We’ve got a controversial topic today that we think you’ll find interesting. It’s something you’ve likely heard before, and whether you do or don’t have an opinion on it, it’s a topic worth covering. We’ll present to you the three different points of view on this subject and then give you our take, however, there isn’t a RIGHT answer to this. It’s sort of a pick your poison type of topic, so we’d love to hear what you think as well!
If you haven’t seen this meme before, you’ve probably seen a similar one or you’ve heard a comedian talk about this too.
It’s the idea that someone is at a restaurant and orders a huge, calorie-laden, unhealthy meal, and then also orders a Diet Coke.
As we mentioned, there are 3 main viewpoints on the topic (although there may be others as well), and we’re curious as to where you fall.
Reaction #1: The eye roll.
When you see or hear someone do this, you immediately roll your eyes and wonder “why bother?!”. You’re already eating a million calories, who cares about another few hundred from the regular soda? Why not just have the REAL thing. It tastes better anyways and you’re not undoing the damage with your measly diet coke!
Reaction #2: Poison!
Diet soda is terrible for you. If you’re going to have a soda, drink the real thing. You’re already eating an unhealthy meal and you’re better off having the real drink and not some poison!
Reaction #3: Understanding calorie intake is king.
If you’re going to be eating a really high caloric meal, adding more calories with a soda just increases the calories of that meal even more. Diet soda may not be “good” for you, but it won’t kill you. Plus, the meal you’re about to eat is so loaded with unhealthy foods that it doesn’t really matter at this point.
Here’s our take on it:
While we are never going to say that diet soda is good for you, there aren’t enough studies proving that it actually does real harm. You may have seen a recent study showing that diet soda consumption led to strokes and even dementia, but what this study did NOT take into full account was the participants lifestyle habits and overall food consumption. They were only given a simple questionnaire on the foods they ate, and so most scientists in the field of nutrition are arguing that this correlation does not necessarily prove causation. Again, we aren’t saying that diet soda is safe and healthy and you should go drink a lot of it, but we are also not saying that you should never have one again (if it’s something you like). Moderation is key and having a diet soda every now and then shouldn’t be a problem, assuming your other lifestyle and eating habits are in check. (Side note: if you have any health issues or medical problems associated with diet soda, you definitely shouldn’t consume it.)
With that said, while eating healthy most of the time is the ideal way to live, having a really tasty, albeit unhealthy meal, is definitely something you should enjoy from time to time! (Life without pizza is no life at all, right?!) So in that scope, if there are ways you can cut calories in those large meals and you like/want to consume diet soda, that’s one way to do it. There are others ways too, though. For example, if you’re eating mexican food, you could forego the chips and salsa and just eat your entree. If you’re having chinese food, you could cut the amount of rice you’d normally eat in half. However, we do believe that sometimes it’s best to just enjoy food the way it was meant to be enjoyed. These times should be saved for special occasions (your birthday, a wedding, your grandparent’s 50th anniversary, etc). It’s not the 5 days out of the year that give you the body and health that you have, it’s what you do day in and day out (the other 360 days of the year) that have the biggest impact on how you look and feel. THAT is what should be paid attention to and focused on. Don’t sweat the large pizza you’re having with your family on your one big vacation of the year. Enjoy it and move on. And if you want a diet coke with it to carve out at least SOME of the calories you’re consuming? Go for it. And don’t let the haters derail you. 🙂