You Are Not What You Drink – RI Fit Magazine

by Tim Sullivan

More and more Americans struggle with weight issues on a daily basis. Many people substitute regular sugared drinks with artificially sweetened sodas as part of their efforts to lose weight and get healthier. Unfortunately, recent studies show that drinking diet soda results in unintended consequences that do not contribute to better health when studied over time.

Linked to Depression

New research suggests that drinking sweetened beverages, especially diet drinks, are associated with an increased risk of depression in adults while drinking coffee was tied to a slightly lower risk.

  • People who drank more than four cans or cups per day of soda were 30 percent more likely to develop depression than those who drank no soda.
  • Those who drank four cans of fruit punch per day were about 38 percent more likely to develop depression than those who did not drink sweetened drinks.
  • People who drank four cups of coffee per day were about 10 percent less likely to develop depression than those who drank no coffee.

The risk appeared to be greater for people who drank diet than regular soda, diet than regular fruit punches and for diet than regular iced tea.

Can Increase Waist Circumference

According to an observational study of elders in San Antonio, TX over a 9 year period, “waist circumference increased significantly, in a dose-response manner, with increasing diet soda intake in this group of older individuals. These results are consistent with findings from a number of other observational studies of increased long-term risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke and other major medical problems among daily diet soda users.”

Increase Your Odds of Vascular Risk

“Even if you drink diet soda — instead of the sugar variety — you could still have a much higher risk of vascular events compared to those who don’t drink soda, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2011.”

Uncertain Effects on the Obese

A study conducted to test the effects of artificial sweeteners as Sucralose on insulin and glucose responses in test non-diabetic subjects with a BMI of over 42 showed that, “When study participants drank sucralose, their blood sugar peaked at a higher level than when they drank only water before consuming glucose, insulin levels also rose about 20 percent higher. So the artificial sweetener was related to an enhanced blood insulin and glucose response.”

By itself, this finding isn’t necessarily alarming, but if a person regularly experiences higher outputs of insulin in their body, their body experiences a resistance to the positive effects of insulin or a condition better known as Type 2 Diabetes, one of the fastest growing epidemics of modern American society.

Drinking fresh water is always a preferable alternative to sugared soda, artificially sweetened soda and/or fruit juices. Your body needs fluids to function properly. There are enough definite risks and possible risks to warrant reducing the use of sweetened drinks as part of a healthy lifestyle. Artificial sweeteners have been present in the American diet from the beginning of the obesity epidemic, the medical establishment has repeatedly stated the safety of each item, which is reassuring in the short term, but the true long term effects of these sweeteners and how they function in the body are not still not completely understood.

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