The Paleo diet is based on foods hunter-gatherers used to eat prior to the introduction of agriculture and the resulting processed foods. Eating paleo means eliminating all grains, especially gluten-containing grains, dairy products, legumes, sugar and processed foods. A paleo meal is based on generous servings of seasonal non-starchy vegetables, adequate amounts of protein from wild-caught fish and seafood, free-range fowl and eggs as well as grass-fed meat accompanied with healthy fats from olive oil, coconut oil, avocado and nuts and seeds. Although diet sodas are sugar-free, they fall in the category of Neolithic processed foods that should be avoided by paleo eaters.
Fueling Your Body With the Best Fuel
Diet sodas are sweetened with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and acesulfame-potassium. Although they may be slightly better than sugar-loaded and high-fructose corn syrup sweetened sodas, diet sodas contain many processed and refined ingredients that do not contribute to your health. Eating paleo is all about eating and drinking only the foods and drinks that will provide the best fuel for your body. Diet sodas provide you with nothing more than empty calories and chemical substances that are not likely to contribute to your overall health and well-being.
Insulin Response and Weight
Although artificial sweeteners do not influence your blood sugar levels, their sweet taste may still trigger the release of insulin by your pancreas. A study published in August 2010 in the journal "Appetite" show that the consumption of aspartame and stevia by lean and obese individuals lead to the release of insulin. High levels of insulin in the blood, also called hyperinsulinemia, is associated with increased body fat, an altered blood lipid profile, high blood pressure and insulin resistance, as explained in a review published in the March 2011 "Research Reports in Clinical Cardiology." If you are following a paleo diet but are not able to lose body fat and optimize your body composition, diet sodas and the artificial sweeteners they contain could be what is hindering your progresses.
Drinking diet soda and artificially sweetened drinks on a regular basis can maintain your sweet tooth and your addiction to sweets. If you are interesting in adopting a paleo lifestyle, the most important steps consists in eliminating grains, dairy, legumes and sugar. After you have successfully cleaned up your eating habits, it may be time to eliminate diet sodas. Challenge yourself to eliminate them for 30 days to see if it impacts your energy levels, body weight and overall health in a positive way. You may experience intense cravings during the first week or two, but your desire to have diet sodas will quickly go away as you experience the benefit from eliminating them from your diet.
Kicking Your Diet Soda Addiction
To make it easier to kick your diet soda habit, replace diet sodas with other drinks. For most people, plain water is not tasty enough. Add a zest of lemon or lime to your water to spice it up, or even add fresh strawberries to flavor your water naturally. If you miss the fizz, try carbonated water and flavor with lime or lemon juice. Unsweetened teas and herbal teas also are good alternatives to diet sodas on the paleo diet.