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Another Reason to Quit Diet Soda

When I think if diet soda, I think of one of those “it’s too good to be true” moments. Like the magic pill that guarantees 30lbs of weight loss, or the book that promises in 3 easy steps your toddler will never melt down again.  

When it seems too good to be true, it usually is.

Life is about balance, and good health does not come without some effort, dedication and a little bit of grit (I am loving this new buzzword by the way).  

Am I saying to never drink a pop again. No. But diet maybe…

If pop is something you love, then love it in moderation.  This recent research however might make you think twice about cracking that diet soda.

The results are from a recent prospective cohort study that was published in Stroke in April 2017. The study found a link between artificially sweetened soft drink consumption and a higher risk of stroke and dementia.

This study examined 2888 participants aged 45 and older for the incident stroke, and 1484 participants over 60 years of age for incident dementia.  The study analyzed the diet soda consumption over 10 years by collecting data from a food journal questionnaire. They wanted to see the risk for developing dementia based on the number of diet sodas that were consumed in a day. After adjustments were made for age, sex, education, caloric intake, diet quality, physical activity and smoking, the study found that a higher intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks were associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke, all cause dementia and Alzheimer’s disease when compared to a daily cumulative intake of 0 per week. Interestingly in this study, sugar sweetened beverages were not associated with stroke or dementia.

It is theorized that the risk of artificial sweeteners has to do with its effect on gut bacteria, changing the microbiome which in turn contributes to systemic inflammation.

Now before you go and celebrate this information with a case of pop, sugar still is not good for us and is a direct contributor to inflammation, microbiome changes and cardiometabolic changes.  However, sugar in moderation is much better than consuming artificial sweeteners.

Many people are still leary of giving up their diet pop because it is “low calorie” sweetener that is going to prevent them from gaining weight and is good for blood sugars.

Again, this is another too good to be true statement.

A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2013 examined 60,000 woman over 14 years with respect to soda and diet soda consumption. Their results showed that there was a clear increased risk of developing type II diabetes in women drinking the most amount of sugar sweetened beverages. The shocking discovery was that women who consumed high levels of artificially sweetened drink had an increased risk of diabetes more than double the risk of those consuming the sugar beverages.


Bottom line …sugar is not good for us, but artificial sweeteners are even worse.

Please enjoy real sweet indulgent food in moderation.


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