Today, I just happened to read an article by Dr. Mark Stengler, entitled “Diet Soda’s Death Risk” that sites new research confirming just how deadly diet drinks truly are and how damaging they are to the heart. Women who drink two diet sodas per day are 30% more likely to suffer a heart attack or some other cardiovascular problem. In addition, diet soda drinkers are 50% more likely to die than women who almost never drink diet drinks. It’s frightening to think that this study was only about two diet sodas per day, and so many people drink much more than that given the size of cups at most restaurants. It’s not unusual to see people ordering a 32 oz. drink and then get a refill!
Diet soda drinkers also have a higher risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes, both of which make weight-loss virtually impossible and can lead to so many other chronic problems like neuropathy and even blindness. Three bottles of diet soda per week, not per day, were actually linked to a 60% increase in the risk of the disease. Additional findings show a link between diet drinks and heart problems and stroke, as well as mood disorders like depression.
So what is it in diet drinks that is causing all these health issues? According to Dr. Stengler’s article, the obvious suspect is the artificial sweetener, aspartame. However, there are also several other dangerous chemicals like toxic preservatives and cancer-causing coloring agents. Yes, if you are drinking diet soda you are pretty much drinking chemicals that rival formaldehyde, and perhaps it’s not a coincidence that the first three letters of “diet” are DIE.
All bad jokes aside, sodas are terrible for you regardless if they are regular or diet.
What should you be drinking if sodas are no longer on the go-to list? Drum roll please…Plain water…with truly zero calories and no fancy marketing campaign required. If you want a little flavor, infuse it with lemons, oranges, cucumber or mint. If you are missing the carbonation of soda, simply switch to seltzer water to get that fizz.
Missing the caffeine boost of soda? Try drinking green tea or white tea. Besides a small amount of caffeine, both are alkalizing and are loaded with anti-oxidants to fight free radicals. Herbal teas are great too, for those who want to avoid caffeine, ease stress and improve sleep.
Once upon a time, long, long ago, I was a naive consumer who fell for the marketing hype regarding diet soda. Headlines like, “no sugar and no calories” made me want to switch from regular soda, which is loaded with about 13 teaspoons of sugar per can to diet to help me stay “in shape”. Luckily, I found out sooner, rather than later, that artificial sweeteners are very toxic and unhealthy and I stopped drinking them all together years ago. Based on the timeliness of Dr. Stengler’s report today, it appears not enough people have heard this life-saving message amidst the bombardment of flashy advertisements for diet and regular soda on TV, magazines and billboards.
Can one person make a difference in the world? I sure hope so. I urge you to share this article with your friends and family. Let’s work together to educate them to avoid the diet soda death trap and improve their health and wellness starting today.