Turns Out Diet Drinks Are Bad For…
Ok, I won’t leave you in too much suspense.
The thing about diet drinks is they’re not that much better than the sugar bombs they’re replacing. I’ve written about the dangers of artificial sweeteners in diet drinks before (here), but, as you might suspect, there’s another reason they’re bad for your health.
The surprising thing here is the reason diet drinks are bad for you isn’t only because of the artificial sweeteners.
It’s actually another, added ingredient that poses a problem, one that could dramatically hurt your teeth as well as your health.
New research shows that even the diet sodas aren’t going to help you avoid injury to your bicuspids (and other teeth).
Here’s what I have to report:
“A recent study from the University of Melbourne’s Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre confirmed that sugar-free foods and drinks can cause significant damage to tooth enamel, too. Researchers found that sugar-free drinks like Diet Coke can soften enamel by 30 to 50 percent.”
So how did the researchers discover this?
In a thorough but not exhaustive trial, researchers took a segment of the diet beverage population and tested them to see how they affect the teeth.
The beverages included both diet sodas and sports drinks (among others) and sought to see what they would do to the teeth.
It was discovered that the drinks containing acidic additives and possessing low pH levels had detrimental effects on the enamel of the teeth. The researchers saw that the consumption of these beverages contributed to enamel loss, and this, in turn, exposed the teeth to bacterial infection and eventual tooth decay.
So basically, diet drinks eat away at your teeth and contribute to massive tooth decay.
Here’s what Professor Eric Reynolds, one of the study’s contributing authors said: “Many people are not aware that while reducing your sugar intake does reduce your risk of dental decay, the chemical mix of acids in some foods and drinks can cause the equally damaging condition of dental erosion.”
As Reynolds explained, the danger is that the acid will erode “hard tissues” of the tooth, which is also what sugary drinks will do to your teeth.
“In its early stages, erosion strips away the surface layers of tooth enamel. If it progresses to an advanced stage it can expose the soft pulp inside the tooth,” Reynolds commented.
Two of the biggest contributors in the erosion crisis are the common additives of citric and phosphoric acid. These are added for their sour/tangy profile and work negatively on the tooth’s enamel. And they’re ultimately the ingredients you absolutely MUST avoid.
Here’s what really stinks.
These ingredients aren’t just found in diet drinks…they’re often found in things like gum, candy, and other diet foods.
And you want to know the most ironic part about all of this?
The researchers in this study noted the foods they were researching were designed to promote “healthy teeth.”
As they note, “Many sugar-free confections, even some with ‘tooth-friendly’ certification, contain high levels of citric acid and have erosive potential.”
So the next time you’re about to grab a diet drink because it’s healthier you might want to think again.