Whether you call it soda, pop, or a coke, it is everywhere.
Supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, and bars are all stocked with soda fountains, bottles, and cans. And that is not even including the seemingly infinite number of vending machines that contain sugary drinks.
Would like a soda with your meal?
Can you bring some soft drinks to the party?
Unfortunately, a large percentage of people regularly consume these sugary beverages without knowing the real impact on their health.
And there is even greater confusion of whether diet sodas are a safer alternative. Many people switch to them for weight loss reasons, but are they really safe?
This article hopes to clear up the confusion by showing you several ways that soda can increase the risk of health problems.
Why Is Soda Bad For You?
1. Soda and Other Soft Drinks Are High in Calories.
Most people only think of food as a nutrition source. But that is why one of the main reasons why soft drinks are bad for you, lots of empty calories.
This means that soft drinks provide no nutritional value in the form of nutrients, protein, minerals or essential fatty acids.
Also, fluid calories don’t suppress hunger.
That means that after drinking one of those fizzy drinks, you don’t feel full and will continue eating food and other beverages.
In addition, consider the fact that a 12 ounce can of Coke has 140 calories. The average person gains a pound of body weight with 3,500 kcal. This means that the average person who drinks a can of coke a day will take in 51,100 calories of soda a year with no nutritional content.
That adds up to over 14lbs (6.6kg) a year in weight gain from drinking soda alone!
Weight gain is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease that could eventually lead to a heart attack. It could also be a factor is causing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
2. It is Filled with Dangerous Food Colorings.
From the nice dark colors of colas, to the reds, yellows, and other colors of the rainbow; soft drinks are colored using dangerous chemicals. Caramel color, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Blue 1 are some of the more popular synthetic food dyes.
Most of these dyes are synthesized from petroleum.
The side effects of the intake of these dyes include behavioral issues such as hyperactivity, carcinogens (including possible links to brain, bladder, and thyroid cancers), birth defects, and allergic reactions. (3)
3. It is Loaded with Processed Sugars.
A 12 ounce can of this sugar filled beverage contains over 10 teaspoons of sugar. Being that the American Heart Association recommends that adult males consume no more than 9 teaspoons of sugar a day, one can of soda daily increases the risk of heart disease. And that doesn’t even taking into account the other sugar that you get from eating other foods throughout the day.
Excess sugar also is linked to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and inflammation.
And the worst part about it is that it is not even real sugar. Sodas are often sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.
This sweetener is associated with many health risks. First off, high fructose corn syrup is easily converted to belly fat because fructose is metabolized in the liver. As mentioned earlier obesity and excess body fat is a factor in causing heart disease and can lead to a heart attack if left untreated.
Secondly, in a study, researchers found that excess HFCS consumption can lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance leads to type 2 diabetes because of issues with regulating blood sugar levels. (2)
4. Diet sodas contain added chemicals.
Often people that are diabetic or who are trying to lose weight end up drinking soda that is diet. While this will reduce your total caloric intake which could lead to weight loss and a slimmer body, this is very dangerous. Diet soda is often filled with toxic artificial sweeteners to replace sugar.
One of those is Aspartame.
According to the U.S. Right To Know, decades of scientific research point to some serious health risks associated with this sweetener. According to them,
“Dozens of studies have linked aspartame — the world’s most widely used artificial sweetener — to serious health problems, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, seizures, stroke and dementia, as well as negative effects such as intestinal dysbiosis, mood disorders, headaches and migraines.” (1)
Secondly, soft drinks also contain phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid causes dental erosion and tooth decay which leads to an increased risk of cavities. Also, it is linked to kidney stones.
Although the FDA claims that both of these chemicals are safe for consumption, it seems like it would probably be best to avoid chemicals like these.
5. Most Sugary Drinks Contain Fluoride
Although it is odorless and tasteless, it is most likely another ingredient in your soda. Fluoride in large quantities can be very dangerous to your health. In this article, we go into deeper detail to answer the question, is fluoride bad for you?
Until we know for sure, it is better to skip the sugar-sweetened beverages to avoid fluoride and minimize your health risk.
Easy Alternatives to Switch To
With all the harmful possibilities of these sugary drinks, there is no reason to keep drinking them. There are a lot of other healthy choices to try.
First off, plain old fashioned water is a great option for a drink. A high quality water is great at hydration and is free of sugar and chemicals. If you need some flavoring, then lemons are a great choice. Not only do they taste great, but they are also great in detoxification.
Secondly, switch to a drink that is sweetened with natural sweeteners like stevia or honey. Not only is stevia a healthy natural leaf, it is also almost 300 times sweeter than sugar.
Finally, try to drink more tea. There are a ton of great teas like mint, green, and ginger teas. Check out this page for the benefits of ginger tea.
Drinking soda can lead to serious health issues like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. But the good news is that it is not too late to make a change.
If you are alive it is never too late to make positive changes for your health. One small change leads to another, and eventually to larger changes. And before you know it your whole health and life has changed.
It all starts with consuming a healthy diet full of nutritious foods and drinks every day.
Cutting down on sugar and the amount of chemicals you consume is the first step. So the next time you think about drinking soda, think about your health and drink a plain glass of water or a tea. You’ll be glad you did!: