Like millions of others around the globe, you may love the refreshing taste of your favorite diet soda. With each sip, you relish in the knowledge that you’re saving calories by drinking diet instead of regular soda, so you may rationalize the amount of soda you consume. But is diet soda really a healthy alternative or are there health risks associated with drinking too much of this beverage?
In short, there are indeed potential problems with drinking diet soda. One of the most unexpected and undesired? Weight gain.
That’s right—the very thing you may suspect you’re avoiding by skipping the regular soda may be what you run right into if you’re not careful. But weight gain isn’t the only problem you may run into. Researchers have conducted studies that link diet soda to all sorts of health maladies, including strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.
Are these claims valid? And what’s the real skinny on diet sodas? You’re about to find out.
Diet Sodas = Weight Gain?
A recent 10-year study followed 474 diet soda drinkers between the ages of 65 and 74. After this prolonged period, those whose who drank diet soda gained 70 percent more weight in their waists than non-drinkers. Unfortunately, the bad news doesn’t end there. Because those who drank two or more diet drinks a day experienced waist growth that was an incredible five times faster than non-soda drinkers. And with this weight gain came an increase in other health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic medical conditions.
According to another study, the ingredient in diet sodas that may contribute to weight gain was the artificial sweetener aspartame. This sweetener raises raise blood sugar levels and increases your risk of diabetes. Experts speculate that artificial sweeteners trigger your appetite but inhibit the cells in your brain that tell you that you’re full. With such a dangerous combination, your body craves more calories, while your ability to cease and desist is diminished.
Diet Sodas = Higher Risk for Heart Attack and Stroke – WHAT?!
Gaining weight is a pretty bad consequence of drinking diet soda. But it gets worse. One study conducted on approximately 2,500 people over a nine-year period found that those who drank at least one diet soda a day were 48 percent more likely to have a stroke or heart attack compared to those who rarely or never drank sodas. Strangely, there wasn’t an increase in cardiovascular problems for those who drink regular soda on a daily basis.
The research, however, doesn’t scientifically prove that diet soda increases your risk for heart disease, as the study was lacking important variables. The findings are worth considering, however. Especially as regular soda did not seem to increase an individual’s risk for cardiovascular health problems.