Nutrition, The Nutrition Edge

New study casts bad light on diet soda

More bad news for drinkers of diet soda.

Health experts have been warning that artificially sweetened drinks are not a good alternative to sugary beverages, pointing out that their consumption does not aid weight loss and has other harmful side-effects.

Now comes a new study, linking diet soda to stroke and dementia. People drinking diet soda daily are almost three times as likely to develop stroke and dementia as those who consumed it weekly or less, The Washington Post reported.

“This included a higher risk of ischemic stroke, where blood vessels in the brain become obstructed and Alzheimer’s disease dementia, the most common form of dementia,” Matthew Pase, a Boston University School of Medicine neurologist and the lead author of the study, was quoted in the Post.

The American Beverage Association disputed the study. “Low-calorie sweeteners have been proven safe by worldwide government safety authorities as well as hundreds of scientific studies and there is nothing in this research that counters this well-established fact,” it said in a statement.

At Signature Medical Group, we care about your well-being. Our nutritionists and dietitians will offer you the best advice on food and drink to keep you healthy.

The new study’s authors noted its limitations. The participants were overwhelmingly white, and it is possible that ethnic preferences may influence how often people select sugary or artificially sweetened drinks, they said.

Still, they said people should be “cautious’’ about their intake of diet soda. And they should not retreat to sugary drinks. The sugary beverages have been associated not only with obesity and its consequences, such as diabetes, but with poorer memory and smaller overall brain volumes.

The best alternative, many health experts believe, is drinking more water instead of diet or regular soda.

At Signature Medical Group, our nutrition experts are ready to help you with making the right choices with your food and drink. We’ll also help you develop an exercise regimen.

Make an appointment today and start on the road to better health.