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Are Diet Sodas Bad for You?

Welcome to our blog at The Michaud Method! We believe in giving our clients and the general public scientific-based information regarding fat loss and nutrition, so you don't have to.

The Claim:

Many believe diet soda causes obesity, cancer, allergies, and sugar crashes. Let's look at the research and debunk some myths!

Artificial Sweeteners are Mostly Inert:

Hundreds of studies show that diet soda is essentially inert when consumed. It is not "good" for the body due to its lack of nutrients, but it doesn't do any harm either. Some byproducts in diet sodas may not be the best for you, but if you compare diet sodas to regular sodas, diet sodas are a much better option.

Questionable Research:

Smaller studies have claimed diet sodas cause adverse health outcomes. Many of these studies originated from Italian researchers at the Ramazzini Foundation. But there are doubts in the scientific community regarding the credibility of their work. These smaller studies were internal and lacked replication outside the organization. And when other scientists requested the raw data, they could not get them. It makes you wonder if the integrity of their work was strong enough to go through a legitimate peer review process.

Teeth Health:

Diet sodas may not be the best for your teeth. But it's linked to the carbonation in the beverage rather than its artificial sweetener component. However, most things you eat and drink are not the best for your teeth - except brushing and flossing. Those two things are excellent for teeth health. Keep that up!

Correlation vs. Causation:

Some studies show that people who drink diet sodas are heavier on average. But we have to remind ourselves that correlation does not mean causation.

Did you know that people who take weight loss drugs tend to be overweight or obese? Does that mean that we should assume that weight loss drugs cause obesity? I don't think so. It just means that people who want to lose weight opt for diet beverages to curb their calorie intake, just like overweight individuals are more likely to take weight loss drugs to help them shed the pounds.

Taste Preference:

If you're looking to switch from regular soda to diet, but the flavor profile of diet doesn't suit you, there are things you can do. Stop drinking regular soda cold turkey for a week or two and swap your regular soda for the diet alternative. Or swap it out for Coca-Cola Zero or other "Zero" sodas rather than the standard diet soda. If you do this for this timeframe, I promise you'll get used to the diet taste. Who knows, you may even prefer it!

Diet Sodas & Craving Spikes:

Some people do not drink diet sodas because it encourages cravings for salty and sweet goodies. While other people who are trying to lose fat drink diet sodas because it's a zero-calorie beverage that helps satisfy their need for sweets and still adhere to their calorie-restrictive diet. My suggestion for you would be to get to know your body and how you react to diet beverages. There's no harm in trying! If it causes cravings, skip the diet soda and drink water instead. But if it helps, that could be a helpful tool in your dieting toolbox to help you reach your weight loss goals.

Will Diet Soda Leave You Hungry?

Diet sodas contain zero calories, so it is no wonder why you may be hungry after drinking one, two, three, or more cans. On the other hand, regular soda contains loads of sugar that will fill you up more, but that level of satiety will not last long. Better to consume whole foods if you're looking at the satiety factor.

Diet Soda Will Not Cause Fat Loss:

Fat loss happens when you eat fewer calories than you burn. So, you won't lose weight if you're ordering a massive shake, large fries, double cheeseburger, and all the chicken nuggets while swapping your regular soda for a diet one. But you will lose weight by reducing your caloric intake while incorporating diet soda - or any zero-calorie beverage, for that matter.

We have data from several randomized controlled studies with water, diet soda, and regular soda. And diet sodas compare favorably to water regarding health outcomes and weight improvement.

It all comes down to preference. For instance, if a person maintains their weight at 2,000 calories per day and decides to slash 500 calories in an attempt to lose fat. That individual will lose weight at the same rate whether they only consumed diet soda or water during their weight loss phase.

Diet soda is very safe, but you do not have to drink it if you do not want to. No pressure here! If you prefer water over diet beverages, all power to you! But if you're a soda-lover, the better option is diet soda. You'll get all the experiential effects of soda without the caloric downside.

If you have any questions or if you would like us to cover a specific topic, we'd love to hear from you! Email us at

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