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BARBANAL Posts: 4,557
8/29/14 8:28 A

thanks Becky for the info. I agree with you in part. My cardiolist told me to stay aaway from all sodas, teas, coffee (decaf also) chocolate, however thats ME. Unless your doctor says so, I don't see any harm in moderation, which is whaat we learn on Spark.


8/29/14 8:05 A

This thread is a perfect example of why the Sparkpeople site included the Diet Soda blog.

If you look back over the responses in this thread, you will see many opinions about the "so called" dangers of diet drinks. You will read phrases such as "don't use diet drinks", "artificial sweeteners are toxic", etc, etc

As adults, I support your decisions to select the foods that best meet your healthy eating plan. For some, you have chosen to "not" use artificially sweetened products.

However, at sparkpeople we have 15 million members. Many members use diet beverages and want to know if it is safe and if diet beverages can derail their weight loss effort. Because of these people and their desire for research evidence and facts---it is important that this site provide the most up-to-date accurate information. The research study discussed in the blog does just that. It shows that for people who want to use diet drinks, they need not worry. Diet drinks are safe to consume. And diet drinks can be a part of your healthy eating plan for achieving weight loss.

Your SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

PARKSCANADA Posts: 4,753
8/28/14 7:50 P

Just stay away from soft drinks - period. Diet, regular, lite - just say NO.

LIFENPROGRESS SparkPoints: (103,236)
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8/28/14 7:40 P

My doctor has told me repeatedly that carbonated water is quite the issue with weight gain -- not to mention that chemical soup that is any soda.

TINIERTINA Posts: 5,096
8/28/14 1:02 P

Another blog in that style was posted today.

Could this be a backlash against the backlash in Canada & U.S. against diet food/diet drinks in general?

Could it be that the susceptible, while not being endocrinologically normal to begin with ... have appetites and hungers that are NOT aided by these diet foods that are sweetened with artificial sweeteners?

Could it be that the "normal" could learn from us canaries in a coal mine ... that there is danger lurking ahead ... with the rampant use ...

We who are old enough to have been the "Diet Pepsi Generation" ...

BARBANAL Posts: 4,557
8/27/14 5:40 P

I log ALL my food, keeps ME on track

8/27/14 11:26 A

FYI: I don't eat sweets.
And my food plan is pretty much an open book.
Having accountability has helped.

FYI: I haven't read the article but also don't believe everything I read so...go figure.

BARBANAL Posts: 4,557
8/27/14 4:24 A

Depends on a persons own system I believe. If I taste sweets, artificial or actual it will trigger me to want more.

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
8/26/14 11:23 A

" Best line: 'The presence of caloric sweeteners may also enhance taste acceptance.' "

Why can't they just speak English!?!

NENATO2 SparkPoints: (185,001)
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8/26/14 11:23 A

I know it is the least of my worries. Just had a cardiologist's appointment last week. He told me to keep doing what I'm doing because it is working. Overall cholesterol was 105. Eating right (fruits/veggies/protein/grains) and working out is really helping me to get to a healthy goal. I make sure I drink lots of water and I have not found any proof whatsoever that diet sodas make me gain weight by overeating sweets. They are not even in my eating plan!! As far as drinking juice? I'd rather have the fiber. I don't drink my calories/nutrition.

To each his own. You sorta have to work out your eating plan just like you do your life plan. And that is all I'm going to say about that. emoticon

Oh! And work out to terrific music, it makes all the difference!

YANKEEGIRL6 Posts: 1,178
8/26/14 11:09 A

My cardiologist, who happens to be one of the top pediatric cardiologists in the country practicing at the Cleveland Clinic, claims that for any patient with a weight problem, diet coke is probably the least of their worries. He's been treating me for four years. I've never been in his office when there wasn't a can of diet coke on his desk.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
8/26/14 11:05 A

A good read on the subject:

Note: HPFS reference is to:
'Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS), artificially sweetened beverage intake was assessed in 1986 and every 4 years after that during 20 years of follow-up with use of a 131-item FFQ.

Best line: 'The presence of caloric sweeteners may also enhance taste acceptance.'
Translation: sugar tastes good. Yeah, there's a reference for that!

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
8/26/14 10:35 A

I never had a real "sweet tooth", as most people would describe it, to begin with. My downfall has always been the starchy / bready things. Fruit has always been plenty sweet for me.

So far as fruit juices tasting as or sweeter than soda, that's absolutely true! Our endocrinologist waggles his finger at us for anything approaching fruit juice or dried (concentrated) fruits. He doesn't even want us eating sweeter fruits -- we can have one piece the size of a *small* apple, or a handful of berries, per day. I admit to "cheating" a bit with strawberries or melon or grapes... but I try to control myself. If I do very rarely drink fruit juice, I have to water it at least a third just to get it down. It's like drinking pure cane syrup to me. bleah

As for soda, the carbonation just kills me these days. *IF* I succumb to soda, it's something like a Fresca™, opened and left to go mostly flat in the fridge.

FOXGLOVE999 SparkPoints: (22,764)
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8/26/14 9:52 A

Given that there are any number of fruit juices that taste sweeter than soda, diet or otherwise. The argument that soda makes you used to an unnatural level of sweetness doesn't ring true.

BARBANAL Posts: 4,557
8/25/14 6:12 P

I lkie the comment "just eat real food" , what more can anybody say ????

NENATO2 SparkPoints: (185,001)
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8/25/14 1:25 P

Another article on studies. It also has a source section at the end to contributions to the article:

Edited by: NENATO2 at: 8/25/2014 (18:18)
ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
8/25/14 12:55 P

Your criticism of any study would go on, no matter what, in my opinion.

Whatever the mood may be, I'm off to Panera for lunch with a friend. There will be sugar.

8/25/14 12:10 P

I'm not in the mood to bicker with you today ALGEBRA. I've stated my opinion on the subject and am okay to leave it there.

My thoughts on the study mentioned in the article are still the same. Big conflict of interest via the study funding combined with the pressure to produce favourable results in a short time makes me very skeptical of the results.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
8/25/14 11:40 A

Your mother is an interesting case, for sure, for you. But that's not an argument for weight gain from non-nutritive sweeteners.

You've seen that weight gain does not result from drinking diet soda, any more than weight gain results from drinking water, from the calories ingested (0).

The carcinogenic claim went nowhere, similarly.

I am looking at your simple statement that 'if someone develops a sweet tooth from consuming artificially sweetened beverages they are prone to eat more real sugar in the long term because they are used to a higher level of sweet.' I'm wondering where the evidence is that someone who doesn't have a 'sweet tooth' (which is a nebulous term in itself) becomes prone to eating real sugar in the long term.

Are there long-term studies? People have been drinking diet soda for many years. People have been eating sugar for much, much longer.

Your assessment that your mother's taste buds are 'messed up' is not a cause for concern when there is this kind of global history to 'sweet.'

I like that you finally say that 'this over consumption of sugar leads to weight gain' but it is over consumption of calories, I'm sure you know!

And 'while not directly caused by the consumption of artificial sweeteners it is a side effect.' I doubt this can be proven - in any way.

A person chooses their diet. If they know the effect of over consumption of calories, which should never be lost in a discussion of obesity or health, then drinking a diet cola instead of having something else that is sweet is a benefit. There's just no working your way around that.

' Heavier US adults who drink diet beverages will need to reduce solid-food calorie consumption to lose weight.'

(is there an echo here?)

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 8/25/2014 (11:49)
8/25/14 11:24 A

"If you have a concern about people developing a sweet tooth with artifically sweetened beverages, that's another matter entirely. It has nothing to do with whether drinking diet soda leads to weight gain, compared to water. You've just seen that it doesn't. "

That's where our opinions differ.

I believe if someone develops a sweet tooth from consuming artificially sweetened beverages they are prone to eat more real sugar in the long term because they are used to a higher level of sweet.

For example, my mother who is a diet coke addict likes to add sugar to strawberries, sugar to crumbles and pies and a lot of sugar to her cakes and muffins. She does this because her taste buds are messed up and without the added sugar the foods don't taste good. This over consumption of sugar leads to weight gain and while not directly caused by the consumption of artificial sweeteners it is a side effect.

BARBANAL Posts: 4,557
8/25/14 11:06 A

My cardiolist said to me NO sodas, diet or other wise, NO teas, NO coffee, even decaf. NO chocolate........I now drink water and 1 bottle of G2 gatorade a day. DR doesn't want me to eat anything that would stimulate my heart. Also NO sugars. It was tough in the beginning but now I feel better and have lost 12 pounds in 2 weeks. However for a healthy heart person I ccan't say, but I think moderation is what should be concidered

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
8/25/14 10:38 A

' The taste buds get used to flavours over time so drinking artificially sweetened beverages can make people not appreciate naturally sweet foods.'

This is not an issue - if artificial sweeteners are safe (and that is why I questioned the comment about carcinogens) - then they are a benefit, calorically speaking. Which is the point.

I wondered if there is evidence that artificially sweetened beverages are not safe - since that charge was made, as if it was true. They appear to be safe.

If you have a concern about people developing a sweet tooth with artifically sweetened beverages, that's another matter entirely. It has nothing to do with whether drinking diet soda leads to weight gain, compared to water. You've just seen that it doesn't.

I sympathize with your concern about diabetes. I have type 2 diabetes in my family. One thing that I try to keep in mind is that diet is not the only factor with diabetes - and there are thousands of studies showing that.

What I can do - and anyone can do - is not eat more calories than I expend. I drink diet soda with my Big Mac!


Of all surveyed students, 96.6% consume NNS on a daily basis, and no association was found between NNS consumption and overweight.'

'I think that over sweet artificial flavour can just downright wreck peoples taste buds causing them to crave more sweets.'

If you don't like a sweet taste to begin with, you are not going to order a diet coke. You are going to drink something that is not sweet.

I have made the point before that if you cut your sodium intake (as an example) drastically, you will be more sensitive to a salty taste. This does not mean that when you taste salt in very small amounts, those very small amounts are the correct diet choice for everyone - which is why my thoughtful elderly neighbors on a low-salt diet always provided salt at the table for dinner guests. The food without salt is extremely bland. There's a case to be made - by some - that you taste the true flavor of the food without any salt added at all. When you do make that decision - to forgo added salt - then restaurants can accomodate your tastes if you make that clear when making a reservation!

My husband can no longer drink more than one cup of coffee a day because it gives him acid reflux. I drink the rest of the pot during the day and even at night. So go figure.

All of that has to do with a person's particular tastes and health . Not the tastes or health of others.


Overweight and obese adults drink more diet beverages than healthy-weight adults and consume significantly more solid-food calories and a comparable total calories than overweight and obese adults who drink SSBs. Heavier US adults who drink diet beverages will need to reduce solid-food calorie consumption to lose weight.'


Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 8/25/2014 (11:19)
8/25/14 10:23 A

I don't get it. So much hype.

I like diet coke. In fact I am drinking one right now with breakfast.
My philosophy is that anything I can do to curb my appetite is fair game.

It puts volume in my stomach when I might otherwise over eat.
It has no calories.

I only have maybe 2 a week so it's not a significant amount.
Given it's chemical properties, it probably cleans out the cholesterol from my veins.

The only thing I can say bad about it is the sodium keeps me from losing water weight on days that I drink it. But then the next day, because I stayed on target with calories, I am still able to lose up to 2 pounds.

I really don't think it spikes insulin levels if. Although occasionally I do change it up with regular coke because I believe the regular sugar while insignificant in proportion, will digest faster.

I run my own food experiments 21 days at a time and that's how I find proof if a food plan I am on is working or not. emoticon

8/25/14 9:05 A

It's really that fake sweetness that concerns me. The taste buds get used to flavours over time so drinking artificially sweetened beverages can make people not appreciate naturally sweet foods.

I really restrict my added sugars (a proactive long term health decision as diabetes runs in my family), so foods like fruits are really rewarding to my taste buds. Even salmon tastes sweet to me. I think that over sweet artificial flavour can just downright wreck peoples taste buds causing them to crave more sweets.

It's something worth considering I think.

Have a great Monday everyone :)

8/25/14 8:42 A

"At one-year follow-up, 2.7 percent to 7.1 percent more regular artificial sweetener users gained weight compared to non-users matched by initial weight. The difference in the amount gained between the two groups was less than two pounds, albeit statistically significant. Saccharin use was also associated with eight-year weight gain in 31,940 women from the Nurses’ Health Study conducted in the 1970s."

"Aspartame also increased subjective hunger ratings compared to glucose or water [34]. Glucose preload reduced the perceived pleasantness of sucrose, but aspartame did not [34]. In another study, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and saccharin were all associated with heightened motivation to eat and more items selected on a food preference list [35]. Aspartame had the most pronounced effect, possibly because it does not have a bitter aftertaste. Unlike glucose or sucrose, which decreased the energy intake at the test meal, artificial sweetener preloads either had no effect [33,35] or increased subsequent energy intake [36,37]. Those findings suggest that the calorie contained in natural sweeteners may trigger a response to keep the overall energy consumption constant."

"Lastly, artificial sweeteners, precisely because they are sweet, encourage sugar craving and sugar dependence. Repeated exposure trains flavor preference [54]. A strong correlation exists between a person’s customary intake of a flavor and his preferred intensity for that flavor. Systematic reduction of dietary salt [55] or fat [56] without any flavorful substitution over the course of several weeks led to a preference for lower levels of those nutrients in the research subjects. In light of these findings, a similar approach might be used to reduce sugar intake. Unsweetening the world’s diet [15] may be the key to reversing the obesity epidemic."

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
8/25/14 12:03 A

If diet soda is carcinogenic, then please, do tell.

'All NNS approved for use in the United States are determined to be safe.'

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 8/25/2014 (00:09)
SHOTOKIDO SparkPoints: (96,163)
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8/24/14 11:18 P

Interesting discussion.

I'll stick to non-carcinogenic drinks though.

Like water.

NENATO2 SparkPoints: (185,001)
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8/24/14 7:49 P

Thanks, Becky. I do drink diet sodas and get a bit tired of folks posting articles that have no proven scientific basis. I also drink lots and lots of water AND have lost lots of weight. It's a balance and not to be used to take the place of water. Of course, that last bit is my opinion.


ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
8/24/14 7:13 P

I believe the reason both groups were enrolled in weight loss support programs was to keep the playing field level. If both groups are keeping on track to lose weight and one is drinking water and one group is drinking diet soda, then the results would show that diet soda could be associated with weight gain. But it didn't show that - in a randomized controlled trial.

Having both groups given the same kind of weight loss support was important to the trial.

'These results show that water is not superior to NNS beverages for weight loss during a comprehensive behavioral weight loss program.'

8/24/14 1:49 P

Sometimes in a short blog, the actual intent of a lengthy research study can easily be lost.

As the dietitian for Sparkpeople, I was thrilled to read this published study. A study with very good design and control. WHY? (please read on.....)

Because I am often asked by members and clients who are wanting to lose weight these type questions: " Can I still drink diet beverages and lose weight?" or Will drinking diet beverages derail my weight loss effort?"

While we know that diet drinks contain zero calories and do not increase blood sugar; there is a circulating "theory" that diet drinks cause weight gain, increase appetite, etc. Notice I said "theory" for the actual research is very limited in this area.

So I was glad to read this study which can help give an accurate and research based answer to the question. If you want to see the complete study, here is the link:

The study does "not" report:
--- that diet beverages promote health or
---that one "must" use diet beverages to lose weight.

This study is relevant to the person who is trying to lose weight; they are cutting back on sweets treats; decreasing portions; no longer eating XXXX.....and they are wondering if they also have to give up their sweet diet pop or beverage.

The take away from this fairly large study is ...."no way". If you enjoy your diet pop, go ahead and have some while obtaining a healthier weight. In fact, the sweetness of the diet drink may actually help you to have better control with your other eating decisions.

Folks who do not drink diet beverages should not feel that they must start drinking diet drinks to lose weight. This is not the intent of the study. Nor is it to make diet beverages appear to be some "health promoting" type drink.

The study was strictly designed to help answer the question for diet drink users.... "Can I still drink diet beverages and be successful with my weight loss goal???"

Sparkpeople wants to help answer our members' questions using evidence based weight loss research. This is why this blog was included---for it helps to answer a question that is often asked. And as new research develops, Sparkpeople will continue to provide the most up-to-date evidence based guidelines.

Hope this helps--

Your SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 8/24/2014 (15:20)
8/24/14 12:03 P

The blog states it's sponsored at the bottom by the American Beverage Association.

Interesting to note the study was also paid for by the American Beverage Association, active members list here ->

Those sponsors produce a major conflict of interest IMO.


"The ABA. Hill, Peters, Wyatt and colleagues face a tight deadline. The American Beverage Association, which is paying for the work, hopes to have results in time to serve as input for the 2015 edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which comes out every five years. The 2010 edition of the guidelines recommends coffee, tea and water, omitting zero-calorie beverages of the sort many of the association’s members sell. The first meeting of a committee updating the guidelines is planned for April 2013."


Also interesting to note that participants in the study also attended weekly classes on diet, stress management and exercise. Which have been shown to aid weight loss.


I don't usually read the blogs but I looked back through them this morning and couldn't find any other blogs in the same vein. For the most part they seem fairly well written and informative about eating healthy real foods and exercising.

Edited by: JUSTEATREALFOOD at: 8/24/2014 (14:12)
NIRERIN Posts: 13,458
8/24/14 11:17 A

i would say that a blog is more of a forum for opinion rather than fact and would be an excellent place to publish potentially dissenting views if for no other reason than to start a dialogue.
to my knowledge i have not seen any actual articles that were sponsored.

TINIERTINA Posts: 5,096
8/24/14 10:55 A


As a type 2 diabetic of nearly 20 months' standing, it is first NOW that I am subscribing to anything the American Diabetic Association posits.

Of course, it does not extend to any of their nutritional prescriptions. I go low-carb, calorie-restricted, and supplementing sometimes heavier than they proscribe, as well.

It is time for both of the ADA (Diabetic AND Dietetic) to get with the program.

Grain lobby is ferocious. And pervasive.

It is only in the name of balance, that I even deign to eat Ezekiel 4:9 bread --regular, not low-sodium -- and, sparingly ...

Ideally, I would like to up my South Beach Diet game, but it's a slow process.

If part of my being at or below my goal weight currently, was brought upon by (muscle) wasting syndrome, I have to fight that as well.

8/24/14 10:23 A

I am also uncomfortable with the article. I try to only eat real foods so chemical artificial sweeteners are out.

IME, I have watched my mom drink diet coke since it came out and I have watched her steadily gain weight year after year. So it's not a weight loss drink IMO.

I'll stick to water, history has proven it's goodness and it naturally has zero calories.

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
8/24/14 9:13 A

Because they stand firmly upon the SAD foundation, regardless of any other info available.
Because they won't promote anything not "peer reviewed" (which simply means the "ins" have vetted it and found it synonymous or compatible with all the info which has come prior); those studies are largely funded by corporate interests, whether or not those interests have medical ghost writers.
Because this is a free site to us, and they have to fund it SOMEhow.

I don't like most of those types of articles, either. Another field which disturbs me is the diabetic one, which continues to promote carbs at every meal - in quantities larger (in some cases) than is good for ANYone, much less diabetics or prediabetics.

It's a significantly thought-provoking concept that our current health issues coincide so well and timely with the adoption of the government-endorsed diet... that is still being endorsed and strongly promoted. And if you dare to point this out you're a heretic.

Well, so be it, I guess. I don't believe the earth is flat, either.

TINIERTINA Posts: 5,096
8/23/14 9:34 P

Diet beverages are especially a bad problem in the insulin-resistant.

A system in which artificial sweeteners are metabolized just like the real thing ...

Also, check out this video series: What happens if you boil ...

Regular coke?:

Diet coke?:

I have ratcheted down my consumption of diet soda pop because my body (and many bodies) treats the second instance, just like the first.

The first one really looks disgusting.

I'd gotten very sick as a teenager, bingeing on Diet-Rite Cola once ... emoticon emoticon emoticon and the habit came and went over the years since then ... now, it's a trickle so to speak ...

Edited by: TINIERTINA at: 8/23/2014 (21:36)
MSBOOTCAMP SparkPoints: (79,434)
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8/23/14 8:47 P

"This blog is brought to you by the American Beverage Association."

Why does SparkPeople choose to publish corporate-sponsored articles on food and nutrition?

For some of us who are SparkPeople members, this is uncomfortable, to say the least.

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