Ladies: Diet Drinks May Be Putting Your Heart At Risk
One of the biggest stories in health news recently has been a study presented in early April stating that women who drink two or more diet beverages per day may be at a greater risk for heart disease. So does drinking diet soda put you at risk?
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinic. Their findings state that postmenopausal women who drank the diet beverages were up to 30 percent more likely to have a cardiovascular event like a stroke, than those women who ‘rarely’ consumed such beverages. The study was presented at the American College of Cardiology conference, but it’s important that readers understand what is left out of most of the news articles on this story.
It isn’t that drinking diet soda is directly related to cardiovascular events or death, but that the study suggests women who drink diet beverages may be more likely to engage in less healthy habits in general and perhaps are using the diet beverages to ‘make up’ for unhealthy habits. Specifically, women in the study who drank the most diet beverages were more likely to smoke, have high BMI’s and also have diabetes, all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular events. According to government data, about one in five Americans drinks a diet beverage a day.
Although the findings are yet to be peer-reviewed, ask yourself if you really want to be drinking diet sodas anyway? We know that green tea and water are some of the best options for your body. While diet sodas are a less calorie dense option than regular sodas, the bottom line is they’re still not the healthiest option.
Carlene Thomas RD,LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist who specializes in weight loss and wellness. She provides nutrition guidance to the public in a variety of ways including corporate wellness, private clients and contributes an expert nutrition voice to a variety of media.