According to the researchers, adults who consume at least one diet drink daily are at higher risk of developing dementia or stroke.

The study which involved about 4.400 adults suggested that diet drinks are three times more dangerous than the other sugary drinks. What’s more, they can also encourage weight gain by triggering cravings for sugar.

Although researchers didn’t find any correlation between sugary drinks and either of the above mentioned diseases, they recommend moderate consumption.

In the study published in the American Heart Association’s Journal, researchers asked 4.372 adults over 45 to fill in detailed questionnaires regarding the drinks and foods they consumed in the 1990s. Then, the participants were tracked for 10 years.

The results showed that those people who consumed one or more diet drinks per day were almost 3 three times more likely to suffer from dementia and stroke in comparison to those who didn’t drink these beverages at all.

According to Matthew Pase, who is a senior fellow in the Neurology Department at the University School of Medicine in Boston, although researchers couldn’t find any correlation between dementia or stroke and the intake of sugary drinks, this doesn’t mean that these beverages are a healthier option.

So, Dr. Pase recommends consuming water rather than artificially sweetened beverages or other types of sugary drinks.

He also added that only 3% of the people who participated in the previously mentioned study had a new stroke while 5% suffered from dementia. So, this is quite a small number of people.

According to Rachel Johnson, who is a past chairwoman of the Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee in America, the limited intake of sugar promotes healthy body weight and supports the good nutrition. So, people shouldn’t stop consuming sugar, but they need to use the artificially sweetened beverages more cautiously, since these drinks can worsen the health condition of those people who already struggle with some chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity.

However, researchers aren’t sure whether dementia and stroke are directly caused by the artificially sweetened beverages or their development depends on the health condition of the people who consume these drinks.

For example, it may depend on the following factors:

• Gender
• Age
• Diet quality and total calorie intake
• Smoking history
• Physical activity
• Waist-hip ratio
• History of hypertension
• High levels of cholesterol
• Diabetes

According to Dr. Pase, there is an association between the artificial sweeteners and the risk of stroke and dementia due to the increased vascular risk factors.

Namely, it is believed that artificial sweeteners, like saccharine and aspartame may affect the blood vessels, which increases the risk of dementia and stroke.

In addition, some animal studies have shown that mice which were given artificial sweeteners increased their weight more than mice that were given the identical diet with no artificial sweeteners.

This is because the artificial sweeteners cause modification in the composition of the gut bacteria and eventually lead to development of glucose intolerance.

Dr. Rosa Sancho, who is Head of Research at Alzheimer’s research UK, claims that people are already aware of the negative effects of high-sugar diet, so many of them are turning to fizzy drinks and artificially sweetened beverages as an alternative to that diet.

Although the previous studies have found no science-based evidence, Public Health England encourages food and drink industries to produce low-calorie sweeteners in order to help people to regulate their body weight.

Low sugar

You should note that ″sugar-free″ and ″no sugar added″ are two different things. The latter one indicates that no sugar has been added to the product.

For example, fruit juices contain pure sugar although you may see on their labels that no sugar has been added. This means that they contain sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners.

Low sodium

It has been proven that 75% of the dietary sodium comes from consuming restaurant and packaged food.

People purchase low-sodium products because they believe that they can prevent certain diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or constipation. However, the truth is different. Researchers claim that low sodium intake can help only in the reduction of the blood pressure, while it has no effects on the prevention of the other diseases.

Low fat

Low fat foods are loaded with preservatives, additives and sugar. So, these types of food are also contributing to the increasing rate of obesity and other health issues such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and dental cavities.