Drinking diet soda also increased the risk of metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors such as excessive fat around your waist, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and high blood pressure, all of which can raise your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
The researchers examined the diets of over 9,500 people between the ages of 45 and 64. They were categorized into two groups: a “western-pattern diet” that included processed meat, fried foods and red meat, or a “prudent-pattern diet” that included more fruits and vegetables, poultry and fish.
They concluded that lots of meat, fried foods and diet soda increase your risk of heart disease. There is a major misconception, even among people who try to eat healthy, that diet soda is a wise choice over regular soda. In reality, there’s no reason to be drinking either one of these atrocities.
What’s wrong with diet soda you ask?
At the top of the list is the fact that the sugar is replaced with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose. For an in-depth look at just how dangerous these fake sweeteners really are, I suggest you read my book Sweet Deception, but in the meantime you may be interested to know that they can:
- Stimulate your appetite
- Increase carbohydrate cravings
- Stimulate fat storage and weight gain
The neural cell damage that can be caused by excessive aspartame is why they are referred to as "excitotoxins." They "excite," or stimulate, your neural cells to death.
And don’t be fooled into thinking that diet sodas sweetened with sucralose are any better. Animal studies have revealed that sucralose can cause:
- Decreased red blood cells -- sign of anemia -- at levels above 1,500 mg/kg/day
- Increased male infertility by interfering with sperm production and vitality, as well as brain lesions at higher doses
- Enlarged and calcified kidneys (McNeil stated this is often seen with poorly absorbed substances and was of no toxicological significance. The FDA Final Rule agreed that these are findings that are common in aged female rats and are not significant.)
- Spontaneous abortions in nearly half the rabbit population given sucralose, compared to zero aborted pregnancies in the control group
- A 23 percent death rate in rabbits, compared to a 6 percent death rate in the control group
And as for the researchers finding that red meat contributes to this disease, well, that all depends on the type of red meat (processed, grass-fed or grain-fed), and this was not specified.
Quite simply, once you find out your nutritional type, you’ll be able to determine if you thrive on grass-fed red meat, or whether you do better with free-range poultry instead. This is a highly individualized process, and simply stating that “red meat causes heart disease” is not taking any of these factors into account.
How to Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
You have at your fingertips everything you need to keep heart disease at bay (and this does not include drinking diet soda). What can you do to lower your risk?
- Get moving with an exercise program today
- Eat all the fresh raw vegetables you can, based ideally on your body's unique nutritional type
- Get the right amount of sunshine every day
- Get plenty of omega-3 fats, such as from a high-quality krill oil
- Learn a tool to overcome stress in your life, such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)