Artificially sweetened drinks are not a healthy alternative of regular drinks, a new study shows.

Switching to diet pop? Be careful. A new study has found that drinking a
diet soft drink every day can put you at increased risk of heart
attack, stroke, heart failure and vascular death.

“It certainly
wouldn’t hurt to cut down, as you wouldn’t be missing any important
nutrients in your diet,” Hannah Gardener, lead author of the paper and a
scientist at the University of Miami, told Metro in a phone interview.
 
Gardener,
along with colleagues from Miami and Columbia University in New York,
analysed the eating and drinking habits of 2,564 people who had enrolled
in the Northern Manhattan Study.

Over the 10 years of the study,
researchers found a 43 per cent higher risk for heart attack, stroke and
vascular death in those who drank diet soda daily, compared to those
who drank none.

The study took into account confounding factors such as
BMI, intake of fat and calories, and pre-existing illnesses.

Interestingly,
people who occasionally drank diet pop or who drank regular sugary pop
were not more likely to suffer from vascular events in this study.

Gardener was cautious in her advice about diet pop.

“I don’t think people need to stop drinking it,” she says.

“It’s only one study. More research is needed.”
 
But she did add there is no harm in cutting back.

The research appeared in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The
bottom line? Keep in mind that artificially sweetened soft drinks might
not be a healthier alternative to regular pop, as the long-term health
effects remain unclear.

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