Thoughts on Better Aging

Why Menopausal Women Should Think Twice Before Drinking Diet Soda

October 14th, 2014

Regular consumption of artificial sweeteners linked to significant health risks for older women.

At first, it might seem reasonable to switch to diet soda after menopause. After all, many menopausal women struggle with sudden weight gain and take steps to limit their calorie intake or otherwise improve their diet in order to compensate. Unfortunately, diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners that have been linked to significant health risks, especially for older women.

Artificial Sweeteners and Heart Health

The Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study recently found a disturbing correlation between diet soda and cardiovascular problems. Specifically, researchers found that postmenopausal women who had two or more diet drinks per day were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack or stroke and 50 percent more likely to die from cardiovascular-related disease than women who indulged in diet drinks sparingly.

Artificial Sweeteners and Diabetes

A number of studies have linked drinking diet soda to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. For example, in one small study from Washington University in St Louis Missouri, researchers found that drinking the artificial sweetener sucralose before consuming glucose caused participants’ insulin levels to rise 20 percent higher. This is a concern because routine production of high insulin levels can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Artificial Sweeteners and Weight Gain

If all of the above research still hasn’t convinced you to cut back on diet drinks, consider this: artificial sweeteners may not actually help you lose weight. First of all, artificial sweeteners have a very intense flavor that can make your taste buds less sensitive to natural sources of sweetness. This may make you more likely to seek out more and sweeter foods. Secondly, artificial sweeteners trick your gut into expecting a high-calorie food. When it receives a low-calorie one instead, it doesn’t utilize the food efficiently and your body may still send hunger signals. Finally, even though they contain no calories, artificial sweeteners can still trigger insulin production and blood sugar spikes that lead to cravings. For all of these reasons, artificial sweeteners can cause you to actually take in more calories and therefore potentially gain weight.

Get Nutritional Guidance from Renew Woman™

Nutrition is extremely important for post-menopausal health. For help creating a diet plan that will help you achieve your weight loss goals without incorporating dangerous diet drinks or forfeiting important vitamins and minerals, please contact Renew Woman™ today.

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