Is soda bad for you?
Since many years, there are a lot of studies and researches done all over the world 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. It is teenagers and youth who are addicted to these drinks than elders.
It will be impossible to find a teenager or youth who has never drunk soda or a soft drink. It is calculated that over 60% of the American population regularly uses soda or carbonated soft drinks.
According to USDA, in a typical American diet, 16% of the daily calorie supply comes from beverages with added sugar and refined sugars. Soda has almost become an unavoidable item in daily gourmet and snacks.
Is diet soda bad for you? The dangers of diet soda are not very different from the regular one.
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, their multiple impacts on health are grievous and worrisome.
The Diet Soda Facts
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.
It uses artificial sweeteners like sucralose, saccharin, cyclamate, etc. instead of natural sugar.
The ‘BIG’ companies who sell the most well-known brands of beverages all over the world have successfully convinced the common people that these drinks are calories free and would help people to lose weight. As per advertisements, even people suffering from 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 which are similar to that of normal soda. Artificial sweeteners also have other health complications associated with them.
The Truth About Diet Soda And Beverages
Numerous studies and researches’ results on soda have been published in the last two decades. Most of these studies are based on facts gathered through surveying and observing a large number of 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 out of these studies and researches.
One of the studies published in the journal Circulation in 2008, which was conducted over nine years on 9500 plus people came out with a conclusive opinion ill effects of diet soda. It pointed out there is a 34% increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome in those who consume artificially sweetened soft drinks.[4,5]
Another Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis conducted by Jennifer A. Nettleton and team reported that diet soda drinkers face the risk of aggravating Type 2 Diabetes, and they are 36% more prone to metabolic syndrome.
A study conducted by Am J Clin Nutr team in Denmark on 59,334 pregnant women came out with shocking results on pattern delivery complications arising out of 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 team in France observed 66,118 women for 14 years. The result of this extensive research was a big revelation on why is diet soda bad for you. It showed up to 121% increased the risk of developing type 2 diabetes according to the number of diet drinks consumed daily.
I have also glanced upon several other studies that give unending facts on diet soda dangers.
Each and every observational study on so-called “zero” soft drinks are pointing to a lot of 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 occasional as possible.
Going through a couple of case studies and research reports, I glanced upon several disadvantages of soft drinks on health.
Some of these findings may not have the medical backing to prove their correctness and coherence in all cases. However, it is a reminder of the possible side effects of diet soda. Have a look at the nine reasons for ‘how bad is soda for you.
1. Too Much Sugar In Soda
You will be surprised to know that ten teaspoons of sugar equivalent to artificial sweeteners are contained in a single Can of soda. (No wonder why do 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 insulin reaction also happens within an hour or so.
It can cause a “sugar rush” problem as well; a typical situation in which a spike in sugar gives rise to an equal amount of spike in insulin which is followed by a glucose crash. A person feels the urge to consume more sugar again because of the glucose crash.
Regular intake of soft drinks and soda will set in diabetes. It will also add an excess amount of calories which in turn will be stored as fat deposits in body cells leading to weight gain.
2. Too Much Of Soda Causes Multiple Health Risks
There is a large number of studies and research done on soda and soft drinks which squirrely point fingers at multiple health hazards that can be 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 maladies arising out of diet soda several times more in comparison with other foods and drinks.
Some of the cases of side effects noticed in diet soda usage include possible occurrences of strokes, kidney damages, certain cancers, seizures, brain tumors, obesity, LDL cholesterol, and elevated blood pressure.[10,11,12]
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 are daily drinking soda, it may lead to the build-up of plaque on teeth and can lead to gum disease and cavities.
Many people, including a large number of children and youths, develop serious tooth decay, and bone-softening due to the regular use of soda which contains 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 contained in the soda will make your body get dehydrated very soon.
You may have experienced that even two liters of soft drinks you can drink within an hour or two whereas it is difficult to drink two liters of water even in 3 hours’ time as water makes you get fill quickly and retains it for a longer time.[21,22]
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.
There are clinical studies that 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 the presence of excess sodium which is quickly dispelled through urination, causing faster dehydration.[24,25]
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. Both of these chemicals if consumed regularly, you can face many health risks like cancer, low sperm count, miscarriage, eyes and nose irritation, childhood asthma, skin rashes, headaches, gastrointestinal difficulties, tiredness, etc. [26,27]
There can also be a higher level of mineral content in the water used for making soda and beverages which are not safe for health if drank regularly.
8. Soda Causes Weight Gain
As soda and diet soda became very popular beverages, 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 of the recent studies conducted by Harvard researchers has closely linked soft drinks to obesity. It was evidently noticed that teenagers who consumed soda faced the risk of obesity (especially the abdominal fat) 1.6 times higher than the rest. The same effect was noticed in diet soda too.[28,29]
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 have very similar findings as well. Sugary beverages abet obesity and diabetes.
In the Harvard School of Public Health study on obesity among the school students, it was the students who took beverages regularly were bulkier than other most cases.(
As a pattern tendency, it is noticed that the people who take soft drinks usually also eat a lot more junk foods along with it. The 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 of the beverage companies extensively use high Fructose Corn Syrup, which is 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 not healthy 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.[32
The Bottom Line
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 would realize that drinking beverages give you only very temporary satiation, and you are getting used to the additives in them. Within an hour or two, you want to drink more of it again.
I have personally stopped drinking soda as I came to know about the hidden dangers of drinking soda and beverages. It is three years since I have 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, then a better choice for you is to limit the intake of them to as minimum as possible. Make sure that you do not add to your daily diet more than 90 calories from sugar-sweetened beverages.
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.
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