Diet Soda and Stroke: Is There a Link?

Diet Soda and Stroke: Is There a Link?

Diet soda is supposed to be good for us and our waistlines, right?

In this article, you will learn why that’s wrong.

Because in a day and age of both compulsive dieting and skyrocketing obesity rates, it seem like everyone is opting for the calorie-free option.

But what if diet sodas are too much of a good thing?

Diet Soda and Stroke

We’ll cut straight to the chase: Diet sodas can actually end up contributing to stroke or heart attack.

In a 9-year study of over 2,500 people, those who drank diet soda daily were 48% more likely to have a stroke or heart attack according to a study cited by WebMD.

What comes as even more of a shock is that those who drank regular, sugar-sweetened soda saw no increased risk of cardiovascular disorders.

While that might seem a little backwards – okay very backwards – diet soda could be responsible for a whole host of other problems.

Women at Higher Risk

And women need to be especially weary.

Because older healthy women who consume two or more diet drinks per day are at higher risk for heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems according to this recent study.

If you drink diet soda, we highly encourage you to cut back or completely stop your intake of diet beverages. By doing so, you’ll be reducing your risk of these chronic diseases.

Big Mac and Diet Coke Mentality

Aside from stroke and heart disease, diet soda can also make you gain weight too.

Why are we mentioning this on our stroke prevention blog? Because obesity is a stroke risk factor that should be managed with care.

And there is a common misconception that because diet drinks are calorie-free, they’ll help us lose weight by creating a calorie deficit.

However, many diet soda drinkers could subconsciously be compensating for the missing calories by eating more solid food than normal – also known as the ‘Big Mac and Diet Coke’ phenomenon.

Don’t let your diet soda be justification for having an extra snack because it can add up faster than you think.

Making the Switch

So, diet sodas an’t looking good… at all. Now what?

While sugar-sweetened beverages are still better than diet drinks, unsweetened tea and regular water are even better choices. Tea contains antioxidants that help boost your immune system and water is just plain good for you!

And because diet sodas usually contain caffeine, making the break can be hard. But black coffee can make an excellent transition vice because it’s caffeinated and brings a plethora of health benefits. Just don’t go sweetening it with fake sugar, please.

So now you know the risk that comes with drinking diet beverages. Unfortunately there are no shortcuts when it comes to this one, which is why water and a healthy lifestyle are still the best solution.

When will you make the switch?

  • Monica

    According to the study you cited, those who drank between 1 and 7 diet beverages a week actually had a lower probability of the composite end point than the 0 to 3 per month group. If you’re saying that correlation = causality, you should also be saying that women should drink at least a weekly diet beverage to lower their composite endpoint risk by 0.3%

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