As I sat here this morning, sipping my coffee, I remembered the old days. Back when I was a young adult, I would often drink one or two liters of soft drinks per day. I went through diet and regular stages, sometimes deciding the sugar had too many calories or that the artificial sweeteners might not be good for me. But I always drank a lot of whichever variety. I even went through stages when I drank [gasp] Kool-Aid, because I'd decide that soda was too expensive.
Now, I basically drink lots of water and a little coffee, tea, and wine. Typically, I have hot coffee (sometimes tea) for breakfast, iced tea or water for lunch, and wine or water for dinner. As an afternoon treat in the summer, sometimes I have an iced coffee, or in the winter, I'll have a cup of hot tea. When I saw this article recently, it occurred to me that it is not that unusual to hear about research showing that people who drink water, coffee, tea, and wine realize some health benefits. But I've never heard of any research that showed people who drink soda or Kool-Aid or any artificial drinks realize any outcomes other than being more likely to be obese or overweight -- and that's true even if they're drinking diet sodas. How can you become overweight drinking diet soda with is calorie free? Theories include the concept that people think they can eat more since they're drinking diet soda, as well as the possibility that artificial sweeteners make you crave more sweets.
It's just more confirmation of what Michael Pollan says in his book, In Defense of Food, "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." I sort of figured that out about 10 years ago, although I wasn't able to articulate it as nicely as Pollan. One of these days I still need to review that book on here, but as I've heard him say in countless interviews over the past year -- the more you study the topic of nutrition, the more you realize that it is not nearly as complicated as scientists make it. The whole thing really can be summarized in those seven words.