Diet Soda: The Real Reason It Makes You Fat

A woman holding glasses of both water and soda
You’ve heard that diet soda isn’t all that great for you, but have you been confused as to exactly why? Well, scientists now believe bacteria has something to do with it.

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Consuming high amounts of fructose (a type of sugar), artificial sweeteners, and sugar alcohols (another type of low-calorie sweetener) cause your gut bacteria to adapt in a way that interferes with your satiety signals and metabolism, according to a new paper in Obesity Reviews. (If you’ve noticed you’ve been feeling tired all the time and gaining weight, your metabolism may be slowing).

“An evolution of the gut flora to this new sweetener-rich environment has a potential to negatively impact our health,” says Amanda Payne, Ph.D., lead author of the review.