“Diet” soda may be marketed as a healthier alternative to its sugar-sweetened counterpart. But it’s way past time we started to think of so-called “diet” drinks the same way we think of cigarettes. (In other words, as something you definitely do not want in your body.)
I realize we just talked about this yesterday. But I also know that it still hasn’t sunk in for everyone. And seeing as how this is one of the simplest lifestyle changes you can make to drastically improve your health, I’d say this is one message that’s well worth repeating.
So, let’s talk about what this next bit of research found…
Fake sugar kills, too
French researchers looked at the dietary records of nearly 105,000 subjects in order to investigate links between sweetened drinks—sugary or otherwise—and heart disease. (Including events like stroke, heart attack, acute coronary syndrome, and angioplasty.)
In this case, sugary drinks were defined as containing 5 percent or more of sugars. And yes, they included natural fruit juices under this heading—which is exactly where they belong.
Their findings were no surprise: Even after adjusting for a wide array of potential influencing factors, researchers still discovered a strong link between cardiovascular risk and heavy consumption of sweetened beverages. And that link held whether the beverages were sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened.
In fact, compared to subjects who didn’t drink either sugary or artificially sweetened drinks, heavy drinkers of these beverages saw their heart risk increase by 20 percent and 32 percent respectively.
These are not small increases, by any standard. But the amount of consumed beverages in question might just surprise you…
“High” consumption counted as a median intake of roughly six ounces of either type of sweetened drink. That’s just half a can of Coke or Diet Coke per day—not exactly a lot. But clearly, it’s enough to do an astounding amount of lethal damage.
So if you still happen to drink from that poisoned well, even just a little bit… maybe this will encourage you to leave the nasty habit behind, once and for all.
Water is the way to go
I don’t know how many times I have to say it, but sugar kills. Including the kind that comes from 100 percent fruit juice and artificially sweetened “diet” drinks.
In fact, these beverages contribute to glucose intolerance just as readily—not only by lighting up the same brain receptors as sugar, but by disturbing gut bacteria that are critical to sugar metabolism, too.
The evidence has been out there for years. And it just keeps growing…
Of course, if I have one problem with this study, it’s that for some mystifying reason the researchers chose to lump stevia—one of my favorite natural sweeteners—in with a bunch of artificial sweeteners.
But rest assured, pure stevia is safe. In fact, it’s actually a prebiotic that nourishes your friendly bacterial population. So I would have a really hard time believing that it altered the microbiome in anything but a positive way.
Nevertheless, the bottom line of this whole debate is impossible to ignore. Sugary drinks are not good for you… but neither is any artificial alternative.
Your best bet will always be to keep it simple and stick with water. That’s what I do. And believe me, it doesn’t have to be boring. You can always add a little lemon, cucumber, or mint.
Still or sparkling, as diet drinks go, you simply won’t find better.
P.S. Did you know that you may be overeating—and overweight—simply because you’re thirsty? I talk about all it, including why our bodies need more water, in the July 2015 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“The obesity culprit no one’s talking about”). So if you haven’t already, consider becoming a subscriber today. Click here now!
“Artificially sweetened drinks may not be heart healthier than sugary drinks: Research shows high consumption of both types of beverages associated with higher risk of heart disease.” Science Daily, 10/26/2020. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201026144524.htm)