So you are trying to take control of your diet and live a healthier life, but you simply can’t resist soda. You approve your decision and decide that you will continue drinking soda as long as you switch to diet soda instead. Millions of people do this every year, as the clever marketing sectors of large soda companies convince us that switching to diet is a healthy alternative.
But, these claims are simply untrue! Most soda producers use aspartame, an artificial sweetener, to replace sugar. A recent study by the University of Iowa has shown that this chemical is connected to an increased risk of heart disease.
Dangers of Drinking Diet Soda
The study, by Dr. Ankur Vyas, was one of the best of its type and 60,000 women participated in it for over nine years. The Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study found that participants who drank two or more cans of diet soda per day were 30% more likely to have a cardiovascular event and 50% more likely to die of a heart-related disease than people who didn’t consume any.
Dr. Vyas says that this study is one of the major studies on this topic, and their findings are consistent with some previous data. According to the study, one in five people in the United States drinks diet drinks every day.
The 59,614 participants were divided into four groups by the research team: 2-4 diet drinks a day, 5-7 diet drinks per week, 1-4 diet drinks per week, and 0-3 diet drinks per month.
Nine years later, the health records of each woman was analyzed and the results were that cardiovascular death, peripheral arterial disease, ischemic stroke, coronary revascularization procedure, heart attack, congestive heart failure, and coronary heart disease, occurred in 8.5% of the women consuming 2-4 diet drinks a day compared to 6.9% in the 5-7 diet drinks per week group; 6.8% in the 1-4 drinks per week group; and 7.2% in the 0-3 per month group.
The results didn’t appear to fit the hypothesis that aspartame is one of the leading reasons for heart disease. The records showed that along the slightly higher rate of heart-related health problems, the women in the 2-4 a day group were, on average, younger than the women in the other groups. This means that the diet sodas were causing health problems at an accelerated rate. The women in this group also had the highest average blood pressure and the rate of diabetes.
Despite the scale of the study, there is no official conclusion but the initial signs are worrying. Vyas explains that they have a responsibility to do additional research.
Some more research projects have been done since the publication of the University of Iowa’s results, in order to deduce the scale of the problems that aspartame can cause. The advice in the meantime is to cut out soda drinks from your life and even if you do occasionally indulge; regular soda is actually better than the diet variety.
The money spent into making diet soda appear as a healthy alternative is a proof that many huge companies are more concerned with the money than benefitting their customers. When it comes to the things you consume, make sure you know exactly what you are putting into your body.