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Looking for another reason to stop drinking those diet sodas? Besides the fact that it’s full of aspartame, a new study shows that diet soda increases your risk for myocardial infarction (heart attack), stroke, and vascular death. In fact, the lead investigator reports that people who drink diet soda daily have a 61 percent increased risk than those who don’t drink any soda.
Many people turn to diet soda as an attempt to eliminate the sugar and calories filling regular soda. As we all know, regular soda comes with its own cardiovascular risks but now that we know that diet soda is just as bad should encourage you to kick the habit.
The artificial sweetener in diet soda is called aspartame and there are a lot of political and medical controversies surrounding it. As it moves through your system, it breaks down into aspartic acid, phenylalanine, methanol, formaldehyde (seriously), and formic acid. With all these chemicals, side effects can include migraines, headaches, skin rashes, weight gain, insomnia, heart palpitations, increased anxiety, diabetes/pre-diabetes, osteopenia/osteoporosis, ADHD, muscle pain, bone pain, increased hunger and now increased cardiovascular risk.
Want to quit? Try switching to water with lemon, iced tea, carbonated water, or stevia sweetened drinks that don’t have all the chemicals and sugar in it. If you’re addicted to diet sodas, you may have a detox reaction to the soda with increased mood changes, fatigue, and headaches. These should only last a few days but you have to stay strong and stay hydrated with another drink of choice.
Other risks to cardiovascular events include obesity, smoking, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, estrogen (like the pill, ring and hormone replacement), and poor dietary choices. Don’t be a risk factor! Change what you can and make positive choices in your life – including no more diet soda.