Thanks to a new study, we now know a little bit more about the impact drinking diet soda has on your health. Artificially sweetened beverages may not be a healthy substitute for sugary drinks. Researchers have linked the intake of artificial sugars to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke.
“Our study suggests artificially sweetened beverages may not be a healthy substitute for sugar drinks, and these data provide additional arguments to fuel the current debate on taxes, labeling, and regulation of sugary drinks and artificially sweetened beverages,” lead author Eloi Chazelas, a member of the nutritional epidemiology research team at the Sorbonne Paris Nord University, told CNN in a statement.
More than 100,000 people ages 15 years old and older participated in the study from the University of Paris published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Participants recorded their dietary intake, physical activity, and health status every six months in the ongoing online study, which was launched in 2009. A sub-sample of 20,000 participants also provided blood and urine samples. (Related: For easy ways to eat better, here are the 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.)
All drinks with aspartame, sucralose (which is Splenda), and natural sweeteners like stevia, are considered artificially sweetened beverages in the study. This includes Coke Zero, Diet Coke, Fanta Zero, Fresca, Mellow Yellow Zero, PowerAde Zero, and more.