All these labels “healthy”, “natural”, and “sugar-free” and “diet” makes us to believe that they are true and safe for use, and because of that many people are buying products with these labels. However, the underlining truth is that they are far from save.
For instance, diet soda is considered the healthier alternative of regular soda, which unfortunately is not true. These diet sodas are consumed by many Americans and because of that Dr. Ankur Vyas, an expert in cardiovascular disease at University of Iowa Health Care Hospitals and Clinics performed studies on this issue.
He realized that all these products do not display enough information regarding the health risks of the consumption, particularly the consequences on cardiovascular health. He monitored persons who consumed:“two or more cans of diet soda a day were 30% more likely to have a cardiovascular event (e.g. heart attack) and 50% more likely to die of a heart-related disease than someone who drank none.”
Further on, he maintains, quoting: “This is one of the largest studies on this topic, and our findings are consistent with some previous data, especially those linking diet drinks to the metabolic syndrome”.
Dr. Ankur Vyas along with his team monitored over60, 000 postmenopausal women for 9 years in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. The involved participants in this study were divided into 4 groups who had to track and report their consumption of 12-ounce diet sodas and fruit drinks for3 months. The four groups had the following consumption:
Consumption of 2 or more drinks daily
Consumption of 5 to 7 drinks a week
Consumption of 1 to 4 drinks a week
Consumption of 0-3 drinks per month
Once the 9 years period has finished the researchers examined the results, and here it is what they showed:
Congestive heart failure
Coronary revascularization procedure
Peripheral arterial disease
Coronary heart disease
Furthermore, while the study was still going on 8.5% of the ladies who drank 2 or more diet drinks a day had to undergo one or more interventions, then 6.9% of them who had 5 to 7 diet drinks per week underwent the same interventions, 6.8% of the group who consumed 1 to 4 drinks a week, and 7.2% in the 0-3 per month group.
In the first group the participants were younger women, with higher BMIs than others. These facts suggest that the consumption of diet soda led to various health problems.
In addition to this, they were more susceptible to hypertension and diabetes. These facts are alarmingly disturbing, but the research team did not release an official conclusion.
Here it is how Dr. Ankur Vyas explains this: “Based on these and other findings we have a responsibility to do more research to see what is going on and further define the relationship. This could have major public health implications.”
Aside this study, there is also another 10-year study carried out at the University of Miami and Columbia University which involved 2,500 New Yorkers in an age over 40, who had never before experienced a stroke.
In this study, the participants were obliged to track their habits regarding the consumption of soda, and at the same time their health concerns, medications intake, and hospitalizations, once per year.
According to experts who monitored this study, participants who consumed diet soda showed elevated risk of stroke and heart attack, moreover some of them passed away during the study. Likewise, they showed higher blood sugar levels and larger waistlines contrary to the persons who consumed only regular soda. Further on, a person who drank diet soda on daily basis had a 36% higher risk of metabolic syndrome and a 67% higher risk of diabetes.
The other participants who consumed regular soda were more prone to smoking and higher intake of carbohydrates, but the risk of diabetes and high cholesterol was lowered.
The researchers of this study came to the conclusion that soda consumption, no matter if it was diet or regular, was equally linked to cardiovascular disease risk factors.
The researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden also performed analysis on daily consumption of non-diet soda. In their study were involved 42,400 males older than 12 who drank non-diet soda regularly, and the findings were that those who consumed 2 or more 200ml servings had a 23 % higher risk of developing heart failure. Moreover, in 3 604 of the cases, consuming soda was the direct link to heart failure, and unfortunately 509 of them died as a result of that consumption..
A significant part of these medical conditions were resulting from the presence of artificial sweeteners inside these products including aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin. Moreover, the intense flavor of these sweeteners in time lowered the ability to sweet sweetness as well as before.
Likewise, their use involves increased cholesterol levels, weight gain, insulin resistance, high glucose levels, high blood pressure, and higher threat of stroke, diabetes, and heart diseases.
For that reason, try to replace these products with organic fruit juice or herbal tea. Stay away from these harmful sodas if you want to preserve your precious health.