Fandango’s Flashback Friday — February 5

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 5th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on my old blog on February 5, 2011.

Diet Soda: A Stroke of Genius or Just a Stroke

I drink diet cola. I’ve done so for years — most of my adult life, in fact. Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, it doesn’t really matter. They both pretty much taste the same to me. In fact, I generally have several tall glasses a day. I also put Splenda, rather than sugar, in my coffee to sweeten it up.

For what it’s worth, I don’t drink diet sodas or use artificial sweeteners as way to lose or control my weight. I actually like the taste of diet drinks better than those of the regular, sugar-sweetened versions of such beverages. To me, the non-diet versions taste too sweet, almost sickeningly sweet.

So why am I making this diet cola obsession confession? It’s because I saw a blurb in The USA Today about a link between the consumption of diet drinks and strokes and heart attacks. I Googled “diet soda and stroke” and was directed to an article recently published on the US News website. According to that article, Hanna Gardener, an epidemiologist at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, presented a paper before the International Stroke Conference this year in Los Angeles. Seriously, who knew there was such a thing as an International Stroke Conference?

But I digress. “In our study,” said Dr. Gardener, “we saw a significant increased risk [of stroke or heart attack] among those who drank diet soda daily and not regular soda.” Yes, according to the study, daily diet soda drinkers, like me, have a 61% higher risk of stroke or heart attack than people who drink no soda of any kind.

Egads! (I’ve always hoped for an excuse to use that word in a blog post. “Yikes” is so yesterday.)

I found it interesting that the average age of the 2,564 people in the nine year study was 69, so relatively speaking, I’m a youngster. The survey was based upon people who completed food questionnaires about the type of soda they drank and how often they drank it. And we all know how honest people are about divulging their vices when completing questionnaires. Not that drinking diet soda is a vice, of course. Plus, if you follow a group of elderly people over a long period of time, you’re bound to find a fairly significant incidence of stroke and heart disease, regardless of what kind of soda they do or don’t drink.

The truth is that Dr. Gardener could find no chemical or biological explanation for her findings. In fact, Dr. Patrick Lyden, chief of neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, who was not involved in the research, reviewed the findings and said, “My first thought was that the correlation has to be accidental.” Aha!

Perhaps regularly ingesting large quantities of artificial sweeteners in soft drinks (or coffee) actually has little bearing on the higher incidence of stroke and heart attack among the elderly. There are all kinds of factors that might contribute to the incidence of stroke and heart disease. I mean this was a survey of New Yorkers, for crissake. You know that living in New York City, in and of itself, is stress inducing and is hazardous to one’s health.

Did you think about that, Hannah Gardener? Some epidemiologist you are, bee-atch!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go grab myself a nice, refreshing glass of Diet Coke.

A note from Fandango: Ten years have gone by since I wrote this post. I still drink diet soda, although I prefer caffeine free Diet Coke these days. I also still put Splenda in my coffee. And I have neither had a heart attack nor a stroke.

40 thoughts on “Fandango’s Flashback Friday — February 5

  1. Heyjude February 5, 2021 / 3:13 am

    I can’t stand any cola drinks, never could, but I do wish water was less boring. And I love that you used the word ‘egads’ 😅

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango February 5, 2021 / 11:17 am

      Well, maybe you could try flavored water. That might be less boring. 😉


  2. Mason Bushell February 5, 2021 / 3:26 am

    The biggest risk in diet drinks is the aspartame sweeteners. Its linked to those heart and stroke issues and cancers. That said – if we follow advice we can eat and drink nothing because its all bloody dangerous! So, enjoy that drink my friend.

    Egads – Wily e Coyote’s saying wasn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mister Bump UK February 5, 2021 / 3:30 am

    I was never really a big drinker of fizzy drinks, and while it’s not directly related, I find “diet” drinks are every bit as good at raising my blood sugar as sugared drinks. I’ve seen enough with my own testing to conclude that consuming “diet” drinks is not the guilt-free experience that it first sounds like.
    But, you know, something’s gotta get us, sooner or later.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sadje February 5, 2021 / 3:36 am

    I have been drinking Diet Coke and using Splenda and stevia but I have noticed a few side effects you’ve not mentioned. Hearing loss and memory loss. Not much but enough for me and others to notice

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 5, 2021 / 11:26 am

      What did you just say? I couldn’t hear you. Or maybe I just can’t remember what you said. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sadje February 5, 2021 / 5:10 pm

        Yup, exactly! My family is after me all the time to stop drinking diet drinks

        Liked by 1 person

  5. rugby843 February 5, 2021 / 6:55 am

    I don’t drink carbonated drinks because my stomach complains but I also never use artificial anything such as sugar butter, etc. I don’t like the added chemicals in them. I’d rather go without.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. newepicauthor February 5, 2021 / 7:22 am

    I have never used the word “Egads” before, but I do think it is a very nice word.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango February 5, 2021 / 12:32 pm

      Birds and squirrels. Our cat loves watching birds, and our dog, before she died, loved watching squirrels.


  7. cagedunn February 5, 2021 / 12:33 pm

    The studies being undertaken have found that most chemical sweeteners can cause issues for the following:
    gut, insulin resistance, glucose spikes, fatty liver, memory loss, esophageal lesions, black stools, etc.

    The intake tastes sweet, so the body presents insulin to deal with it, but nothing arrives and the insulin is left in the bloodstream.

    For some people, it may not matter. For some, the effects will be devastating.
    For me, I’d rather not put those chemicals in my body – it gives me enough trouble as it is without adding another unknown bunch of stuff that needs tons of advertising to sell to ensure enough addicts keep the company afloat!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango February 5, 2021 / 12:44 pm

      You’re probably right, and I should, perhaps, rethink my use of artificial sweeteners. But at my age, I’m not sure it will make a big difference.

      Liked by 2 people

      • cagedunn February 5, 2021 / 12:51 pm

        If you suffer from diverticulitis, as I do, and know how this stuff ferments in those little pockets, the pain it causes as it does that, the inability to flush it out …
        Stopping the carbonised drinks and the fake sugar stopped a lot of that pain.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Fandango February 5, 2021 / 1:03 pm

          I do suffer from diverticulitis and that is why I stopped eating popcorn, nuts, or anything with seeds. But this is news to me. I’ll have to have a chat with my doc.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. amoralegria February 5, 2021 / 5:27 pm

    I have also heard about diet soda being bad for you, but I don’t know which “study” it was. Anyway, I quite drinking soda period in 2016. Although I had to make an exception in Brazil, which has the best soda in the world – guarana – and I always drank diet. Like you, I cannot stand the sickeningly sweet taste of regular sodas. I weaned myself off regular when I was in my 20s, and began to drink diet soda, which I did until I quit cold turkey. Now I drink mostly water, Bai, tea, or wine. I can’t even drink decaf coffee anymore – too acidic for my aging digestive system! I have Bai to be a good alternative to soda – there are a variety of flavors, most of which are quite good, IMO. I guess I shouldn’t drink wine either, but it’s my compensation for not being able to drink coffee or soda! I mean, a person’s got to have SOME vices!!

    How do you feel now about what you wrote 10 years ago?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 5, 2021 / 10:00 pm

      I’m still drinking Diet Coke and coffee with Splenda, so not much different now than I did then. I may have to look into Bai, though. Thanks for the tip.


  9. Readers Roost (@readersroost) February 5, 2021 / 5:51 pm

    Yech. I’m not one for food moralizing, so please don’t think I’m doing that. I just can’t stand diet soda. I really am not much of a soda drinker anyway, especially since I was diagnosed with diabetes back in 2014.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 5, 2021 / 10:02 pm

      No worries. I prefer diet sodas to sugary sodas, but you know, whatever floats you boat, right?


  10. Marleen February 5, 2021 / 7:22 pm

    I really like Fanta. I hardly ever drink it, but am pleasantly surprised if it’s a treat offered at someone else’s home. I don’t feel drawn enough to make sure and buy it. I can’t stand any other diet type drinks. I like Coke (bottled in glass and made with sugar), and not really Pepsi. I enjoy two or three other regular sorts of sodas (rarely), and the weird blue soda at Taco Bell. When I was a kid, my favorite was Dr Pepper, but I have never been one to drink a lot of soda. Coke is pretty good with pizza, though, or a greasy burger. When I ever get ginger ale, it has to be a natural kind with heavy ginger [and, hopefully, not too much sweetness]. Or what’s the point? For a little while, I ordered or made mules. I might do that again… sometime. I lean toward gin/vodka and tonic at a show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen February 7, 2021 / 4:51 pm

      Well… the “blue” stuff is actually green; I don’t know if they changed that or what. Baja Blast.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. leigha66 February 8, 2021 / 12:55 am

    I am stuck between which is worse for me… the high amounts of chemicals in diet or the high levels of sugar in regular soda? I am trying to drink more coffee, tea and water to avoid the dilemma.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Carol anne March 1, 2021 / 9:39 am

    I drink coke 0 or pepsi max, both of which are diet drinks, with no sugar in them. I love them. And even though I’m losing weight or trying to, I havent given up drinking them.

    Liked by 1 person

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