Good Question: Is diet soda bad for you?

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Coca-Cola is hoping that four new diet soda flavors targeted at Millenials will be a winner after the company’s recent dip in diet soda sales.

RELATED: Diet Coke’s new cans and flavors are Millennial-friendly

The new flavors include Ginger Lime, Feisty Cherry, Zesty Blood Orange and Twisted Mango.

File photo | EastIdahoNews.com

“The only one I really enjoyed was Twisted Mango,” said Nate Sunderland, our Managing Editor after bringing the new flavors into work yesterday. “Ginger Lime is gross. I couldn’t even finish it. Feisty Cherry was decent, and Zesty Blood Orange was a huge disappointment.”

There is the opinion of one millennial. How do other millennials feel? We’ll have to wait and see how well these new flavors sell.

Today, I would like to focus on another topic. All of us at EastIdahoNews.com are supposedly on a health kick. Earlier this month, we told you about the goals we’re staying accountable to you for.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHAT WE’RE DOING.

As part of this, some of our News team is dumping soda from their diet. As Nate walked happily into work with his pack of diet soda, I asked him,

“Is caffeine free and sugar free soda bad for you? Is carbonation itself bad for you?”

I decided to see what I could learn from Dietician McKenzie Rockwood. Rockwood is the owner of Citrus Pear Dinners in Idaho Falls, a company devoted to educating people about nutrition through meal preparation classes.

Is caffeine free and sugar free soda bad for you?

Rockwood says diet soda is fine, as long as it’s not a replacement for water or milk. But she also says artificial sweeteners in diet soda can be a concern.

“There is research linking artificial sweeteners in soda to diabetes and obesity,” says Rockwood. “Some studies are showing that (artificial sweeteners) create a false sense of sweetness. It tastes like you’re getting something sweet, but your body is not processing it so you crave other sweets.”

The concern with soda, in general, is the high phosphorus content. Rockwood says phosphorus pulls calcium from your bones.

“So (by drinking soda), not only is it decreasing your milk intake but it’s also pulling the calcium from your bones. So it’s a double whammy,” Rockwood said.

Is carbonation itself bad for you?

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Sarah Hulse is another dietician with Citrus Pear Dinners. She told me carbonation, in large amounts, is hard on tooth enamel. She also says drinking carbonated water is not the same as drinking tap water or bottled water.

“There are people who say ‘I just don’t like water.’ Perrier and LaCroix are popular right now because they are flavored. Sometimes you just need that bubbly sensation. That’s part of enjoying food, but I wouldn’t do it every time.”

If you want to submit a Good Question, email rett.nelson@eastidahonews.com. Use “Good Question” in the subject line.

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