Researchers have found a correlation between drinking diet soda and metabolic syndrome, also known as Syndrome X, which is the name given when people have several medical disorders at the same time. The syndrome includes:
- Central obesity (an apple shape or a large waistline), where one's fat is localized around the middle
- High blood pressure
- High triglycerides
- Low HDL-cholesterol
- Insulin resistance (the body can't properly control blood sugar levels)
The scientists gathered dietary information on more than 9,500 men and women ages 45 to 64 and tracked their health for nine years.
Over all, a Western dietary pattern — high intakes of refined grains, fried foods and red meat — was associated with an 18 percent increased risk for metabolic syndrome, while a “prudent” diet dominated by fruits, vegetables, fish and poultry correlated with neither an increased nor a decreased risk.
But the one-third who ate the most fried food increased their risk by 25 percent compared with the one-third who ate the least, and surprisingly, the risk of developing metabolic syndrome was 34 percent higher among those who drank one can of diet soda a day compared with those who drank none.The diagnosis of metabolic syndrome is given if 3 or more of the risk factors occur. Exercise, weight loss, and nutrition changes can reduce the risks of metabolic syndrome and the likelihood of getting type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
Decreasing sodium intake, simple sugars, and low-fiber carbohydrates while adding fish and monounsaturated oils to the diet can improve triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, and blood pressure. Exercise and moderate calorie reduction can promote weight loss and decrease central obesity.
The more components that are improved, the fewer risks to your health.
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