If you need a reason to quit drinking diet soda…
…this one is pretty compelling.
The University of Iowa conducted a 10 year study that indiates that drinking diet soda with aspartame may raise your risk of heart disease. This study included 60,000 women and tracked their consumption of diet sodas and their cardiovascular health. 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 and 50 percent more likely to die from related disease.
This is the largest study of its kind, but, the data is consistent with previous studies that linked diet soda to metabolic disease. The correlation to diet soda drinking and heart disease is not fully understood and researchers hope this sparks further research. The speculate that the women who drink two or more diet sodas a day tend to be smokers, have a higher prevalence of both diabetes and high blood pressure, and have a higher body mass index.
Over the average followup of 8.7 years, the primary outcome—defined as a composite of incident coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, heart attack, coronary revascularization procedure, ischemic stroke, peripheral arterial disease, and cardiovascular death—occurred in 8.5 percent of the women consuming two or more diet drinks a day compared to 6.9 percent in the five-to-seven diet drinks per week group; 6.8 percent in the one-to-four drinks per week group; and 7.2 percent in the zero-to-three per month group.
Data was adjusted 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. Even then, the connection existed.
It’s still early in the research, but it’s pretty compelling. If you are a regular drinker of diet soda, you may want to eliminate or cut back your consumption and move to other beverages. My recommendation is to squeeze lemon or lime into water. If you still want a sweet drink, use a natural sweetener like stevia, which will not alter your blood sugar levels.