New research reveals ‘no solid evidence’ that Diet Coke is better for us than Coca Cola

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  • So the news that fizzy drinks aren’t very good for us isn’t exactly new.

    Over the past few years we’ve all become way more clued up on what we should and shouldn’t be putting into our bodies, and watched as sugar replaced fat as our number one diet enemy.

    There have been more and more studies into the results of drinking Coke and Diet Coke and the affect that these drinks have on our bodies, and some of the most recent have proved that Diet Coke won’t keep you any slimmer.

    Research by Professor Christopher Millett, from Imperial College London’s School of Public Health, has revealed a lack of proof that ‘diet drinks’ keep us slimmer than the full fat versions.

    He said, ‘A common perception, which may be influenced by industry marketing, is that because ‘diet’ drinks have no sugar, they must be healthier and aid weight loss when used as a substitute for full sugar versions. However, we found no solid evidence to support this.’

    The research which was published in the journal PLOS Medicine, looked at more than a dozen studies which compared diet beverages and it showed that they are no better at stopping weight gain than the sugary versions.

    But is this an excuse to go for the full fat option? Former UK pharmacist Niraj Naik, says no… to both options!

    Niraj Naik, who runs the blog The Renegade Pharmacist, hit the headlines after his study into what reportedly happens to your body an hour after drinking Coke and Diet Coke went viral.

    After seeing so many people suffering from obesity-related diseases, Niraj decided to look further into what people were consuming, and quickly realised the problem often lay with what they were drinking rather than eating – and fructose was the main culprit (our body turns it to ‘bad fats’ and tells our brains we’re still hungry).

    So what reportedly happens an hour after drinking Coke?

    From first sip to 60 minutes later, Niraj broke down the effects of drinking Coke in seven steps.

    First 10 mins:
    A whopping 10 teaspoons of sugar enters your system

    After 20 mins:
    Your blood sugar spikes, causing a burst of insulin, to which your liver responds by turning the sugar into fat

    After 40 mins:
    Your blood pressure rises and your liver puts more sugar into your bloodstream.

    After 45 mins:
    In the same way as heroin, your body starts making more dopamine which stimulates the pleasure centres of your brain.

    After 60 mins:
    You will start to experience a sugar crash, feeling irritable and sluggish.

    And what reportedly happens an hour after drinking Diet Coke?

    After thousands of requests from people who’d seen his Coke study, Niraj has looked at what happens to your insides an hour after drinking Diet Coke.

    First 10 mins:
    The phosphoric acid attacks the enamel in your teeth whilst the artificical sweeteners like aspartame hit your system. Aspartame tricks your body into thinking it has just processed sugar.

    After 20 mins:
    Like regular Coke this can trigger insulin, which sends your body into fat storage mode. Some data also indicates those who consume articifically sweetened beverages double the risk of metabolic syndrome which is related to diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

    After 40 mins:
    The potentially deadly combination of caffeine and aspartame create a short addicitive high, similar to cocaine.

    After 60 mins:
    Unlike the small amount of satisfaction you get from regular coke, your body may still crave sweets. This makes you likely to reach for another soda, or some other junk food you consider to be safe and the cycle continues.

    So what should we be drinking?

    We asked Niraj for some healthy drink ideas:

    1. Look for stevia (a natural sweetener) versions of soft drinks if you really must drink a soft drink.

    2. Drink plain mineral water with fresh lime or lemon juice, or both, with a dash of organic honey, if you prefer a sweeter taste, as a very healthy and hydrating drink.

    3. Drink green tea if you want the effects of caffeine without the jitters. L-theanine in green tea is the antidote to caffeine’s negative effects on the nervous system and it also boosts ‘alpha waves in your brain’

    Drink green tea for a caffeine boost without the jitters!

    4. Drink Kombucha or Kefir tea. They are both naturally fizzy and Kefir tea in particular can provide a dose of probiotics for promoting better digestion and health of your gut.

    5. Learn to make or buy nutritious smoothies made out of green vegetables like spinach, low sugar fruits like blueberries and tasty ingredients like coconut butter that are full of essential nutrients and health promoting fatty acids.