Everything we put in our bodies has an effect. While some we are aware of (like high cholesterol and processed foods being bad for our heart), there are foods and drinks that have surprising effects on our bodies, ones that we wouldn’t know unless we were to look into them. According to new research, there is a direct correlation between dementia and diet soda.
Dementia is a condition that affects over 3 million people a year, particularly those who are over the age of 65. And even though there is no sure way to prevent it, memory and judgement loss can be curbed by staying active and eating healthy — even if that means cutting out beverages that are sugar free.
The study, published in the journal Stroke, kept track of 1,484 people over the age of 60, for a period of 10 years. Subjects who drank artificially sweetened soda every day were significantly more likely to develop dementia when compared to subjects who drank it less than once a week. The former group was also more likely to have strokes.
While researchers were adamant that the study did not imply causation, the trend was significant enough that they believe the phenomenon should be studied further and that the widespread belief that diet sodas are healthier alternatives than other types of drinks should be questioned.
Beverages are a significant source of stress for health practitioners. They’re the number one source of added sugars in America. While diet soda doesn’t have the same amount of calories and sugar as regular soda, it’s still a drink that should be consumed in moderation, and not an alternative for healthy beverages.
Diet soda has artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and more, which have been linked with a variety of conditions, including negatively affecting gut health, more headaches, decreased heart health, and more. While healthier than regular soda, diet beverages should not replace water, which should make up the bulk of your beverage consumption, no matter how boring that sounds like.