Ditch the diet

Melanie Mitchell, Copy Editor

I am completely against diet drinks. I do not even like the word “diet” because I feel like it carries such a negative stigma. When I think of the word “diet,” I automatically think hunger and restricting. I work at a local restaurant and when I ask guests what they would like to drink, I’m always amazed at how many people say “diet.”Not, “Diet Coke” or “diet soda,” just “diet.” I’m sure there are legitimate health reasons that could make some people want to choose the sugar free option, however; I’m not addressing those folks. Please know that diet DOES NOT mean healthy.

So many people think diet drinks are better for you, but really, they aren’t that great. If you want to be healthy, then do that. Why drink a soda with artificial sweetener? Go big or go home! Either have the real thing or grab some water instead.

Some say they consume diet drinks for weight loss purposes. According to my research, artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes often contain such a high degree of sweetness; they actually cause the body to crave sugar. People often succumb to their body cravings and they have something sweet which is, in the long run, counter-productive to weight loss.

I’m no doctor, but I do know that the human body does not break down artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes as it does real sugars. Therefore, while you sip your diet drink, your body is working overtime trying to figure out how to react to these unusual substances. From my research, I found that artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes can lead to bone decay, cancer and in rare cases, death. Granted, these potential health risks are common for so many other things in our society, but there is an answer: don’t drink diet soda!

If you want to be healthy, then go to the gym and watch what you eat. That is so much easier said than done, let me tell you. My point is this: ditch the diet. You can have a regular coke and enjoy all of its goodness, and if good health is what you seek, then workout!

For the odd bunch of people that consume diet drinks because you like the taste, then drink on my friends! Life is too short not to enjoy the simple things, but be aware that the “good” taste might not be so good for you.