There has been a new study that suggests those who drink large amounts of diet soda can have a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. However, this is not definitive yet, the study that was just conducted is meant to raise concern and hopefully encourage more research on this topic. So how can diet soda possibly cause an increase in such serious health conditions? Many health care professionals and scientists have different theories on the topic. One of those is that the artificial sweetener in diet soda signals to your brain that calories are coming, and when your stomach doesn’t get calories, you crave more soda and other forms of sweets. So artificial sweeteners make you eat and drink more sugar and carb containing items, in an effort to get those calories.
Another theory is that artificial sweeteners somehow reset your taste-buds. It is thought by some that eating or drinking artificial sweeteners resets your taste-buds, making sweet things actually taste less sweet than they actually are. Therefore, people who have “reset taste-buds” aren’t satisfied by normally sweetened drinks and foods, they only like super sweet items.
It’s also very possible that people who drink diet soda tend to not lead as healthy lifestyles as those who drink regular soda only once in a while or not at all. But this study did take all these concerns into consideration, including race, weight and height of participants and still found diet sodas seemed to lead to heart attack and stroke.
Another theory of why diet sodas are harmful to our health is the amount of sodium they contain. The USDA has recently lowered the sodium intake recommendations for us so they more closely resemble the numbers in the U.K. Myself, I happen to agree with the sodium overload theory.
The researchers in the study could not pinpoint how, chemically, diet sodas could cause heart attack and stroke, so further research is needed to see how diet soda really affects our bodies over time.
For myself, this is enough to make me switch back to my occasional regular soda instead of diet soda, how about you? What are your thoughts?