diet soda and heart attacks

Diet Soda and Heart Attacks

There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding diet soda products in recent years. But a new study suggests that the risks may be worse than we thought.

A U.S. study from the Journal of General Internal Medicine has just reported findings that indicate a possible link between diet soda and risk of heart attack and stroke.

The study looked at 2600 adults for a period of 10 years, comparing those who drank diet soda on a daily basis to those who drank no diet soda whatsoever.

Researchers found that the daily diet soda drinkers were at a 44 percent increased risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke when compared to the non-drinkers. Pretty shocking findings, right? But let’s look more closely at these results…

One of the key issues when it comes to these kinds of health studies is the possibility of confounding factors. Basically, there’s no way to know for sure if there was a direct link between diet soda and heart attack risk. There may be a number of lifestyle factors common to diet soda drinkers that are actually putting them at greater risk. For example, diet soda drinkers may also be exercising less or eating poorer diets.

This is important to keep in mind whenever you hear about this kind of research. But that doesn’t mean the research should be ignored. In fact, researchers in the current study controlled for a number of other key factors, including exercise, diet, blood pressure, and diabetes, suggesting that these variables were not to blame.

This bolsters the study’s conclusions, and although it’s still not proof, it does suggest that something might be going on. At the very least, diet soda drinkers should take caution.

What’s the deal with diet soda and health?

Aside from this latest research, diet soda has been getting a bad rap for quite some time. The major culprit has been the artificial and chemical sweeteners that are used in place of sugar. A large body of research has shown that these actually interfere with your blood glucose levels and lead to spikes in appetite, which can be deadly for weight loss.

Combined with the current findings on diet soda and heart attack risk, I would recommend at least reducing your intake of diet soda.

What constitutes a healthy diet?  

I’m a big supporter of a whole foods diet, and when it comes down to it, I think it’s always best to eliminate foods that are highly processed or full of chemical ingredients. Going natural can have a huge impact on your weight loss and fitness efforts. Here are some general rules of thumb I like to live by:

  • Replace all processed and bleached grains (e.g., white flour, white rice) with whole grains whenever possible. They’re more nutritious and will keep you full longer.
  • Get lots of protein to support lean muscle growth and keep you feeling satisfied. A natural protein supplement like Optimum 100% Natural Whey can be a great addition to your diet.
  • Get lots of vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet. You should have something green on your plate for every meal!
  • Reduce your intake of refined sugars and bad fats, and increase your intake of health fats like those found in fish, avocado, and nuts. Watch your labels!
  • Finally, give yourself some slack once in a while and indulge. Just make sure you’re living a healthy lifestyle to make up for these blips! A diet soda once in a while isn’t going to kill you…

Have any questions or feedback about Diet Soda and Heart Attacks? Please leave a comment below…