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Dr. Oz: Diet sodas can cause heart attacks and eat-clean diet spurs weight loss

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Dr. Mehmet Oz discussed the link between diet sodas and heart attacks on the April 15 episode of the "Dr. Oz Show." Dr. Oz said women who drink two or more diet sodas a day are 30 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack than non drinkers, according to a new study.

Dr. Oz said the dangerous combination of caramel coloring and artificial sweeteners in diet sodas increase the risk of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and excess belly fat — all of which contribute to heart attacks.

Diet Soda Drinkers Have Larger Waists

These findings come shortly after new research showed that people who drink diet sodas actually gain weight over time and have bigger waists than non-drinkers.

According to a 10-year study conducted by the University of Texas, people who drank just one diet soda a day had a 70% greater increase in waist circumference compared with non-drinkers. And people who drank two or more diet sodas a day experienced a shocking 500% increase in waist size.

Dr. Oz said when you consume an artificially sweetened diet soda, taste receptors in your esophagus and stomach get stimulated, and your pancreas release insulin in anticipation of receiving something sweet. Insulin signals your body to store fat.

Meanwhile, your brain's satiety center waits for cues to determine whether you've received calories. But since diet sodas have no calories, your brain gets confused because it has been tricked by the artificial sweeteners. Dr. Oz said these confusing signals trigger sugar cravings, increase your appetite, destroy your metabolism, and cause weight gain.

"They trick your metabolism into thinking sugar is on its way," said Dr. Mark Hyman, author of the 10-Day Detox Diet. "This causes your body to pump out insulin, the fat storage hormone, which lays down more belly fat. It also confuses and slows your metabolism down, so you burn fewer calories every day."

Dr. Oz: Eat-Clean Diet Promotes Weight Loss and Good Health

On a separate segment of his show, Dr. Oz's guest was nutritionist Tosca Reno. Reno said eating clean, organic food is the best way to experience natural weight loss and optimal health.

Tosca, author of the Start Here Diet, said you can dramatically improve your health and lose weight easily by doing the following: (1) eliminate processed foods from your diet; (2) buy organic fruits and vegetables; (3) cook at home more often, and (4) add lemon juice and a pinch of salt to your water, to ensure you get more electrolytes and are better hydrated.

Reno, 54, used her "Start Here Diet" to lose 70 pounds and improve her blood sugar and heart health.

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