Everyone has that occasional craving for an ice-cold bottle of soda. Mainstream advertising preaches that the healthiest way to satisfy this craving is with a diet soda. Why? Diet soda has no sugar and won’t tack on empty calories to your diet. According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, one in five Americans drink diet soda everyday.
Manufacturers advertise diet soda by claiming it’s the best healthy alternative to sugary drinks. While sugar does have its pitfalls, most soda companies replace sugar with another potentially more detrimental substance called aspartame. A University of Iowa study found that aspartame is associated with an increase in heart disease. Diet soda may appear to be the healthier choice, but in the long run it comes with an increased risk of heart problems.
Dr. Ankur Vyas performed a 9 year study on about 60,000 women. He split the women into different groups according to how much diet soda they consumed on a daily-to-weekly basis. After the nine years, each woman was examined. The study found that 6.8% of women who consumed one or more diets sodas suffered from congestive heart failure, coronary revascularization procedure, coronary heart disease, heart attack, peripheral arterial disease, ischemic stroke, or even cardiovascular death. The more diet soda they consumed, the higher their chance of encountering heart diseases increased.
Women that drank two or more diet sodas every day, were 30% more likely to suffer a cardiovascular incident such as a heart attack and a 50% increased risk of dying from a heart-related illness. This in comparison to women who never or rarely consumed diet soda.
This study only found an association with diet soda and heart disease. More research still needs to be done to further investigate the direct causes.
Best advice is to avoid drinking diet soda or any other sort of soda. If you insist on drinking soda, a regular soda is better than the diet alternative. Live a healthy life by ensuring that you’re aware of what you consume. Don’t put something in your body with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Need an example? As-par-ta-me, the sugar substitute used in most diet drinks.