Are DIET DRINKS really a better choice?
Diet drinks seem to be a better choice compared to sugary drinks. They are lower in calories, but still satisfy your urge for something fizzy and sweet, right?!
There’s more than meets the eye! Diet drinks have a more intense sweet flavour than full sugar drinks. Stevia, commonly used since 2008 in diet drinks, is 200x sweeter than sugar! Diet drinks alter your taste perceptions making foods that are naturally sweet (such as fruit) seem less sweet.
Sweeteners used in diet drinks have been shown to have the same effect on our body as sugar. They trigger the release of insulin, which sends our bodies into fat-storage mode and this has been shown to induce weight gain. A multi-ethnic study conducted in the University of Minnesota found that drinking one diet soda a day was associated with a 67% increased risk of diabetes when compared with no consumption. (Nettleton et al, 2009).
So why have diet drinks been associated with weight gain? Research has shown that some people justify overconsumption of food by drinking diet drinks. But like anything, excessive calories (be it from food or drink), will eventually lead to weight gain. When you drink diet drinks, you are taking in 0 calories but you are also not fulfilling your body’s nutritional needs. It might not be as sexy, but the best no calorie drink is quite frankly, plain old water!
FTF recommends you choose water as your Meal Deal drink and avoid consuming sugary and diet drinks. To make water more interesting you can add cucumber/mint/fruits (we like raspberries-they make the water pink!).