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The 5 surprising ways Diet Coke is bad for your health – and why you should avoid it

IF you love a fizzy drink, there is nothing more satisfying than cracking open a can of Diet Coke.

For many, it’s a refreshing, tasty treat – which has the added benefit of being low in calories.

Various studies have found that there are risks associated with drinking Diet Coke

What makes the drink so tasty is that it contains, aspartame which is a sugar alternative.

It’s a popular option, which provides people with a reduced, low or no sugar and calorie alternative.

While it’s widely believed that Diet Coke is a healthy option, experts have found otherwise.

Here we take a look at the five surprising ways that supping on a can of Diet Coke can impact your health.


Fizzy drinks often contain citric acid, which is known to damage tooth enamel.

Ellie Busby, registered nutritionist at Vojo and Laura Baker-Fawcus RDN, Practice Manager at Forge House Dental in Kent said the extreme high volume of sugar in drinks like Diet Coke are a threat to your teeth.

This, they say, is because it weakens them and contributes to decay.

If you want to avoid a costly trip to the dentist then it might be worth you swerving the drinks.

“Dark-coloured fizzy drinks are particularly bad.

“Drinks like Coca-Cola and Pepsi contain ingredients to give them their dark colours, but they also have the same effect on your teeth.

“Drinking it with a straw might reduce the impact, but won’t completely prevent staining,” they said.


Studies have previously shown that drinking beverages with artificial sweeteners can increase your risk of gaining weight.

One paper, penned in September 2021 found that Sucralose, found in Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi and other soft drinks, increases food cravings and appetite in women and the overweight.

It was not found to have the same effect on men of a healthy weight.

Researcher Professor Kathleen Page said: “Drinking artificially sweetened drinks may trick the brain into feeling hungry, which may in turn result in more calories being consumed.”


Medics at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, previously warned that having just two soft drinks a day more than doubles your risk of diabetes.

A couple of glasses of sugary or diet pop – such as Diet Coke – raises a person’s chance of the disease by a staggering 139 per cent.

And those glugging a litre daily – around five servings – saw their chances of type 2 diabetes multiply over 10 times.

Experts warned Brits should switch from fizzy drinks to water.


A study penned by experts at the French National Institute for Health in September this year found that less than one can of a fizzy drink each day can raise your risk of heart disease and stroke by 10 per cent.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, lead author Dr Mathilde Touvier said: “This study suggests an association between higher artificial sweetener consumption and increased heart disease risk. 

“Artificial sweeteners are in thousands of food and beverage brands worldwide.

“However, they remain a controversial topic and are currently being re-evaluated by health agencies.”

Data from 130,000 French people found a third of people regularly guzzle the sugar swaps, which include aspartame, sucralose and acesulfame potassium.

The top sweetener consumers had a heart disease rate of 346 per 100,000 – 10 per cent higher than 314 per 100,000 for the lowest.

Their stroke rate was 195 compared to 150 – a 30 per cent rise.

Dr Touvier added: “These food additives, consumed daily by millions of people, should not be considered a healthy and safe alternative to sugar.”


According to scientists from universities in Israel and Singapore, six common artificial sweeteners – aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, neotame, advantame and acesulfame potassium-k – have all been found to be toxic to gut bacteria.

The study, published in Molecules in 2019, looked at the relative toxicity of the sweeteners and ten sports supplements containing them.

It found that the bacteria in the digestive system became toxic when exposed to tiny concentrations of the sweeteners.

Are they safe?

NHS advice says sweeteners are safe and can help to keep blood sugars low for diabetics and reduce the risk of tooth decay.

For most people – unless you’re drinking gallons of the stuff each day – it’s unlikely a can here or there will cause you permanent damage.

The British Soft Drinks Association previously said that the UK Government and Public Health England have publicly endorsed the use of non-sugar sweeteners as a safe alternative to reduce sugar in food and drink and help people manage their weight.

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