- With Mayo Clinic nutritionist
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.read biographyclose window
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor for the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, Katherine is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She is active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition education related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
Nutrition basics (31)
- Phenylalanine in diet soda: Is it harmful?
- Diet soda: Is it bad for you?
- Stevia: Can it help with weight control?
- see all in Nutrition basics
Healthy diets (10)
- Canola oil: Does it contain toxins?
- Butter vs. margarine: Which is better for my heart?
- Detox diets: Do they work?
- see all in Healthy diets
Healthy cooking (7)
- When the heat is on, which oil should you use?
- Moldy cheese: Is it OK to eat?
- Food poisoning: How long can you safely keep leftovers?
- see all in Healthy cooking
Healthy menus and shopping strategies (8)
- Calories in sushi: What are the low-cal options?
- White whole-wheat bread: Is it nutritious?
- Sodium nitrate in meat: Heart disease risk factor?
- see all in Healthy menus and shopping strategies
Nutritional supplements (18)
- What is wheatgrass — And why is it in my drink?
- Do the benefits of vitamin C include improved mood?
- Prenatal vitamins: OK for women who aren't pregnant?
- see all in Nutritional supplements
Diet soda: Is it bad for you?
I drink diet soda every day. Could this be harmful?
from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
Drinking a reasonable amount of diet soda a day, such as a can or two, isn't likely to hurt you. The artificial sweeteners and other chemicals currently used in diet soda are safe for most people, and there's no credible evidence that these ingredients cause cancer.
Some types of diet soda are even fortified with vitamins and minerals. But diet soda isn't a health drink or a silver bullet for weight loss. Although switching from regular soda to diet soda may save you calories in the short term, it's not yet clear if it's effective for preventing obesity and related health problems.
Healthier low-calorie choices abound, including water, skim milk, and unsweetened tea or coffee.Next question
Stevia: Can it help with weight control?
- Artificial sweeteners and cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/artificial-sweeteners. Accessed Aug. 21, 2012.
- Use of nutritive and nonnutritive sweeteners. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2012;112:739.
- Nonnutritive sweeteners: Current use and health perspectives. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association. Circulation. 2012;126:509.
- Zeratsky KA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 21, 2012.
- de Koning L, et al. Sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened beverage consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2011;93:1321.
- Common questions about diet and cancer. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Healthy/EatHealthyGetActive/ACSGuidelinesonNutritionPhysicalActivityforCancerPrevention/acs-guidelines-on-nutrition-and-physical-activity-for-cancer-prevention-common-questions. Accessed Aug. 28, 2012.