- A recent French study suggested that frequent consumption of diet drinks may also lead to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, similar to regular sugary drinks.
- The research does not definitively blame artificial sweeteners for heart issues, but suggests that lifestyle and dietary habits of diet beverage consumers could contribute to their health risk.
- The study observed the dietary habits of over 100,000 French adults over ten years, finding a 32% higher risk of heart conditions among high consumers of diet drinks compared to non-consumers.
- Despite adjustment for factors like diet and health conditions, the research found that diet beverages still posed a potential risk for heart health.
- The article highlights the importance of a healthy lifestyle and diet, specifically a whole food plant-based diet, in the prevention and management of heart disease.
A recent study findings suggested that substituting sugary beverages with diet alternatives may not result in better heart health. The comprehensive research conducted in France revealed that those who frequently consumed beverages sweetened artificially had a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke compared to their counterparts who refrained from such drinks.
This increased risk was just as high among regular consumers of diet beverages as it was among sugar-rich drink enthusiasts. These findings do not necessarily point fingers at artificial sweeteners as the culprits behind heart illnesses. It is possible that the overall diet and lifestyle of diet beverage consumers may contribute to their escalated risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The Study Does Not Specifically Blame Sugar-Free Beverallges
While these results do not implicate artificially sweetened beverages as the direct cause of heart diseases, they may be indicative of a series of dietary habits that elevate the risk of heart problems.
However, this does not mean that reducing excess sugar consumption is unbeneficial. If diet beverages assist individuals in achieving this cut-down, they can effectively make a positive replacement. Nevertheless, this step is just a single component of an entire diet strategy:
If individuals decide to shift to zero-calorie sodas and then choose to consume more fries or desserts, the benefit of diet beverages is lost.
About The Research
The study results, enumerated in a letter of ongoing research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, are based on the dietary habits of over 100,000 French adults, which have been under observation since 2009. These participants completed diet surveys at six-month intervals, revealing what they had eaten in the last 24 hours.
Within a span of ten years, 1,379 study participants experienced a first-time heart attack, severe chest pain, or stroke. The risk was 32% higher among high consumers of diet drinks than non-consumers. High consumers of sugary drinks had a 20% higher risk.
Counter Argument – The Usage of Diet Beverages Based on Habit and Health Necessity
It’s often people who are either attempting to lose weight or manage a health issue, who choose diet beverages. This was acknowledged by the team of researchers, led by Eloi Chazelas of Sorbonne Paris Nord University.
The researchers adjusted the calculations for self-reported diet habits, as well as fitness level, tobacco use, and conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. They found that diet beverages still retained a heightened cardiovascular risk. However, the study does not establish diet drinks as a direct cause of heart issues.
The Importance of Lifestyle
According to Dr. Andrew Freeman, a cardiologist at National Jewish Health, nutrition plays a crucial role in the prevention and management of heart disease. He highlights the need to limit food additives, not only from beverages but also from generally processed foods.
Freeman opines that if a product label has unpronounceable ingredients, it should serve as a red flag. He strongly suggests a primarily plant-based, whole food diet including fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, whole grains, and nuts, which has proven heart health benefits.
For More Information
The American Heart Association provides more information on diet and heart health.