Diet Drinks Good for the Waist, Bad for the Heart

Are you a fan of diet drinks? They may not be as safe as you think. A recent study presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference, claims that people who drank diet soda everyday had a 61% higher risk of vascular events than those who didn't.

Hannah Gardener, Sc.D., lead author and epidemiologist at the University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine in Miami comments, "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 for protection against vascular outcomes. The take-home message is that high sodium intake is a risk factor for ischemic stroke among people with hypertension as well as among those without hypertension, underscoring the importance of limiting consumption of high sodium foods for stroke prevention."

According to the study, people who consumed more that than 4,000 milligrams (mg) per day of sodium had more than double the risk of stroke compared to those consuming less than 1,500 mg per day. The average intake among soda drinkers was 3,031 milligrams.

The study started in 1993, where researchers asked the subjects of 63% women and 21% male, 24% African American and 53% Hispanic to report how much and what kind of soda they drank. Over the course of 9.3 years of observation, 187 ischemic strokes were reported. The researchers calculated that the risk of stroke increased 16% for every 500mg of sodium consumed per day.
If you are a soda drinker, now might be a good time to cut back on your soda drinking or drop the habit altogether. Having a healthy diet is a key to avoiding obesity and all of its associated health risks.


Source: American Heart Association


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