In the largest study of its kind, researchers declare diet soda to contribute to a number of health problems.
It’s nothing new to report that aspartame is an artificial sweetener everyone should aim to avoid. In the past, it has been proven to contribute to a list of ailments, including Diabetes, neurological concerns, weight gain, brain fog, and more.
But in a study (published in 2014) which took place over 10 years and involved 60,000 women, it was determined that women who drink two or more diet drinks a day have much higher cardiovascular disease rates and are more likely to die from the disease.
In the largest study of its kind, The University of Iowa concluded the following:
Compared to women who never or only rarely consume diet drinks, those who consume two or more a day are 30 percent more likely to have a cardiovascular event [heart attack or stroke] and 50 percent more likely to die from related disease. 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, says Dr. Ankur Vyas the lead investigator of the study.
The association persisted even after researchers adjusted the data to account for demographic characteristics and other cardiovascular risk factors, including body mass index, smoking, hormone therapy use, physical activity, energy intake, salt intake, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and sugar-sweetened beverage intake.
On average, women who consumed two or more diet drinks a day were younger, more likely to be smokers, and had a higher prevalence of diabetes, high blood pressure, and higher body mass index.
One reason for the decline could be a growing awareness of the obesity epidemic in the US and growing health concerns surrounding sugar-sweetened beverages. According to Reuters, industry experts say the beverage industry is shrinking under the scrutiny. Even diet-branded drinks have suffered a loss of sales with concerns over artificial sweeteners.
It seems consumers are becoming aware of the importance their diet and lifestyle play in warding off modern-day diseases of affluence, and in effect are making more conscious choices.
Life can still be sweet…
There are plenty of natural, healthy sweeteners one can indulge in from time to time. Some low-glycemic options (don’t raise blood sugar) are stevia, coconut nectar, yacon syrup, and xylitol. And other unrefined, wholesome sweeteners are whole, dried fruits (dates, raisins, apricots), raw honey, agave syrup, brown rice syrup, and cane sugar (unprocessed), among others.
Overall, however, a switch to a predominantly plant-based, whole foods, low-glycemic, and unprocessed diet will lend great favor in one’s quest to get healthier and ward off diseases related to their diet, lifestyle, and thoughts.