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Does diet soda increase the risk of stroke like regular soda?

Sugar is no longer considered just empty calories, but an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. So what happens if you switch to artificial sweeteners?

Recommendations for limiting sugar consumption vary around the world, with guidelines ranging from “limit sweets to one every two days” to “keep sugar consumption on 4 or fewer occasions per day.” In the United States, the American Heart Association is leading the charge, “proposing significant reductions in consumption of soft drinks and other sweetened products.” They recommend sticking to less than 5% of your calories per day from added sugars, which may not allow even one can of soda.

Why the American Heart Association? Because of “[o]Consumption of added sugars has long been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease”—that is, heart disease and strokes. We used to think that added sugars were just “a sign of [an] An unhealthy diet.” At fast food restaurants, people are more likely to order a cheeseburger with a jumbo-sized soda instead of a salad.

But the new thinking is that no, added sugars in processed foods and drinks may be an “independent risk factor” in their own right — worse than just empty calories, but they actively promote calories for disease, based on data like this.

This is how much sugar the American public eats. Only about 1% meet the American Heart Association’s recommendation to push added sugar consumption to 5 or 6% of daily calories. Most people go up about 15%, and this is where the risk of cardiovascular disease starts to come in, with the risk multiplied by 25% from calories, and quadrupling the risk for those getting a third of their daily calories from added sugar.

We went from eating seven pounds of sugar each year 200 years ago, to 50 pounds, to over 100 pounds of sugar now. We are forced to love sweet foods, because we evolved surrounded by fruit – not fruit rings. But this adaptation is “terribly misused” today, and the food industry has hijacked it for our happiness, and their profits.

“Why do we consume so much sugar despite the science [How] Many [it] Could it hurt us? Well, yes, it may have an addictive quality. Yes, there are those tough wires. But the processed food industry doesn’t help.

75% of packaged food products in the United States contain added sweeteners, mostly coming from sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda, which are believed to be responsible for more than 100,000 deaths worldwide, and millions of years of healthy life lost.

No problem, why not just switch to diet? By choosing a diet soda, can’t we get the sweet taste we crave, without the downsides? Unfortunately, “[r]Consumption of diet soft drinks is [associated with] Increases in the same risks many seek to avoid by using artificial sweeteners. “

Here’s what studies have found about the increased cardiovascular risk associated with regular soda, and here’s the cardiovascular risks associated with diet soda. In other words, the belief that [switching to diet soda will] Reducing long-term health risks is not [well] Backed by scientific evidence, instead… it may contribute to the same health risks for people [were] Strive to avoid ‘in the first place.

but why? I mean, it stands to reason that drinking all that sugar might increase your risk of stroke, with the added inflammation and triglycerides. But why, in this pair of Harvard studies, does a can of diet soda seem to increase stroke risk by the same amount? Yes, perhaps the caramel coloring in brown soft drinks, such as cola, plays a role. But, another possibility is that “artificial sweeteners may increase the craving for sugar-sweetened, energy-dense drinks/[and] foods. “

See, artificial sweeteners’ problem is [there’s] Disconnect [that] It eventually evolves between the amount of sweetness the brain tastes and how much [blood sugar] It ends up [up] to the brain.” The brain feels cheated, and “You have to eat more and more sweetness in order to get any calories out of it. As a result, at the end of the day, your brain says, “Well, at some point I need some [blood sugar] over here.’ And then, you eat a whole cake, because [nobody] It can hold up in the end.”

If you give people Sprite, or Sprite Zero, or unsweetened lime water, and you don’t tell them what the study is, what the study is about, and then, after that, you give them a choice; They can have M&Ms, spring water, or sugar-free gum. Guess who picks M&Ms? Those who drank artificially sweetened soda were nearly three times more likely to eat sweets than those who drank sugar-sweetened or unsweetened beverages. So, it wasn’t about sweet versus non-sweet, and it wasn’t a matter of calories versus no calories. There is something about zero-calorie sweeteners that tricks the brain.

Then, they conducted another study in which they gave each person Oreos, and asked people how satisfied they were with the biscuit. Again, those who drank Sprite Zero (artificially sweetened Sprite) reported feeling less satisfied than regular Sprite or sparkling water. These results are consistent with the latter [brain imaging] Studies show that regular consumption [artificial sweeteners] It can change the neural pathways responsible for [pleasure] response to food. the only way [to] Really preventing this problem – to break the addiction – is to completely get rid of cold turkey and get rid of all the sweeteners” – artificial, as well [table sugar, and high fructose corn syrup]. Eventually, the brain resets itself, and you don’t crave it so much.”

We have always assumed that[c]Consuming both sugar and artificial sweeteners may change our taste or preferences over time, increasing our desire for sweet foods. Unfortunately, the data on this [were] lacking” – yet.

Twenty people agreed to “stop eating all added sugars and artificial sweeteners for two weeks,” after which, “95% … found sweet foods and drinks to taste sweeter or too sweet, and … said they would use less sugar or They don’t use it at all.” Absolutely. Most of them “stopped craving sugar” within the first week; “6 days.”

This suggests that a two-week, or even one-week, sugar challenge may “help reset taste preferences, and make eating less or no sugar easier.” And so, we should probably recommend it to our patients.

Eat fewer processed foods and choose more real, whole foods [and] Plant-based foods make it easy to consume less sugar.”

Reposted from NutritionFacts.org

Sources cited

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