Friday Q&A: Diet Coke; Stomach Woes; Strength Training for Beginners; & Finding the Right Doctor for Menopause
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The first question (about Diet Coke) is free for everyone. The remaining questions (about stomach issues; strength training for beginners; and finding a doctor who is knowledgeable about menopause) are for paid subscribers.
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Let’s dive in!
Am I negating all my efforts to eat clean and avoid processed food by having a daily Diet Coke? I feel so guilty. I try to focus on organic fruits, veggies and meats/fish. I only drink wine on the weekends and I exercise regularly. But I can’t seem to give up my daily diet Coke!
The short answer is no—your healthy habits aren’t negated by soda. Would swapping your can of Diet Coke for a glass of water be healthier? Probably yes. The caffeine in Diet Coke can quicken our pulse, stir up stomach acid, interfere with sleep, and dehydrate us. The artificial sweeteners and chemicals in Diet Coke probably aren’t great for us, but there’s also no credible evidence that they cause cancer.
It also sounds like Diet Coke provides you great pleasure.
So I’d ditch the guilt and reframe your question to, “What are the pros and cons of Diet Coke for me?”—and then weigh the downsides of Diet Coke for you against the upsides.
If your insomnia, irritability, and guilty conscience improve when you consume less Diet Coke, you might decide to limit it. If you decide that the benefit of a mid-day energy boost outweighs the frequent trips to the bathroom, then keep it!
Everything we put into our body has pros and cons. Everything we do carries risk and reward. Health is about mitigating risks while optimizing rewards. Sometimes that means enjoying Diet Coke and tolerating the downsides. Sometimes it means quitting a joyful habit because we took stock of the harms.
Nice work with your generally healthy lifestyle, Julie! Nothing—not even Diet Coke—can undo that.
What is the best way to deal with gas, bloating, and irregular poops? Is a probiotic any help? Everyone I ask has a different suggestion.
- Hungry for answers
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