Did you know ? Drinking one diet drink a a day can triple your risk of dementia and strokes. Plus a recent study found that daily diet soda consumption increased women’s risk of delivering a high birth weight baby by 60 per cent versus women who never touch the stuff. This study was also the first to follow these children, up to age seven and determined that they were almost twice as likely to become obese. Unfortunately choosing “sugar free” or “diet products” is not always a healthier options as they contain toxic chemicals.
Cravings for Coke
I have a confession to make… I craved frozen coke during my pregnancy. I very never used to drink, coke, diet coke, coke zero, and diet drinks. I am also not a big coffee drinker, I much prefer tea. However, once I became pregnant – gee, it was hard not to pull into that drive-thru and grab myself a frozen coke and yes often I would tell myself that the “diet” option was a healthier choice. Which as mentioned above it is NOT !
One of the only things that stopped me was that my OB advised that listeria could be present in the mix – as frozen coke it is sitting at a similar temperature to soft serve ice cream ! So add this to the foods you want to avoid while pregnant.
Why SUGAR FREE doesn’t mean RISK FREE !
I understand how confusing it can be to navigate “healthy choices” especially during pregnancy and postpartum. Just keep in mind, if you choose, low calorie, sugar free or diet food…most often they are still JUNK food ! As the sugar is replaced with chemicals, which is not a nutrient dense choice for both you and your baby. Also if you focus on calories this ignores the quality factor of food. Plenty of high-calorie foods are incredibly nutrient-dense and essential to nourish your growing baby (like nuts, avocados, or salmon), but from a calorie perspective, many processed foods appear better simply because they are “low calorie.” But as already mentioned they are normally processed junk !
If you are not sure where to start – get empowered with my complimentary NUTRITION GUIDE – suitable for both pregnancy and postpartum.
You can also read my journey about Why I stopped counting calories – right here.
5 Reasons to avoid DIET foods and DRINKS :
1. Artificial sweeteners have health risks
Boston University researchers found aspartame, a low-calorie sweetener, wreaks havoc on the arteries – as opposed to sugar-sweetened drinks. This means drinking diet coke or soda is far worse for your health than drinking regular soda sweetened with sugar.
The results showed that adults who had one or more diet drinks a day were 2.9 times more likely to develop dementia and 3 times more at risk of strokes compared to those who virtually had none at all. Yikes ! The team of scientists from Boston University believe the artificial sweeteners including aspartame and saccharine may be affecting the blood vessels, eventually triggering strokes and dementia.
Oh, and did you know that Aspartame is also on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) list of potentially dangerous chemicals contributing to neurotoxicity? It’s important to try to reduce your toxic load during pregnancy – here is why. So I guess, aspartame is not really something you want to be ingesting !
2. Diet drinks affect your mood
I am a big believer in “junk food equals junk mood” – I know I feel horrible after eating highly processed foods and I can literally see the mood of my children transform when they do ! Aspartame has been found to have the ability to really mess with the brains of people suffering from anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. Another reason – to avoid diet sodas and anything filled with aspartame especially during and after pregnancy ! Want to learn more about “Real Food For Pregnancy” this should help.
3. Diet drinks disrupt your skin
Diet drinks have no nutritional value so it is no surprise that these drinks lowers your pH levels, which has been known to cause acne, and also zap your skin of all its radiance; According to Dr Janette Graf Author of The Revolutionary 2 week PH Diet. Skin changes during and after pregnancy are challenging enough – wholesome nutrition and non toxic skin care can assist. Learn more.
4. Diet drinks can affect fertility
Professor Adam Balen, Chairman of the British Fertility Society, advises Women who regularly consume diet soft drinks may alo be reducing their chances of getting pregnant, according to research.
A recent study of 524 patients found a link between artificial sweeteners, such as those used in “diet” sodas, and lower fertility rates, while use of sugar in soft drinks and added to coffee was associated with poorer quality of eggs and embryos.
5. Diet drinks make your kidneys sluggish
Diet drinks interfere with your kidney function. According to a Harvard Nurse’s Health Study, diet soda and soft drinks interfere with your kidneys, where research found that only two servings of diet drinks each day could cause a huge 30 percent drop in kidney function. Plus a reported study at the Cesare Maltoni Cancer Research Center found that Aspartame increased cancer risk especially if exposure begins in the womb.
THESE ARE 5 GAME CHANGING REASONS TO QUIT DRINKING DIET DRINKS NOW !
If you are pregnant or trying to conceive it is important to stay informed and learn about the dangers of processed foods. With information from reliable sources, you can make better choices for you and your family. Little by little or one ingredient at a time you can change you eating habits. Start to shift your focus on how you FEEL when you eat something processed compared to whole foods – this can be a great motivator.
Interested in wholesome eating during and after pregnancy ?
Watch my interview with Nutritionist Lily Nichols about her book “Real Food for Pregnancy”. Lily’s book provides all evidence based solutions to ensure you are nourishing you and your baby effectively during and after pregnancy.
Science proves, what we put in our bodies definitely affects your health plus the future health of both you and your baby. I highly recommend Real Food for Pregnancy – to any woman who is pregnant, postpartum or trying to conceive. Plus grab my complimentary nutrition guide here to help you get started.
Remember you are what you eat ! Staying away from artificial ingredients is the best for our health. Sugary drinks are a bad choice, but diet drinks can even be more dangerous to both you and your growing baby !
p.s Want to learn more about how to nourish yourself and exercise safely and effectively during pregnancy. Registrations are NOW OPEN for my online pregnancy and postpartum membership THE BFAB METHOD Find out more here.
Dahlas Fletcher is one of Australia’s most respected and successful certified and experienced Pregnancy and Female Fitness Trainers. Her goal is to help you be the happiest, most fabulous version of yourself, inside and out.