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Why to not waste your time on ‘Diet’ products

Why it's not cool to drink Diet Coke

‘Diet’ has never been a good word anyway.

There are those in this world who are horribly self-righteous about their consumption of Diet Coke or Pepsi Max. These people are wasting their time. Why? Because the time has come for these low-key health Gods to realise they should have been going for the normal can of sugar all along. New studies have linked artificially sweetened drinks to a higher chance of a stroke and a “worrying association” with dementia.

One such study was conducted by Boston University of Medicine and used over ten years of research from roughly 4,300 participants. It revealed that people who simply have one can of artificially sweetened drink a day triple their chances of suffering from the most common stroke and were 2.9% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Scientists stress the lower statistical significance of dementia, saying they cannot categorically link artificial sweeteners through cause and effect. However, they are most concerned with the heightened risk of strokes.

According to Stroke, the American Heart Association journal, “Drinking at least one artificially sweetened beverage daily was associated with almost three times the risk of developing stroke or dementia compared to those who drank artificially sweetened beverages less than once a week… To our knowledge, our study is the first to report an association between daily intake of artificially sweetened soft drink and increased risk of both all-cause dementia and dementia because of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Besides not being as cool or delicious as a regular can of Coke, why is everyone hating on Diet Coke so much? – you know, besides the facts pointed out by the new study. Nutritionist Kristen Beck says that “Diet drinks, despite having zero sugar and hardly any calories, actually taste far sweeter than regular soft-drinks.” This is because aspartame, the most commonly used artificial sweetener, is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Beck continues “The problem is that the human brain [isn’t] set up to be able to deal with the intensely-sweet, zero-calorie version of sweetness that artificial sweeteners provide… In turn, the sweetness drive you to eat more kilojoules from sweet foods and drinks than you normally would. While sugar signals a positive feeling of reward, artificial sweeteners may not be an effective way to manage a craving for sweets”. Artificial sweeteners also trigger insulin – every health god’s worst nightmare – resulting in weight gain, as Brooke Alpert, author of The Sugar Detox, explains.

Researcher and lead author of this new study says, “More research is needed to study the health effects of diet drinks so that consumers can make informed choices concerning their health”.

Like I said, ‘Diet’ anything is never good.

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