Are you looking for ways to eat healthy during and after the holidays? You may think that choosing diet soda over regular soda is a wise choice to keep your waistline in check but the latest studies show you may want to avoid diet soda all together if you’re trying to stay healthy.
Increasingly, the evidence shows that when you opt for a diet version of your favorite soda or fruit drink - far from making a healthy choice, you might actually be setting yourself up for health problems.
In most cases, it’s difficult to pinpoint high blood pressure causes. However, studies show that women who consume diet soda typically develop heart problems.
A survey by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that one in five Americans drink diet sodas on any particular day and around half of these people consume more than two cups daily.
To understand the consequences of drinking diet soda on health, a recent Women's Health Initiative (WHI) observational study followed nearly 60,000 women with an average age of 63 years - and found a clear relationship between diet drink consumption and a number of cardiovascular problems later on in life.
This study, the largest to look at the relationship between diet drinks and heart health, measured body-mass index (BMI), physical activity levels and risk for various disease conditions.
Postmenopausal women who had two or more diet drinks a day were more likely to have diabetes, high blood pressure (BP) and a higher BMI than those who consumed diet drinks in moderation or not at all.
Scarily, women who consumed two or more diet drinks daily were not only 30 percent more likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes - they were also 50 percent more likely to die from some sort of cardiovascular disease when compared with women who never or rarely drank diet drinks.
These findings are in agreement with previous studies and health experts believe they could have major public health implications.
Other studies have also suggested diet drinks can be harmful for older women. Regular consumption of colas, both diet and regular, are associated with lower bone density - which is already a major concern for older women (and men) who are at risk for osteoporosis.
And while we normally associate the word ‘diet’ with healthier eating, another study showed that the artificial sweeteners present in low-calorie diet drinks may lead to the development of metabolic syndrome and heart disease.
There may not be enough evidence yet to give up diet sodas entirely, but it is clearly a wise idea to think twice about what you're drinking.