Research suggests sugary beverages are to blame for about 183,000 deaths worldwide each year, including 133,000 diabetes deaths, 44,000 heart disease deaths and 6,000 cancer deaths. Even drinking one or more 250 ml (about 8 ounce) servings of soda per day raises your risk of Type 2 diabetes by 18 percent. Soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are a leading source of added sugar in the U.S. diet, with 6 in 10 youth and 5 in 10 adults drinking at least one such beverage on any given day.

Now the idea that diet soda is a healthier option than regular soda is one of the biggest prevailing myths in the nutrition realm today. If you’re one of the nearly half of U.S. adults who consume artificial sweeteners, mostly in the form of diet soda, daily (even one-quarter of kids do so as well), it’s important you’re let in on the truth: Drinking diet soda puts your health at risk of the following conditions:

Stroke and Dementia

Drinking one artificially sweetened beverage a day may increase your risk of stroke and dementia by threefold compared to drinking less than one a week. Even drinking one to six artificially sweetened beverages a week was linked to 2.6 greater risk of stroke compared to not drinking any. A 2012 study similarly found that people who drank diet soft drinks daily were 43 percent more likely to have suffered a vascular event, including a stroke.

Heart Attack

Research that included nearly 60,000 postmenopausal women who were followed for about 10 years found that drinking just two diet drinks a day can dramatically increase your risk of an early death from heart disease.

Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes

People with Type 2 diabetes are often advised to consume artificial sweeteners in lieu of sugar, but research shows consumption of diet soda at least daily is associated with a 36 percent greater relative risk of metabolic syndrome and a 67 percent greater relative risk of Type 2 diabetes compared with not consuming any.

Depression

According to a study that included nearly 264,000 U.S. adults over the age of 50, those who drank more than four cans or glasses of diet soda or other artificially sweetened beverages daily had a nearly 30 percent higher risk of depression compared to those who did not consume diet drinks.

Weight Gain

In April 2017, research presented at ENDO 2017, the Endocrine Society’s 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, once again found that artificial sweeteners promote metabolic dysfunction that may promote the accumulation of fat. A study on mice also revealed that animals fed aspartame-laced drinking water gained weight and developed symptoms of metabolic syndrome while mice not fed the artificial sweetener did not.

Read more to know the healthier option for soda…

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