Diet soda may seem like a health-conscious decision. After all, seniors who drink it are saving themselves about 140 calories in every can while still enjoying something sweet. Unfortunately, the artificial sweeteners do more than satisfy a sweet tooth. They can also significantly impact health. Here are some of the most important reasons for seniors to give up diet soda, presented by Lehigh Valley Home Care Assistance.
1. Weight Gain
Even though diet soda has no calories, people who use artificial sweeteners like those in diet soda often replace the lost calories in other ways, often without realizing it. A Gallup poll found that 32 percent of people who drink diet soda are overweight, while only 19 percent of people who are of average weight reported drinking diet soda.
2. Confused Taste Buds
Artificial sweeteners have a more intense flavor than regular sugar, which eventually dulls the taste buds to sweet food. Ultimately, this makes it more difficult for people to satisfy a sweet tooth with foods that are naturally sweet, like fruit.
3. No Nutrients
Because diet soda has so many artificial ingredients, drinking too much can actually cause a vitamin and mineral deficiency leaving seniors without the optimum levels of nutrients like vitamin D and calcium.
4. Calcium Loss
The parathyroid hormone increases calcium in the blood by promoting bone breakdown, and researchers have found this hormone level rises after drinking diet soda. According to one recent study, women who drink diet soda lose more calcium through urine, which can lead to low bone mineral density and a higher risk of fractures.
5. Insulin Confusion
The brain associates sweet flavor with calories, which is good because it prompts the body to release insulin to create energy. While researchers used to believe that this did not happen with zero-calorie artificial sweeteners, recent studies have found otherwise. People who drink sucralose, an artificial sweetener found in some diet sodas, have higher blood glucose and insulin levels, according to a new study.
According to the National Institutes of Health, regular soda drinkers are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, particularly people who drink diet soda often.
If your loved one could use a helping hand while implementing healthier habits, Home Care Assistance of the Lehigh Valley can help. We offer hourly and live-in care Lehigh Valley families trust, and our caregivers can grocery shop, cook healthy meals, run errands, and offer emotional support for seniors making big lifestyle changes. To learn more, call 484-350-3874 and request a complimentary consultation today.