Consumer Watch: The weird reason diet soda may not be as bad as everyone says

Oklahoma nutrition expert says diet drinks getting an undeserved bad reputation (KOKH).

Headline after headline has pointed to artificial sweeteners and a possible link to disease, but one nutrition expert says it may all be too much hype.

The pop of the can is a sound synonymous with feeling refreshed, but sodas are high in calories and sugar, and that can be detrimental to your waistline and overall health. The option for many has been to switch it up with diet soda, but now there are studies saying diet soda drinkers get fatter over time than those who don't drink at all.

Nutritionist and trainer Greg Farris says, there are multiple components at play, and that people should not believe all the hype.

“I think that the research is pretty clear that unless you are consuming dozens of diet soda cans a day, which some people could do, it is probably going to be better for you than regular soda,” says Farris, MyoBrain founder.

Other than the weight gain, diet soda and artificial sweeteners in general are often accused of dulling your taste buds to naturally sweet food, and even linked to diseases, but Farris says he doesn't believe the science on this is reported on very clearly.

“One of the classic studies with the rats that said it was like a carcinogen, it was like the equivalent of 27 cans of diet coke per day. So, it could be true that a certain sweetener is linked to a disease, but it is not necessarily relevant to us as humans if you are not abusing it heavily,” says Farris.

There may be such a thing as too much soda, and even too much diet soda, but Farris sees diet soda as a good option for people to stop drinking so much of the sugary regular stuff.

If you are trying to get off soda all together, small steps could yield long term success. If you drink regular soda, try decreasing the amount. Then, try switching to diet soda, and perhaps, eventually decreasing the amount you drink of that, or avoiding it more regularly.

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