Hold the Diet Soda till You Read This…

Anyone who follows good nutrition knows that soft drinks are one of the biggest sources of empty calories for Americans — a big contributor to our expanding national waistline.  To avoid this, many reach for diet pop instead.  Last year, new scientific research confirmed that drinking diet soda does not protect against mid-life weight gain.  This is significant, since those extra pounds make us more vulnerable to developing chronic degenerative diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

More shockingly, new research just published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine shows that daily diet soda drinkers actually have a 44% increased risk of heart attack or stroke.  Read that again.  A 44% higher risk of heart attack or stroke, even after taking other risk factors (cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, etc.) out of the equation.  Just from daily diet soda consumption.  

The soft drink industry would like to downplay these research studies, since diet soda should “theoretically” be healthier than regular soda.  Clearly, the science proves just the opposite:  diet soda is far from a health food.  Should you switch back to regular soda?  Of course not — the extra calories and high-fructose corn syrup are a sure recipe for obesity and metabolic syndrome.

What’s the answer?  The counter-cultural choice of beverages:  how about water or green tea?  Many people object that they don’t like the taste, but really, it’s just a matter of getting accustomed to it.  By gradually shifting more servings of beverage each day over to water or green tea, your taste buds will adapt.  And — in a very real sense — it might just save your life.

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