Here’s another reason to ditch diet sodas and other diet drinks for good: In postmenopausal women, these beverages are associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, says research.
Two or more diet drinks daily mean a 30 percent higher likelihood of a cardiovascular event, and a 50 percent greater chance of mortality from related disease. Over 59,000 postmenopausal women participated in the research, part of the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study.
The “drinks” referred to here are diet sodas and diet fruit beverages, with 12 ounces being one serving.
The link between diet drinks in postmenopausal women and heart attack (and stroke, congestive heart failure, coronary bypass surgery and cardiovascular death) persisted even after variables were adjusted for, such as body mass index, HRT, smoking, exercise (or lack thereof), salt intake, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and even intake of sugary beverages.
The study’s lead investigator, Ankur Vyas, MD, stresses that this study shows only an association, not causality. Dr. Vyas says that the study warrants further investigation.
How to Kick the Diet Soda Habit
If news that diet soda is linked to heart attack in postmenopausal women isn’t enough to get you to quit, I have some tricks that could help you. I used to drink diet Dr. Pepper almost daily. Let’s face it, the stuff, when very chilled, tastes really good — the only diet soda that actually does not taste like diet soda.
I drank diet Dr. Pepper religiously, even though I knew it contained NutraSweet (aspartame). Then one day, I decided I’d had enough, and quit cold turkey. I haven’t had diet soda since, and that was years ago.
It will help to realize that if the diet soda comes in a plastic bottle, toxins from the plastic bottle will leach into the drink and end up in your body. Healthwyze.org gives a lot of information on harmful chemicals that plastic bottles contain. Rather than trying to figure out if the plastic bottle of your beverage of choice contains one of these chemicals, take the easy route and just quit cold turkey.
If the beverage comes from a can, again, imagine that chemicals in the can leach into the drink. Whether or not this is true is beside the point: simply imagine the possibility. This will motivate you to quit. And then of course, there’s the aspartame, an artificial sweetener. Do you really want to fill your body with artificial chemicals?
If you’re a postmenopausal woman concerned about health, heart attack, stroke, weight gain, etc., then there’s no need to study up on chemicals. Just eat foods and drink beverages that are 100 percent natural.