Is diet coke healthier than regular soda? The reason we're VERIFYing is because of last week's viral story about the 104-year-old Michigan woman, who believes her secret to longevity is drinking at least one can of diet coke every day.
To VERIFY, we looked at the most recent study in the American Heart Association's journal.
To dig deeper, we consulted Katie Jordanhazy, a local dietitian at Novant Health.
The American Heart Association study suggested people who drank at least one artificially-sweetened beverage a day had almost three times the risk of stroke or dementia. The study did not find the same link in people who drank regular sugar-sweetened drinks, like regular coke.
Jordanhazy explained diet soda contains fewer calories than regular, but the number of calories isn't always most important.
"While we don't get calories from diet soda, we now know there is much more to our weight and metabolism than just how many calories we consume. The quality of those calories is just as important, if not more important, than the amount of calories we consume. Diet soda has no nutritional value and is full of chemically-made ingredients .Some studies have even found an increase in BMI and weight linked with artificial sweeteners," she said.
Jordanhazy also noted many people start drinking diet soda to help control their blood sugar. Though diet soda might not raise blood sugar right away, studies suggest it can cause more sugar cravings, in general. Those cravings can lead to overeating of sweets and carbohydrates.
"The bottom line is we don't need either type of soda. Added sugar (not naturally-occurring sugar) or artificial sweeteners of any kind are just not necessary for our bodies."
In conclusion, we can VERIFY diet soda is not necessarily any 'healthier' than regular, and neither is good for you. Feeling parched? Strongly consider swapping your can of cola for a bottle of water, instead.