Don’t believe in everything you read, because those products that say: “healthy”, “sugar-free” or “natural”, are not good for your overall health, especially when it comes to diet soda or diet snacks.
Diet Soda And Heart Disease
According to the statistics, one in five Americans consume diet drinks on a daily basis, which sparked the curiosity of Dr. Ankur Vyas, who is a fellow in cardiovascular disease at University of Iowa Health Care Hospitals and Clinics.
He noticed that when it comes to these diet drinks, there is a lack of data about their health consequences. He conducted a study that focused on the effects of these drinks on people’s cardiovascular health, and he discovered that those who drank “two or more cans of diet soda a day were 30% more likely to have a cardiovascular event (e.g. heart attack) and 50% more likely to die of a heart-related disease than someone who drank none.
Dr. Vyas said: “This is one of the largest studies on this topic, and our findings are consistent with some previous data, especially those linking diet drinks to the metabolic syndrome.”
Long Time Coming
Dr. Vyas and his colleagues conducted a study involving 60,000 postmenopausal women over the course of nine years. At the beginning, the participants tracked and reported their consumption of 12-ounce diet sodas and fruit drinks for three months. After that, they were divided into 4 groups:
- 2 or more drinks a day
- 5-7 drinks per week
- 1-4 drinks per week
- 0-3 drinks per month
After 8,7 years, their health records were examined in order to bright to light their history of disease and medical interventions.
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Cardiovascular death
- Coronary heart disease
- Heart attack
- Congestive heart failure
- Coronary revascularization procedure
- Ischemic stroke
Over the course of the study, 8.5% of the women who drank 2 or more diet drinks per day experienced one or more interventions. This is compared with the 6.9% in the five-to-seven diet drinks per week group, 6.8% in the one-to-four drinks per week group, and 7.2% in the zero-to-three per month group.
Those women who drank two or more diet drinks were significantly younger and the results showed that they had higher BMIs than women in the other groups, which means that drinking diet soda on a daily basis causes health issues at an accelerated rate. Moreover, they also had higher chances of developing diabetes and high blood pressure.
“Based on these and other findings we have a responsibility to do more research to see what is going on and further define the relationship,” Vyas explained. “This could have major public health implications.”
Columbia University and the University of Miami conducted a study in 2012 which included 2,500 New Yorkers over the age of 40 for 10 years. None of the participants has ever experiences a stroke before this study.
All the participants were asked to write down their soda drinking habits, they also had to report health issues, hospitalizations and new medications once a year during a phone interview.
The results of the study showed that those who were drinking diet soda were more likely to have had a stroke or heart attack, or even to die from vascular disease over the course of the study. Moreover, they were also more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and to be former smokers. In addition, the participants who drank diet soda had on average, higher blood sugar and larger waistlines than their regular soda drinking counterparts.
Individuals who drank diet soda on a daily basis had 36% higher chances of developing metabolic syndrome and 67% more likely to develop diabetes.
In the other hand, when it comes to those who drank regular soda, they were more likely to smoke and consume more carbohydrates, but still, they were less likely to have diabetes or high cholesterol.
After the results, the researchers concluded that the consumption of soda, both regular and diet, is equally linked to cardiovascular risk factors.
The Karolinska Institute in Sweden conducted a similar study and the researchers examined the effect of daily non-diet soda consumption.
Their study included 42,400 men, and after 12 years of examination, they discovered that who drank two or more 200ml servings had a 23 percent higher risk of developing heart failure.
Another important thing they discovered was that in 3 604 cases, the consumption of soda was a direct factor in the development of heart failure, and even 509 people died as a result of this condition.
Not So Sweet
These products contain artificial sweeteners like sucralose, saccharin and aspartame, which cause all of the abovementioned ailments.
Due to the fact that these artificial sweeteners have more intense flavor than natural ones, they may diminish your ability to taste sweetness after some time.
Moreover, artificial sweeteners have the same effects as regular sugar, which are detrimental for our overall health. They cause insulin resistance, raise cholesterol levels, cause weight gain, high blood pressure, and elevated glucose levels. Due to all these conditions, you are at a higher risk of experiencing stroke, heart disease and develop diabetes.
I hope that you will think twice the next time you reach for a diet soda and you will substitute it with an organic fruit juice or healthy tea.