It’s a running joke. “Big Mac, large fries, and a Diet Coke.” Because the Diet Coke is “healthier.” Isn’t it?
Not according to a recent study that showed diet soda pop drinkers had a 48% higher risk of heart attack or stroke than those who consumed regular soda pop – or no soda pop at all.
The study followed more than 2,500 adults with an average age of 69. The participants filled out a questionnaire detailing their ethnic background and dietary and exercise habits. Researchers then followed their health over a period of nine years.
“If our results are confirmed with future studies, then it would suggest that diet soda may not be the optimal substitute for sugar-sweetened beverages,” said the lead author of the study, Hannah Gardener of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Specific drinks consumed were not tracked. Therefore it cannot be stated whether a specific brand or sweetener is behind the findings.
Researchers cannot explain exactly what is behind these results. However, given that there appears to be a link between diet soda pop consumption and increased cardiac risk, it’s probably a good idea to cut back on your consumption. Your heart – and your dentist – may thank you.
Photo by My100cans (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons