We’ve long been leery of all the chemicals, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners used to jack up drinkers of diet sodas, and a new study indicating that drinking diet soft drinks may increase risk for stroke only makes us more worried about the mysterious effects of those calorie-free cans. Researchers tracked the habits and health of about 2,500 adults in Manhattan over a nearly 10-year period, and found that those who drank diet sodas daily had about a 48% higher risk of stroke or heart attack than subjects who drank no soft drinks at all.
Though they haven’t yet identified the science behind the statistics, they say the link persists regardless of other risk factors like exercise, smoking ,diabetes, weight, and alcohol consumption, but they haven’t discovered the science behind the link. The researchers say that this should be considered a preliminary study, but wish for further studies to explore the health effects of diet sodas. But Dr. Steven Greenberg, a neurologist and vice chairman of the International Stroke Conference in California, where the study was presented earlier this week, isn’t quite so cautious in his warnings: He says the study should be considered “a wakeup call to pay attention to diet sodas,” according to USA Today.
With every study implying that diet sodas are unhealthy, the American Beverage Association is quick to pipe up and remind reporters that the studies are inconclusive, and that some studies show drinking diet sodas instead of regular might help weight loss. But just when in doubt, we say limit your sodas, and here are ten reminders of why we think they’re risky business:
1. Artificial sweeteners may be harmful to your health for several reasons, including that they may cause migraines, insomnia, and heightened PMS. Ouch.
3. If artificial sweeteners don’t bother you, other risky ingredients like phosphoric acid, potassium carbonate, and citric acid should.
4. And if you’re still thinking that diet sodas are a better way to sate your cravings than the sugary stuff, nutritionist Lauren Slayton’s explanation of why diet coke isn’t better than coke might give you a reality check.
5. Also, did you know that Diet Coke explodes when you mix it with Mentos? We don’t want to know what happens when it hits our stomachs.