For all the soda lover ladies, switching to low calories diet soda is no more a healthy option. The new study finds that two or more diet sodas per day increase the risk of a stroke in postmenopausal women.
This study is Stroke published and is available online to view. The population in whole is changing their dietary choices and adding healthier options. But for soda, there is no healthy alternative and the diet soda is only a low calorie, low sugar version of regular soda. For the potential risk of weight gain, people often tend to consume diet soda but even it has its own risks.
What does this study tell?
This experimental study was a comparison of women taking diet sodas less than once a week or none with women who consume more than two diet drinks per day. The later group showed a high risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Among all, 23% were clearly at risk of stroke. Nearly 31% were much likely to have a clot-caused stroke and 29% were at the bottom line of a heart problem. All the data used to predict these results were self-reported by more than 81 thousand women. These women were between the ages of 50 and 79 years.
The results are insufficient to prove if the diet drinks have a direct impact on stroke. But it shows that there is a correlation between diet sodas and cardiovascular conditions.
Although old age itself is a risk factor for heart problems certain women are at a higher risk than the rest. The study shows that these women were those who consumed more than two diet drinks per day. Those with a previous cardiovascular problem were at double risk.
Similarly, obese women even without previous cardiovascular history were also at risk. Note that all these results were based on observations. These results are calculated after adjusting the other factors such as age, blood pressure, smoking, and alcoholic habits etc.
The future prospect of this study
For a better picture, more detailed experiments are required with matching risk factors i.e. weight and cholesterol. Then the researchers can randomize them and study for varying diet sodas per day to see their body responses.
There is also a dire need for more extensive research on types of sweeteners and genetic factors that may explain how people respond to artificial sweeteners and soda based drinks.
Artificial sweeteners are a threat to health
There is no such evidence to support the healthier side of artificial sweeteners. That is why it is unclear which type of sweetener would bring higher risk. A science advisory published by the American Heart Association says that there is insufficient data on the effects of low-cal, low sugar drinks as risk factors for stroke and heart diseases.
But scientists believe that limiting diet drinks is the best decision that you can take for your health. Many of them believe that artificial sweeteners do not cause any harm when you are taking them in a small amount. It only becomes a problem when you are taking more than one 12-ounce diet soda or one pack of artificial sweetener every day.
Doctors and nutritionists never recommend using artificial sweeteners or diet-based drinks. They contribute to weight gain, obesity, and diabetes with no as such health benefit.
What are the alternate options?
There is not much data to predict the long term damages of artificial and low-calorie sweeteners. It is better to avoid them for good. A published study discussed the artificial sweeteners to alter the function of the gut microbiome in mice. If true, it will affect their blood sugar metabolism.
This shift from regular soda to diet soda is not healthy. Neither the regular consumption of diet soda will bring any good news to you. It is better to try safer alternatives i.e. fresh fruit juice, water etc.