2 or More Diet Sodas Per Day Linked to Higher Stroke Risk

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Dr. Elizabeth Klodas, a Minneapolis-based cardiologist and founder of Step One Foods, said to stick to water.

“In general, my suggestion is to avoid all artificial and low-calorie sweeteners,” she told Healthline. “We simply do not have enough data to know what long-term exposure to these additives is.”

Klodas said that in one published study, artificial sweeteners were found to alter the function of the gut microbiome in mice, which then affected blood sugar metabolism.

Susan Swithers, PhD, a body weight researcher from Purdue University, said people generally seem to realize that daily soft drink intake isn’t healthy.

“The public shouldn’t be assuming that shifting from regular to diet soft drinks will automatically improve health, or that drinking diet soft drinks regularly is healthy,” she added.

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People should also work to prevent and treat known stroke factors, such as diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, atrial fibrillation, and physical inactivity, according to Dr. Laura Stein, assistant professor of neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

“While water is the best alternative to sugary beverages, those who substitute artificially sweetened beverages for sugary beverages should be reminded of the importance of all things in moderation and encouraged to work toward minimizing long-term consumption,” she noted.