Is Diet Soda Really Better Than Regular Soda?

While few people would disagree that soda has a wonderful taste, we also can't deny that it really isn't the healthiest option when it comes to beverages. For this reason, it's natural to seek healthy alternatives that taste just as good. For many people, this alternative is diet soda. The assumption is that diet soda is healthier because it contains fewer calories, but the idea that diet soda aids weight loss is controversial with research showing conflicting results (via Healthline).

The ingredients in diet soda aren't the healthiest. Just like regular soda, diet soda generally contains acids which can contribute to dental problems. Moreover, research indicates that diet soda may damage the kidneys and gut microbiome and, in women, increase the likelihood of developing osteoporosis. In addition, some research suggests that diet soda may increase the risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. While the data is conflicting, it's possible that drinking diet soda may also contribute to preterm birth. Drinking diet soda during pregnancy has also been associated with an increased risk for children becoming overweight.

On the bright side, there is one myth that you do not need to worry about. According to the National Cancer Institute, there is no clear evidence that there is any connection between diet soda and cancer.

What are some healthier alternatives to diet soda?

The jury is still out when it comes to whether diet soda is healthier than regular soda. What is clear, however, is that diet soda is not very healthy overall. Eat This, Not That! recommends gradually reducing your diet soda intake to one serving per week. So what should you drink instead?

Naturally, the healthiest alternative to diet soda is water, but you don't have to consume just plain old regular water. Experts at The Cleveland Clinic recommend freezing cucumbers, raspberries, lemon, lime, or mint in ice cubes to add flavor to your drink. Another option is to add fruit to sparkling water. If you're craving caffeine, tea and plain coffee are healthier than soda. However, remember to consume caffeine in moderation — consuming more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day can lead to digestive issues, according to Verywell Fit.

Soda has a refreshing, sugary taste that cannot easily be replaced. But gradually tapering off the amount you consume, and eventually eliminating it from your diet altogether, can work wonders for your health. Eventually, you may find that you no longer have any soda cravings at all.