Is soda bad for you?
For many years, there have been a lot of studies and research done worldwide to find answers to the question, ‘How bad is soda for you.’
Soda or soft drinks like cola is the usual refreshment choice for people of every age group. Teenagers and youth are more addicted to these drinks than elders.
Finding a teenager or youth who has never drunk soda or a soft drink will be impossible. It is calculated that over 60% of Americans regularly use soda or carbonated soft drinks.
According to USDA, 16% of the daily calorie supply comes from beverages with added sugar and refined sugars in a typical American diet. Soda has almost become an unavoidable item in daily gourmet and snacks.
A lot of awareness is being sensitized to the danger of soda and soft drinks.
Is diet soda bad for you? The dangers of diet soda are not very different from the regular ones.
Every 12 ounces of soda contains about 40 grams of sugar, 40 milligrams of caffeine, and 30 milligrams of sodium. These three components are consumed daily in excess amounts through soda and soft drinks, and their multiple impacts on health are grievous and worrisome.
Diet Soda: An Overview
The word ‘diet” may make you think that ‘diet soda’ is NOT bad for you.
Don’t be fooled. It is just another carbonated beverage.
Instead of natural sugar, it uses artificial sweeteners like sucralose, saccharin, cyclamate, etc.
The ‘BIG’ companies selling the most well-known brands of beverages worldwide have convinced the common people that these drinks are calories free and would help people lose weight. Per advertisements, even people with diabetes and metabolic syndrome can safely drink diet colas. A BIG lie!
The fact is far from what they promise. Don’t be oblivious to the side effects of diet soda, similar to normal soda. Artificial sweeteners also have other health complications associated with them.
The Truth About Diet Soda
The last two decades have published numerous studies and research results on soda. Most of these studies are based on facts gathered through surveying and observing many people who use soda or beverages. These studies were conducted by several health research institutions all over the world.
Here are some of the notable discoveries that emerged from these studies and research.
One of the studies published in the journal Circulation in 2008, conducted over nine years on 9500 plus people, came out with a conclusive opinion about the ill effects of diet soda. It pointed out a 34% increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome in those who consume artificially sweetened soft drinks.
Another Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis conducted by Jennifer A. Nettleton and the team reported that diet soda drinkers face the risk of aggravating Type 2 Diabetes and are 36% more prone to metabolic syndrome.
A study conducted by Am J Clin Nutr team in Denmark on 59,334 pregnant women showed shocking results on pattern delivery complications arising from diet soda drinking. The study reported that one serving per day of diet drinks increased pattern delivery risk by 38%, and the risk was increased up to 78% when four servings of diet drinks were taken daily.
Diet soda and diabetes go hand in hand. The study conducted by Guy Fagherazzi’s team in France observed 66,118 women for 14 years. This extensive research resulted in a big revelation on why diet soda is bad for you. It showed up to 121% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes according to the number of diet drinks consumed daily.
I have also examined several other studies that give unending facts on diet soda dangers.
Every observational study on so-called “zero” soft drinks points to many possible and real health concerns. At the same time, these studies also can’t conclusively prove and single out soda as a serious abettor of health hazards.
9 Reasons On Why Soda Is Bad For You
There are so many right reasons why you should consider stopping drinking soda and soft drinks. At least, you can restrict your soda drinking to the minimum and occasionally as possible.
Going through a couple of case studies and research reports, I saw several disadvantages of soft drinks on health.
Some of these findings may have the medical backing to prove their correctness and coherence in only some cases. However, it is a reminder of the possible side effects of diet soda. Look at the nine reasons ‘how bad soda is for you.
1. Too Much Sugar In Soda
You will be surprised that ten teaspoons of sugar, equivalent to artificial sweeteners, are contained in a single soda Can. (No wonder why the soft drinks manufacturing units are the largest buyers of sugar.)
The large quantity of sugar consumed in liquid form can quickly give rise to the sugar level in the blood, and an insulin reaction happens within an hour or so.
It can also cause a “sugar rush” problem, a typical situation in which a spike in sugar gives rise to an equal amount of insulin spike, followed by a glucose crash. Because of the glucose crash, a person feels the urge to consume more sugar again.
Regular intake of soft drinks and soda will set in diabetes. It will also add excessive calories, which will be stored as fat deposits in body cells leading to weight gain.
2. Too Much Of Soda Causes Multiple Health Risks
Many studies and research have been done on soda and soft drinks, which squirrely point fingers at multiple health hazards caused by these drinks.
There may be no medically proven consensus on many of these claims, yet, years of close individual observations in different study groups have shown the actual incidents of disorders arising out of diet soda several times more than other foods and drinks.
Some of the side effects noticed in diet soda usage include possible strokes, kidney damage, certain cancers, seizures, brain tumors, obesity, LDL cholesterol, and elevated blood pressure.
The most common health issues from diet soda drinks are diabetes and obesity because of the high sugar content in almost all types of soft drinks.
They give rise to metabolic syndrome, the number one reason for diabetes, belly fat, and LDL cholesterol.
Chances of heart attack and stroke risk are 48% higher in all drinkers who use any carbonated drinks with added sugar.
3. Soda Contains Unhealthy Acids
The phosphoric acid commonly found in soda prevents the body from absorbing calcium.
Phosphoric acid curtails the healthy functioning of digestive enzymes, thereby blocking the proper absorption of vitamins and nutrients.
4. Causes Tooth Decay
If you drink soda daily, it may lead to the build-up of plaque on teeth and can lead to gum disease and cavities.
Many people, including many children and youths, develop serious tooth decay and bone softening due to the regular use of soda containing phosphoric acid.
5. Increases Dehydration
Most people take recourse to soft drinks to quench their thirst. The soda or beverages can only give you temporary relief; after a few minutes of drinking them, you begin to feel thirst and dryness in the mouth and throat.
The high quantity of sodium, caffeine, and sugar in the soda will dehydrate your body very soon.
You may have experienced that you can drink two liters of soft drinks within an hour or two, whereas it is difficult to drink two liters of water even in 3 hours as water makes you fill quickly and retains it for it a long time.
6. Soda Contains Caffeine
Caffeine is a prominent ingredient in soda and soft drinks.
One of the proven side effects of caffeine is its role in increasing heartbeat rates more than normal.
Clinical studies have verified caffeine as a major reason for certain breast cancers/lumps. It also increases blood pressure and insomnia.
Any beverage containing a mixture of caffeine and sodium causes faster dehydration. The kidneys are extra sensitive to excess sodium, quickly dispelled through urination, causing faster dehydration.
7. Soda Contains Toxic Chemicals
Most of the soda makers use running pipe water or
underground water to make soda. Usually, the pipe water is already heavily treated with water-purifying chemicals like chlorine and fluoride. Of these chemicals, if consumed regularly, you can face many health risks like cancer, low sperm count, miscarriage, eye and nose irritation, childhood asthma, skin rashes, headaches, gastrointestinal difficulties, tiredness, etc.
There can also be a higher mineral content in the water used for making soda and beverages, which are unsafe for health if drunk regularly.
8. Soda Causes Weight Gain
As soda and diet soda became very popular, many studies have been conducted on their side effects. Almost all studies have singularly pointed out weight gain as the biggest health issue associated with soda and beverages.
One recent study by Harvard researchers has closely linked soft drinks to obesity. It was noticed that teenagers who consumed soda faced a risk of obesity (especially abdominal fat) 1.6 times higher than the rest. The same effect was noticed in diet soda too.
The artificial sweeteners contained in soda are the main cause of obesity.
On weight loss recommendations, Nestle says, “The first thing that anyone should do if they are trying to lose weight is to eliminate or cut down on soft drinks.”
Several other studies conducted during the last two decades also have very similar findings. Sugary beverages abet obesity and diabetes.
In the Harvard School of Public Health study on obesity among school students, the students who took beverages regularly were bulkier than in most cases.
As a pattern tendency, it is noticed that the people who take soft drinks usually also eat a lot more junk foods. Soft drinks are also less satiating; thus, there is an increased urge to eat and drink more with a person who takes carbonated drinks regularly.
It was also found many obese children are acquiring more than a thousand calories only from soft drinks alone.
9. Beverages Contain Fructose Corn Syrup
Several beverage companies extensively use high Fructose Corn Syrup, mostly sourced from corn. Due to the large quantity requirement of sugar, the companies use the cheaper corn syrups obtained from genetically modified crops that are unhealthy for regular consumption. Daily intake of Fructose Corn Syrup is very bad for health.
The mercury element is required in the processing of fructose corn syrups. The processed corn syrup retains some traces of mercury, which can cause health issues in the long run.
Soda has no nutritional value. By drinking carbonated soft drinks regularly, you are critically exposed to several health hazards that you might encounter soon.
If you think wisely, you will realize that drinking beverages give you only temporary satiation, and you are getting used to their additives. Within an hour or two, you want to drink more of it again.
I have stopped drinking soda as I learned about the hidden dangers of drinking soda and beverages. It is three years since I stopped drinking soda, and these days, I love to have clean and healthy mineral water to quench my thirst.
If you think you cannot resist the urge to drink beverages, limiting your intake to as minimum as possible is a better choice. Ensure you do not add more than 90 calories from sugar-sweetened beverages to your daily diet.
The thumb rule is to have everything in moderation. If you have a Can of soda once a week, it may not be causing any serious harm to you.
The moment you become conscious of the dangers hidden in soda, you will begin to develop a dislike for them. Don’t be tempted to have the forbidden fruits!
The dangers of diet soda are not different from the regular ones. None of us like to live our life with issues of severe obesity and diabetes.