I've been trying to quit for years. I'll likely get mocked, but it is quite addictive once you're hooked (particularly as it makes you tired, which makes you want to drink more to feel "normal").
I'm trying to move to sweetened Iced Tea (40% less sugar) and eventually unsweetened Iced Tea/water. But getting used to less caffeine/sugar actually causes legitimate withdrawal, plus kicking a habit is always tricky.
It has been linked to cancer (stomach, throat, mouth, the whole digestive system), diabetes, heart disease, and beyond.
I'm down to about 1-2 Cokes every week. I will crumble and drink a 20 oz Coke about once a week and drink water or ice tea (either unsweetened or low-sweetened (90 calories)).
The irony is that an equivalent glass of milk has 2x the number of calories as Coke, but I'll drink a glass of milk a day for the calcium, etc.
How did you get started/what steps did you take? Was it a straight switch to water (with occasional back-slide), or did you just slowly progress away from the soda one drink at a time?
Finally I scared myself enough that sugar drinks cause pancreatic cancer (no evidence but I'm still scared) and high fructose corn syrup causes fatty liver disease, which I actually do have, which in turn can lead to cirrhosis and/or liver cancer.
From that I basically scared myself straight. I started drinking a lot of unsweetened tea actually, and then substituted a little sweet tea for Coke. Eventually I've just broken the habit of drinking Coke every day and drinking tea instead and these days a lot of water as well.
You could say that I used a lot of it but then one day I decided to see if I would be able to quit and so I just did it. It wasn't hard at all and it did not change the way I feel.
I started drinking mostly water instead (it is still hard to get tasty water so I ask for a slice of lemon in it whenever it is available).
Now I sometimes go for freshly squeezed juice and from time to time I drink some soft drinks but I do not depend on them like I did before.
Soda, specifically, hasn't got many studies that directly look at its addictiveness. But its ingredients (namely sugar and caffeine) have tons of studies and meta-studies that looked into them vis-a-vis food addiction, and most concluded there was some addictive/habit-forming properties.
You may or may not have tried cold turkey, but it’s worth a shot if your current taper doesn’t produce results. You could always stock up on oranges, and lemon slices for the water. Something to give you some sugar in food + flavour to the water. It’s hard to overdose on oranges, and it gets the sugar into a solid rather than a liquid form.
YMMV, but I’ve often found cold turkey a relief whenever I had long struggles with something before trying it. I’d marka piece of paper, and relax other responsibilities and focus on stuff like sleep and exercise etc during the period to cushion the blow.
...But between us and Virtue the gods have placed sweat: long and steep is the path that leads to her, and it is rough at the first; but when a man has reached the top, then is she easy to reach, though before that she was hard.
(Hesiod, Works and Days)
If I am going to drink a soda, which soda am I better off drinking? Coke or Diet Coke/Coke Zero?
I know that neither option is good for me, but which would be comparatively better or is the science still out on that?
There are tons of studies like this that concretely show how bad sugar is for you, while most studies show that artificial sweeteners have no (or minimal relative to sugar) adverse health effects.
That matches my one-person anecdotal observations, but perhaps that isn't much to go by. Find what works for you. I had much better luck with health and personal fitness by that vs. getting overly worried about what other people say works.
We are more aware than mice though. Sugar is really bad for you .. really bad. Read up on keto diets (staying under 30g or sometimes under 10g of carbs per day .. limiting carb consumption to fruits with high fiber when you do eat them). I had a good friend who got on Ketro while he had cancer .. didn't tell his doctor, but within a few week a tumor shrunk by nearly a cm .. enough they could now operate.
Sugar is a powerful fuel source and modern humans don't need very much of it at all. The findings of this study don't really surprise me. All that extra unneeded sugar can totally feed young cancer cells.
I politely decline. In 2017 and 2018 I lost 100 lbs in 18 months and the primary staple of my diet was pasta dishes. The low-carb thing is not for me.
Like I said, find what works for you and ignore what people say is supposed to work. Today it is quite trendy to demonize carbs, tomorrow it may be something else, meanwhile plenty of healthy people eat lots of demonized items, but a narrow focus and overemphasis on good/bad may cause you to lose the big picture.
So my guess it is safer than sugar.
Claims that artificial sweetners are bad fall into the category of drinking litres of water in a short period of time.
When your weight is 70kg you can safely consume 2800mg per day. And that's a lot!
> Artificial sweeteners alone do not stimulate insulin or incretin release in vivo
> Unlike caloric sweeteners, artificial sweeteners do not augment insulin or incretin release in response to meals
If you are going to drink them habitually then we need to know more about the contexts in which you drink them, how often, etc. If you were to only drink one per week for example and you are otherwise living a healthy life, then probably you would find something like “they are about dead even but maybe the Coke is ever so slightly healthier?”—this sort of thing gets dominated by the really little things like some people have phenylketonuria which means they shouldn’t consume proteins containing the amino acid phenylalanine, and aspartame is a really simple protein (only two amino acids, I think?) containing phenylalanine.
On the flip side, if you drink a lot of Coke or fruit juice, each dose is giving you about as much calories as a glass of beer or wine and a similar analysis results; a bunch of those calories in both cases need to be processed by your liver and your liver can get overworked and even if it doesn’t get overworked you are likely not hitting the gym once for each sugary drink and so the surplus energy increases your equilibrium weight until you start burning the extra calories by merely existing.
By contrast the research on artificial sweeteners tends to not show negative effects here. There are some potential risks; I know a guy who is very DIY-health-ish who used to taste his urine because of some prediabetic condition where he would pee out sugars; he said that he would never drink Diet Coke again because it made his urine taste sweet (most of it passed through unharmed) but unnaturally foul (some of the aspartame was getting converted into something really nasty).
But the key thing is that most artificial sweeteners are thousands or tens of thousands of times more sweet than sugar, so there's actually surprisingly few molecules in the drink that are artificial, so you tend to get an unusually low dose of any toxicity. This is also why artificial sweeteners have a huge problem matching the natural taste of sugar—amplification of a weak signal always makes it really hard to replicate a target signal.
So, if diet soda isn't bad for you, is a surgary drink worse. Since the difference between the two is sugar vs. artificial sweetener, the question can be changed to "is sugar worse for you than artificial sweeteners". Again you probably won't find any definitive evidence one way or another. The actual settled science would just boil down to whether you're consuming too many calories.
According to the study, diet drinks are not associated with cancer
It does not say whether you’re better off with Diet from non-cancer perspectives - such as diabetes, obesity, endocrine system disorders, osteoporosis, tooth cavities, and so forth.
Generally people say “healthier” to mean “will I die sooner”, so the study you should be looking for to answer “healthier” is likely a relative comparison of mortal causes and age of death between soda and diet drinkers.
I would have guessed artificial sweeteners would have had more cancerous effects than "natural" sugars, but I guess that's just a logical fallicy where I assume lab synthesized chemicals are automatically worse for your body than plant synthesized chemicals.
"Natural" poison Ivy, sharks, and fire vs "unnatural" antibiotics, chemotherapy, insulin shots.
>The consumption of artificially sweetened beverages was not associated with a risk of cancer, but statistical power was probably limited owing to a relatively low consumption in this sample.
I always get somewhat triggered by people claiming artificial sweeteners are provably bad, because so far I have not seen a single study that conclusively claims this without a long list of reservations. All while the health effects of artificial sweeteners are one of the most researched topics in nutritional science.
I don't have a stake in this game at all (I rarely eat/drink things that have artificial sweeteners, or actual sugar, for that matter), but the fact that after decades of research there still is no smoking gun tells me the supposed adverse health effects of artificial sweeteners are way overblown.
"Additionally, women with high intakes of ASB of all types may have differed systematically in many ways from women with little or no intake, most especially since they were more likely to be obese and have a higher energy intake."
> Null results observed in this study regarding the association between artificially sweetened beverages and the risk of cancer does not support the hypothesis of an adverse effect of artificial sweeteners. However, caution is needed in interpreting this finding because statistical power might have been limited to investigate this association owing to the relatively low level of consumption in this population study (median=6.9 mL/d). Some experimental studies suggest a possible carcinogenic effect for some artificial sweeteners, but this point is debated.767778 In order to evaluate accurately these associations in humans, it will be necessary to distinguish the different types of artificial sweeteners (eg, aspartame, sucralose, acesulfam K), and also to take into account all dietary sources for these additives (eg, yogurts, candies) and not only artificially sweetened beverages.
It should be pointed out that the label "artificial sweetener" encompasses a wide variety of chemical entities, each of which can be expected to have its own risk profile.
> Median daily consumption of sugary drinks was greater in men than in women (90.3 mL v 74.6 mL, respectively; P<0.001, not tabulated).
And later (although the numbers seem to have been reversed):
> However, the median consumption of sugary drinks was lower in menopausal (88.2 mL/d) compared with premenopausal (43.2 mL/d) women.
So, the median volume of consumption was about 10:1 favoring sugar in this study.
Artificially sweetened beverages showed no increase.
I guess now we watch for headlines like "Soda Causes Cancer" which is not what this really says.
Sources: anything published by Dr. Robert Lustig @ UCSF
This is well-documented in the literature. High-fructose, low-fiber diets make people overeat.
I'd like to see if this is the exact mechanism or there's still more. Perhaps oxidative damage?
I suppose they controlled for weight and fat percentage right?
Not to mention the taste.
But I thought the whole debate here is whether they're doing something to commercial juice that's different from what you get when you squeeze your own. In which case... shouldn't you be comparing home-squeezed vs. the store-bought ones that are not pasteurized or from concentrate? The ones that are claiming they're absolutely nothing but just squeezed orange juice? If the label already says it's been treated differently then there's nothing to investigate...
However, if your next-best option is pasteurized juice, that sounds... just fine, if not even better? I mean I hope you're not finding pasteurization a horrifying Big Ag conspiracy of some sort. And pasteurization seems like a pretty plausible explanation of the difference you see compared to what you squeeze yourself... so then what's the huge worry?
One key thing about squeezing your own juice is that typically you get more fiber in your diet and fiber usually has a negative impact on cancer, which I would strongly suspect would mitigate the impact of the sugars... in addition there is a health consciousness effect where you might notice that some man or woman who is that committed to fresh-squeezing fruit juice for themselves and their kids, probably has other healthy habits that would tend to discourage cancers.
Fiber only works to limit the rate of fructose absorption when it's intact and the fructose is bound up inside it.
In either case, you're drinking lots fructose that's been separated from fiber. Without fiber, there is nothing to slow digestion of that fructose, so you end up with a massive glycemic impact. Alongside that, fructose directly causes leptin resistance, resulting in overeating.
Also beware of eating too much fruit all at once. Fiber can only do so much, and a stomach full of oranges will also lead to the same result.
It's very difficult to eat 5 oranges in one go.
It's very easy to drink the same 5 oranges as a fresh squeezed drink.
So it's basically a question of quantity, eating it makes you full very quickly, unlike drinking it.
Truly fresh, unpasteurized orange juice only lasts a few days.
Milk sugars (lactose, glucose, galactose) don't affect leptin or ghrelin, so there's no risk of overeating as a result. (I also tend reduce my intake of these healthy milk sugars by using heavy whipping cream instead of whole milk.)
Warburg Effect on wikipedia if anyone is curious.