Diets high in sugar have been linked with many deadly diseases like obesity, higher cholesterol, and of course obesity. These also increase the risk of death from heart diseases.
A big percentage of people’s main source of added sugar in their diet comes from sweetened beverages and sodas (after all one can of normal soda contains 9 teaspoons of sugar and this is the maximum recommended limit of added sugar in a health diet). So, it is quite natural that they switch to diet soda to avoid added sugar.
Are artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes like sucralose and aspartame bad for health? Rather these are helpful in losing weight in the short term. These are also quite beneficial for people with diabetes.
But if you want to shed pounds in the long term, replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners is not going to help. The added sugar comes from many sources other than sodas too. For example, you get added sugar in foods like bread, pastries, ice cream, frozen yogurt and candies etc.
Cons of Diet Soda
First problem with diet sodas is that the sweeteners used in these diet sodas are hundreds of times sweeter than normal sugar. For example, Saccharin used in Sweet’N Low can be 700 times sweeter than normal sugar. Similarly, the Sucralose used in Splenda can be 600 times sweeter than everyday sugar. 
When you use these artificial sweeteners in diet sodas, your body becomes addicted to a lot of sweetness and your body may get addicted to this and you may start craving for more sweet foods. The result will be that you may not like less sweet healthy fruits and vegetables.
There is also evidence that those who drink diet sodas end up consuming more high calorie foods like french fries, cakes, cookies and ice creams.
Research conducted on mice has also suggested that artificial sweeteners damage the bacteria composition in intestines and this increases calorie consumption and likelihood of higher blood sugar.
How to Switch to Low Sugar diet
The American Heart Association recommends that women should not take more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar and for men the limit is 9 teaspoons per day.
If you want to transition to a low sugar diet, then these artificial sweeteners and sugar free sodas might help you in the short term. But in the meanwhile try to develop your taste for other flavored drinks such as sparking water. You can also experiment by adding fresh fruit juice, lime or lemon to water. Other options could be adding berries or fresh mint.
Other healthy drinks to consider are tea, coffee and green tea. You will also get healthy antioxidants like phytonutrients with these drinks. If you like sweetened coffee or tea, then try to cut down the teaspoons of sugar you add gradually over a few weeks.
How to Cut Down Added Sugar
Changing your recipes is a great way to decrease your reliance on added sugar. You can gradually cut down sugar in your recipes. It might well turn out that you like the less sweet variation more.
When you are buying food, try to read food labels carefully and go for the options with less added sugar because sugar is added in processed foods like salad dressings, bread, crackers, soups and many other things.
A good way is to look for low sugar alternatives when buying jellies, syrups, sauces, mainades etc. You may find a reduced sugar or no added sugar option too.
Try to use herbs and spices to flavor your food in place of sugar. For example, you may experiment with mint, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove to add taste to your food.
When buying cereal for your daily breakfast, read the labels and pick up the one that has the least amount of added sugar
Always opt for eating fruit in place of fruit juice. If you must drink juice, then it should be 100 percent fruit juice because normal juice drinks in the market have loads of added sugar.