Here's more ammunition in the fight against a Western diet full of chemicals and processed foods: according to findings presented on Saturday at the American College of Cardiology 2014 Scientific Sessions, the consumption of diet sodas is linked with an increase in heart disease and death related to cardiovascular events.
The results were based on an observational study of postmenopausal women; those who consumed two or more 12-ounce diet sodas per day, compared with a similar group who didn't drink the sodas, had a whopping 30% increased chance of experiencing a cardiovascular event (like a heart attack), and a 50% increased risk of dying from a cardiovascular event over the course of approximately a decade following the study.
But why is this the case? Here's what the presenters speculate:
The heightened risk may occur because diet drinks — including artificially sweetened sodas and fruit drinks — may cause an "increase in desire for sugar-sweetened, energy-dense beverages and foods due to disruption of normal feedback mechanisms," or perhaps people who drink diet drinks have unhealthy lifestyles and poor diets, said lead author Dr Ankur Vyas (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinic, Iowa City) at a press briefing.
All of this adds fuel to the growing body of evidence that artificially sweetened drinks are not part of a "healthy diet," and serves as a friendly reminder that if you're looking to lead the healthiest life possible, your best best is real, whole foods.
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