Are you filling your diet with what you think are the best anti-aging foods, but still struggle to lose weight? It might be because a big part of what you need to know about anti-aging nutrition—although what a lot of people don’t realize—is that some foods might seem healthy, but can actually do more damage.
A perfect example is diet soda. You might assume it’s better for your weight loss diet because, well, it’s diet! But as a new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society has shown, diet soda can actually lead to an increased waist size, which completely defeats the purpose of a weight loss diet.
Researchers followed 749 adults who were 65 or older at the start of the study. Participants were asked about how much diet soda they consumed and had their height, weight, and waist circumference measured in three separate follow-up points over the course of about nine-and-a-half years. The findings at the end of the follow-up period were shocking to say the least. The total waist circumference of those who didn’t drink any diet soda increased by 0.80 inches, occasional drinkers’ waist circumference increased by 1.83 inches, and daily drinkers gained 3.16 inches—that’s almost three times the difference between non-drinkers and daily drinkers.
It isn’t just the threat to a weight loss diet that has health experts worried; these findings reveal a much bigger risk hiding in these older adults’ future. A larger waist circumference and more underlying belly fat increase the risk of metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of dangerous health conditions, including high blood pressure and cholesterol, all of which lead to an increased risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. The scariest part is that a lot of people don’t even realize they have metabolic syndrome.
So, what does this mean for your weight loss diet? It all goes back to what we said in the beginning—what you need to know about anti-aging nutrition is that not all “healthy” alternatives are as beneficial as you think. Artificial sweeteners, like the ones added to diet soda, only contribute to the problem, because they interfere with your body’s intricate microbial system, which in turn can increase the rate and risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
Artificial sweeteners are especially dangerous because people mistake them for being a healthy alternative to sugar and are therefore more likely to turn a blind eye to how much they’re actually consuming. If you’re one of those people supplementing their anti-aging nutrition with diet soda and other artificially sweetened foods and drinks, hopefully this recent research makes you think twice about what you’re putting in your body.
If you’re still not convinced, click here for even more information on how diet drinks can destroy your anti-aging diet.
Sharon, P.G., et al., “Diet Soda Intake Is Associated with Long-Term Increases in Waist Circumference in a Biethnic Cohort of Older Adults: The San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging,” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2015; doi: 10.1111/jgs.13376.
Wiley, “Diet soda linked to increases in belly fat in older adults,” Science Daily web site, March 17, 2015; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150317093142.htm.