, nevertheless, your WHOLE daily nutrition needs to be considered.

Research Is Often Biased

"The researchers pointed out that research supported by food or beverage companies was more likely to find no evidence of links between sugary drink consumption and obesity than non-industry sponsored research." No shit, Sherlock!! In this small disclaimer they just discredited this whole article. Good job Independent.

Are Diet Drinks Worse for The Environment?

"Manufacturing diet drinks was also said to have "negative consequences" for the environment. Up to 300 litres of water was required to produce a single half-litre plastic fizzy soft drink bottle." Quick fact check reveals the following:

- LIE NO.1 - the carbon footprint of 2L bottle of Coca-Cola is 500g whereas the same amount of Coke Zero is 400g

- LIE NO.2 - it actually takes 1.98L water to produce a litre of Coke

Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe?

The evidence is inconclusive and there are many urban legends, especially when it comes to aspartame. The facts show that it is only dangerous to people with a very rare genetic disorder (more on that in a separate post - stay tuned). Either way, I would encourage natural options like Stevia and Xylitol which are unlikely to do any harm. Sweeteners are certainly better than potential diabetes from high-sugar consumption if you are already overweight.

Climate Change Is Real (Trump Is a Misleader)

I do worry about climate change a lot lately. We can all do something to delay potential disasters, even if actual prevention is unlikely. There are many other things more impactful in reducing carbon footprint, nevertheless, we all have to start somewhere. I've been guilty indulging in diet drinks now and again but the more I think about it the more inclined I am to never buy something in a plastic bottle again.

**Bonus Tip** Diet Coke tastes like ass. Coke Zero is a much nicer option. Just so you're warned.

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