Stop With the Pop
Slurping up soda may make you more prone to heart disease -- even if you're drinking diet. In a study published in Circulation, people who downed one or more sodas a day had a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome (a cluster of heart disease risk factors, including hypertension and low levels of "good" cholesterol) compared with people who had less than one soda daily. The study didn't determine why soda consumption might be linked to the syndrome, but American Heart Association spokesperson Nieca Goldberg, M.D., suggests soda drinkers may be more likely to choose unhealthy foods. What's more, "people often drink diet soda to cut back on calories but end up eating more, because soda has such low nutritional value." To curb risk for metabolic syndrome, says Goldberg, stay away from refined carbs, don't overdo soda consumption, keep food portions in check, and get regular aerobic exercise.
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