1. Diet soda linked to weight gain

    If the FDA won't go after diet sodas for all the dangerous chemicals they contain, maybe the FTC can take action for false advertising.

    There's nothing "diet" about diet sodas. After all, studies have linked them to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart problems, and more.

    And now, yet another study confirms that people who drink the most diet soda have the biggest bellies.

    Researchers from the University of Texas medical school examined data on 474 seniors who took part in the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging, and found that the waistlines of those who drank diet soda grew 70 percent more than those who didn't drink the stuff during the average follow-up of nearly 10 years.

    And the more they drank, the more they grew: The researchers say those who drank two or more diet sodas a day had five times the increase in belly size than those who drank no soda, according to the study presented at a recent American Diabetes Association meeting.

    In real terms, that means a diet soda habit will put you into pants with a waistline two inches bigger than the ones you're wearing now.

    So much for "diet."

    The researchers didn't stop there. They also found a link between aspartame -- the main sweetener used in diet sodas --and diabetes.

    Researchers fed mice prone to diabetes either a high-fat diet or a high-fat diet with aspartame for three months, and found that the rodents that got the sweetener had higher levels of fasting glucose.

    The researchers say these mice were essentially prediabetic.

    But no one should be surprised by any of this, because diet soda has been linked to serious health problems time and again.

    One recent study found that women who drink the most diet soda have a 61 percent higher risk of vascular events such as heart attack and stroke than women who don't drink diet soda.

    Another recent study found that the caramel color used in both diet and regular sodas contains high levels of chemical compounds linked to cancer.

    In addition, soda cans are lined with BPA -- the hormone-like chemical linked to everything from obesity to sexual problems.

    Of course, sugar-packed regular soda is every bit as bad for you -- and don't buy into the hype over "real sugar" colas or Mexican Coke.

    If you just have to have to have some fizz in your water, try plain old seltzer instead.

    No one's ever gotten fat or sick on that.

  2. Fructose sends blood pressure soaring

    If you're trying to break your own junk-food habit, I've got one more reason for you to start now.

    New research has linked fructose to high blood pressure.

    That's the sweetener used in just about everything you shouldn't be eating to begin with. In fact, if you pick up a package and find any kind of "fructose" listed in the ingredients, put it back on the shelf and just walk away.

    Researchers looked at 4,528 adults with no history of hypertension, and found that 74 grams of fructose per day – the amount you'll find in roughly 2.5 sodas – increased the risk of high blood pressure by as much as 87 percent.

    Now, most of us know that sodas are packed with this stuff. But unless you read ingredient labels, you may not realize
    that fructose is in just about everything, from yogurt to salad dressing to barbecue sauce.

    As a result, fructose – especially high-fructose corn syrup – has quietly become an add-all ingredient that has worked
    its way into nearly every dish and drink. In fact, American fructose consumption has gone up 30 percent in 20 years,
    and it's one of the key ingredients leading to our epidemics of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

    But that's not the only ingredient to watch out for. You want to avoid pure sugar too, and pretty much all of its
    substitutes. Artificial sweeteners promise zero calories… but studies have shown that people who rely on them often
    actually gain weight.

    It seems the fake sugars trick the brain – causing it to lose track of calories. In the end, you end up eating even more.

    Aspartame in particular, a common sweetener use in sugar-free drinks and snacks, has also been linked to side effects ranging from headaches to insomnia.

    That's a lot to avoid – entire aisles of the supermarket, really.

    But many of these are products in which fructose is one of just many problems. You don't need them to begin with – and now, you have one more reason to give them a pass.

2 Item(s)