Sodas and other sweetened beverages are the biggest contributors to a high-sugar diet, which may raise the risk of dying of heart disease. But sugar-free diet sodas aren’t necessarily a good substitute. Calorie-free sugar substitutes like aspartame and sucralose appear to be safe and may help with short-term weight loss. But long-term reliance on these high-intensity sweeteners may train people to crave very sweet foods instead of more healthful but less-sweet fruits and vegetables. Diet soda drinkers may also be more likely to eat high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods like ice cream, cookies, and French fries.
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