According to a new study, women who drink too many artificially-sweetened diet drinks may be more likely to suffer from heart attacks, blood clots and other cardiovascular problems.
While this isn’t the first study that establishes a relationship between diet drinks and heart health, one of the study’s authors said it’s not time (just yet) to give up diet drinks completely.
“I don’t think these findings in and of themselves are grounds for changing any habits right now,” said study author Dr. Ankur Vyas, a cardiovascular disease fellow at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. “A lot more work needs to be done.”
However, according to HealthDay, Susie Swithers, a professor of psychological sciences at Purdue University, says her own studies have also shown how diet drinks could lead to dangerous heart problems, including the fact that when animals are given regular sugar after consuming artificial sweeteners, their bodies don’t respond correctly to it.
“[Like diabetics], they become hyperglycemic,” Swithers said. They also make less of a heart-protective protein.
Healthy Beverages Alternatives
Grabbing the occasional soda, diet or not, is fine, according to most experts. However, there are some much healthier, everyday options that you should consider as well:
- Green tea
- Low-sodium vegetable juice
- Seltzer water or sparkling water
- Cranberry juice
Oh, and by the way: for many people, water just isn’t the most exciting of beverages. To make things at least a little more fun, try adding a splash of your favorite juice, slices of fruit, or creatively-prepared ice cubes (add water to an ice cube tray, then add crushed berries, herbs or juice).