Can Artificial Sweeteners Cause Stroke or Alzheimer’s?
As I continue to research, I find newly released information about foods and substances we should NOT consume. Today, I want to talk to you about beverages that contain artificial sweeteners. You know, that white stuff that tastes like a strange sweet chemical that food manufacturers add to products to make you think you’re doing something good for your body…when in reality, you’re not. I know you love your zero calorie desserts, yogurts and sodas, but you don’t know the negative health effects these foods create in your body!, So, in my efforts to share the latest news, I’m hoping that by the end of this post I will have opened your eyes so you will realize that sugar–artificial or not–is doing more harm than good in so many ways….especially when combined with soda.
A new study came out that proved how consuming artificially-sweetened beverages alone showed a remarkable increased risk for stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. This really shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, since many reports out there have shown us for years how artificial sweeteners cause inflammation and trick the brain into thinking it’s getting more than it is.
What the artificial sweeteners study shows us:
In the study, 2,888 adults (ages 45 and over) were evaluated for the stroke portion of the study and 1,484 adults over the age of 60 were evaluated for the dementia part of the study. Researchers also noted that they reviewed years of food frequency questionnaires (1991-2001) to get an idea of just how often the study participants consumed beverages containing artificial sweeteners.
The results were greater than I imagined. If you are one who consumed more than one artificially sweetened soda a day, your risk of stroke triples! Findings were very similar for the risk of Alzheimer’s. Now, we all know that drinking soda, much less diet soda, is not a good habit to get into, but so many people continue to consume them. So, let’s look more thoroughly into the ill effects of carbonated soda.
- Diet and non-diet sodas offer virtually no nutritional value.
- Drinking soda can cause reflux or gastroesophageal reflux. Many sodas contain phosphoric acid which causes stomach acid to rise, resulting in the burning sensation of acid reflux.
- Soda can cause eptic ulcers to occur where acid from your stomach erodes parts of your stomach, intestine and esophagus. Add caffeine in and the acidity irritates peptic ulcers even more.
- Of course you can’t drink carbonated soda without all those air bubbles going in you…and then out. This causes bloating and discomfort that can easily be avoided.
- Drinking soda on a regular basis can also cause weight gain around the stomach and abdominal area according to The Harvard School of Public health reports. Drinking soda is the leading contributor to visceral fat around your mid-section.
People use soda, sport drink, and other sweetened drinks in place of pure filtered water because it’s convenient and…you guessed it…sweet. Add some caffeine in, a little caramel coloring and acidic carbonation, and it becomes a ticking time bomb that really shows its ugly head the older you get.
What similar mechanism does stroke and Alzheimer’s share?
Have you heard of inflammation? Both stroke and Alzheimer’s disease are primarily inflammatory disorders. Soda is known to change the gut bacteria in humans. Artificial sweeteners cause glucose intolerance, and thus begins the cascading effects…
So what do you think? Soda manufacturers are already fighting back with new “suggestive advertising” to get you to add more soda to your meals, claiming you “need it” to get through your busy day. Don’t get trapped into this way of thinking and don’t allow your children to get trapped into this false advertising either. There is absolutely NO advantage to drinking reduced- or no-calorie, sugar-free drinks whether they are carbonated or not. In fact, there is no advantage to drinking any sort of carbonated drink aside from a short-lived sugar high and the nasty sugar crash in the end.
When you feel a need to recharge your batteries or quench a thirst, there is always pure, filtered water that will take care of both. Yes, water provides the body with energy! Add some lemon or lime to your water or crush up some fruit in it. Try it for yourself and don’t allow commercial advertising to taunt you or your children.
Is fruit juice better than drinking artificial sweeteners?
This is a question that always pops up when I tell my clients to set aside the soda and energy drinks. Unfortunately, consuming fruit juice without diluting it at least by a third, is not much better than consuming a few tablespoons of sugar. Fruit juices contain a lot of sugar, a little bit of fiber, and a few vitamins. But grabbing a piece of fruit offers all the benefits of the nice little package of sweetness. Again, the more you consume sugar, the higher your chances are of developing more gut problems unless it is accompanied by the natural fiber and vitamins that fruit in the whole offers. I recommend drinking only 8 ounces of fruit juice daily that has been diluted by adding another 8 ounces of pure, filtered water. Better yet, leave the glass in the cupboard and just grab an organic piece of whole fruit and enjoy each and every bite.
You can review the combined American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association’s April 2017 study here thanks for Dr. David Permutter.
So, now that you have some grueling facts, how will you make the attempt to decrease your artificially-sweetened (or sugar laden) soda cravings? Please share your comments below.
Would you like me to come talk to your employees or friends about kicking the sugar habit? If so, I have an interactive workshop called just that….Kicking the Sugar Habit. Some of the highlights can be found in this blog post as well.