I’ve warned you before about the link between that swill known as diet soda – health risks including diabetes. In short, just one can a day could send your diabetes risk skyrocketing. (If you missed that story, click here to catch up right here on the NorthStar Blog.)

Now a new finding, from a study that tracked close to 60,000 women, has found that diet soda health risks are even worse than we thought -- drinking two or more of the dastardly drinks a day could be deadly. It turns out that the ladies with a bit of diet soda habit were FAR more likely to keel over from heart disease, than the women who rarely downed the drinks.

30 percent higher risk of stroke or heart attack!

According to the findings presented at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology on diet soda health risks, the diet soda drinkers had an incredible 30 percent higher risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack. (It’s not the first time we’ve seen a stroke connection. Click here to learn more.) Even worse, their risk of dying from heart disease was a staggering 50 percent greater than the women who hardly touched the stuff!

And while those who tow the mainstream medicine line would like you to believe that diet sodas are really just the innocent bystanders in this story—and the steep rise in risk is simply because all of these women are making up for other bad health habits with their diet soda drinking—you and I know better, don’t we?

Sure, no one would deny that other bad habits do play a role in raising your heart risk. But there’s no denying the mounting evidence that artificial sweeteners, like the aspartame and sucralose (Splenda) found in diet sodas, can monkey with your blood sugar and insulin levels.

Artificial sweeteners overstimulate sugar receptors

In addition, many experts believe these fake sweeteners can backfire, over-stimulating your sugar receptors, as well as literally causing you to crave and eat MORE sugary sweets. And frankly, with all these strikes against them, it doesn’t take a genius to see why diet-soda drinkers would have not only an increased risk for diabetes and obesity, but heart disease as well.

The bottom line is, diet soda is anything but an innocent bystander. If you’re still drinking these killer “cocktails” in a can, it’s time to kick the habit before it kicks you.