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Diet Soda Stroke Risk: What Should You Switch To?

Image: Vicki Nunn

As a recent study has suggested that there may be a correlation between drinking diet soda and the risk of having a stroke or developing other vascular diseases, a lot of us are wondering should we stop drinking diet soda? And what should we switch to instead?

Right now, the study’s authors are being cautious saying that they don’t know which ingredient in diet soda, if any, is responsible. And as we all know, correlation does not equal causation. There may be some other risk factor unrelated to soft drinks that diet soda drinkers just happen to be more likely to have.

At the same time, a little caution never hurt anyone. A lot of the ingredients in diet soda are relatively new and it makes sense that they might have health effects we don’t know about. Why not go with something tried and true? The experts are recommending that we drink more water and that’s not a bad suggestion. Most of us could stand to hydrate more than we do. But people drink diet soda for reasons other than hydration, so here are some other alternatives.

  • Black Tea- People have been drinking tea since at least the 10th Century BC, so you know it can’t be too bad for you. If you’re drinking diet soda for the afternoon caffeine boost, black tea will serve as a fine replacement. Afternoon tea seems to work pretty well for the English, after all.
  • Herbal Tea- Yes, another kind of tea. Some people drink soda because they like to give themselves something sweet in the afternoon. If that’s the case with you, maybe try chamomile or raspberry tea. They’re also sweet, but with no health risk.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar- This one worked for me when I wanted to stop drinking sweetened beverages. For me, I think what I drank them for was the little jolt of sensation you get when you drink them. A small amount of unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of water did the trick for me. It takes some getting used to, I’ll admit, but it’s actually pretty addictive. People make a lot of grandiose health claims about apple cider vinegar. I don’t know if they’re true or not, but I can tell you that it doesn’t hurt.
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