Numerous people rely on labels like “healthy”, “natural”, “sugar-free” and “diet” when choosing their food and drinks, but apparently, the fewer calories have a higher price.
Diet soda is said to be a healthier alternative to regular soda, but this is far from the truth.
Statistics show that 1 in 5 Americans drinks diet drinks on a daily basis. This caught the attention of Dr. Ankur Vyas, an expert in cardiovascular disease at University of Iowa Health Care Hospitals and Clinics.
He noticed that these beverages do not contain all the needed information regarding the health risks of the consumption, especially the consequences on cardiovascular health.
He studies individuals 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.”
“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”.
He and his team, in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, studies more than 60,000 postmenopausal women for 9 years. Initially, participants tracked and reported their consumption of 12-ounce diet sodas and fruit drinks for3 months, and were divided into 4 groups:
- 2 or more drinks daily
- 5-7 drinks per week
- 1-4 drinks per week
- 0-3 drinks per month
After 8.7 years, the results recorded were observed, and researchers found these were the effects of the consumption of the diet drinks:
- Heart attack
- Ischemic stroke
- Congestive heart failure
- Coronary revascularization procedure
- Coronary heart disease
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Cardiovascular death
During the study, 8.5% of the women who consumed 2 or more diet drinks a day experienced one or more interventions, 6.9% of those who had 5-7 diet drinks per week group, 6.8% in the group of participants who consumed 1-4 drinks per week, and 7.2% in the 0-3 per month group.
The first group involved significantly younger women, with higher BMIs than others. This indicates that diet soda led to numerous health issues.
Plus, they were found to be more prone to diabetes and high blood pressure. The data found is undoubtedly alarming, but the research team did not announce an official conclusion.
Vyas gave an explanation:
“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. This could have major public health implications.”
Another 10-year study conducted at the University of Miami and Columbia University involved 2,500 New Yorkers older than 40, who had never experienced a stroke before.
Participants were told to track their habits concerning the consumption of soda, as well as their health issues, medication use, and hospitalizations, once annually.
Experts found that those who drank diet soda has an increased stroke and heart attack risk, or have even passed away over the course of the study.
They also had higher blood sugar levels and larger waistlines compared to those who drank regular soda. People who consumed diet soda daily had a 36% higher risk of metabolic syndrome and a 67% higher risk of diabetes.
Participants who drank regular soda were more likely to smoke and consume more carbohydrates but had a lower diabetes and high cholesterol risk.
The conclusion of the researchers was that soda consumption, both diet and regular, was equally related to cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Moreover, researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden analyzed the daily consumption of non-diet soda. Their study involved 42,400 men older than 12 years and showed that those who drank 2 or more 200ml servings had a 23 percent higher risk of developing heart failure.
Also, in 3 604 of the cases, soda consumption was the direct cause of heart failure, and 509 of them died due to it.
Some of these resulting medical conditions are caused by the artificial sweeteners in these products, such as aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose.
Their intense flavor gradually reduces the ability to sweet sweetness as well.
Other side-effects of these artificial sweeteners include weight gain, increased cholesterol levels, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high glucose levels, and increased stroke, diabetes, and heart diseases risk.
Hence, it is much wiser to choose organic fruit juice or herbal tea than diet soda. Avoid these harmful drinks in order to prevent numerous detrimental consequences on your health.