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This Is Why Drinking Diet Soda Does More Harm Than You Think

If you like to drink a couple cans or more of diet soda a day, then those are at least two reasons why you should be wary of reaching for them, especially if you’re over 50. New research shows that those two sodas — or more — can add up to an increased risk of clot-based strokes, heart attacks and early death, according to CNN Health.

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The finding are based on a study by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association; the risks were highest for women with no history of heart disease or diabetes, and women who were obese or African-American, CNN said.

It may be uncomfortable to hear, but the dangers of diet soda just keep piling up. If you’re a soda lover, then giving up soda, both sugar-sweetened and diet, is probably a daunting thought. However, it’s one of the most fundamental steps to take if you really want to improve your health.

Research suggests that, beside the dangers to your heart that the newest study reveals, sugary beverages are to blame for about 183,000 deaths worldwide each year, including 133,000 diabetes deaths and 6,000 cancer deaths.

The problem with regular soda stems from its high sugar content — particularly the liquid high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) variety — and, in the case of diet, its artificial sweetener content, among other issues. Even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, “Frequently drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight gain/obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, nonalcoholic liver disease, tooth decay and cavities, and gout, a type of arthritis.”.

Unfortunately, as the featured article suggests. diet soda is not a healthier alternative. If you’re one of the nearly half of U.S. adults who consume artificial sweeteners, mostly in the form of diet soda, daily (even one-quarter of kids do so as well),13 it’s important you’re let in on the truth: Drinking diet soda puts your health at risk of the following conditions:

• Stroke and dementia — Drinking one artificially sweetened beverage a day may increase your risk of stroke and dementia by threefold compared to drinking less than one a week.

• Heart Attack — Research that included nearly 60,000 postmenopausal women who were followed for about 10 years found that drinking just two diet drinks a day can dramatically increase your risk of an early death from heart disease.

• Metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes — Research shows consumption of diet soda at least daily is associated with a 36 percent greater relative risk of metabolic syndrome and a 67 percent greater relative risk of Type 2 diabetes compared with not consuming any.

• Depression — One study showed that those who drank more than four cans or glasses of diet soda or other artificially sweetened beverages daily had a nearly 30 percent higher risk of depression.

If those health issues aren’t enough to make you put those cans of diet soda down, know this: Diet soda — which many people drink simply to cut calorie consumption in the hopes losing weight — may actually make you gain weight.

In April 2017, research presented at ENDO 2017, the Endocrine Society's 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, once again found that artificial sweeteners promote metabolic dysfunction that may promote the accumulation of fat.

The study tested sucralose (brand name Splenda) on stem cells taken from human fat tissue, which revealed that a dose similar to what would be found in the blood of someone who drinks four cans of diet soda a day increased the expression of genes linked to fat production and inflammation, as well as increased fat droplets on cells.

And for seniors aged 65 and over who drink diet soda, the news is even dimmer: Compared to those who never drank diet soda daily, drinkers of the diet drinks quadrupled their waist size over nine years.

If you have trouble quitting diet soda or other artificially sweetened products, try a technique called Turbo Tapping. This is a version of the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) that is specifically geared toward combating sugar cravings.