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Can diet soda *actually* cause cancer?

Strange body myths are always running through the rumor mill. We’ve all heard the claims that you only use 10 percent of your brain and that swallowed gum will stay in your stomach for seven years, but not all of these tall tales are quite so easy to sniff out among the facts. Some of them, like the idea that diet soda gives you cancer, sound pretty legit, right?

Well, as it turns out, diet soda isn’t as likely to give you a terminal illness as you might think, at least not directly. Several studies have been conducted to test the connection between the two, the results of which showed that there is no known link between artficial sweeteners and an increased risk of cancer. Because of this, the FDA decided that these sweeteners like Aspartame and Saccharin are safe for the public to eat and drink. So why is it that people still believe that diet soda is bad for you?

In short, it’s because it is. People who drink diet sodas are actually more likely to be obese than those who don’t. Because the artficial sweetener is significantly sweeter than regular sugar, it has been shown to cause your body to crave other sugary things that might get you in trouble like candy or baked goods. Diet soda isn't actually saving you calories if it's causing you to eat unhealthy foods you wouldn't normally crave. Some studies have even shown that artficial sweeteners can cause your body to store fat rather than burn it. 

All things considered, none of this means that regular soda is good or even better for you. If you really want the healthier option, drink water, fruit juice or unsweetened iced tea instead. If you still want a carbonated drink, go for the seltzer water instead of the Diet Coke. Overall, you’re generally better off avoiding anything with ingredients you’ve never heard of and can’t pronounce.

How often do you drink diet soda? Tell us in the comments below!

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by Alexis Ancel | 8/8/2016
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