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Is Soda Bad For You?

Published 6/10/13

Soda is a tasty beverage that is perfect to combine with a big, juicy burger and fries or to provide refreshment on a warm summer day. But are the tasty and refreshing characteristics of soda really worth the negative side effects?

Soda and Its Side Effects:

- In recent years, there has been a growing body of scientific data that shows a high correlation between the intake of sugar sweetened beverages and diseases including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and high cholesterol. Soda makes up the largest percentage of sugar-sweetened beverages that are on the market right now. Men consume an average of 170 calories per day from sugar-sweetened beverages while women average about 100 calories, most of which comes from soda.

- High intake of soda, which is considered a soda a day, leads to increased fat deposits around your liver and skeletal muscles, increased cholesterol, and increased triglyceride blood fats.

- Consuming large amounts of rapidly digested sugar and high fructose corn syrup, A.K.A. drinking a soda, produces a spike in blood sugar and insulin levels, which can result in inflammation and an increased resistance to insulin. Both of these can increase the risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.

- Diet soda isn’t very diet friendly. A 10-year study at the University of Texas concluded that diet soda consumers saw an average waist circumference increase nearly 70% greater compared to those who did not drink soda or diet soda. The study participants who drank two or more diet sodas a day resulted in a 500% increase in waist circumference compared to non-diet soda drinkers. Modern day scientists and health professionals agree that it is the aspartame in the diet soda that causes the weight gain as a result of spikes in blood glucose levels.

- The phosphates, or phosphoric acids, found in soda help improve their flavor and shelf life. These phosphates are good for soda but they are extremely bad for the human body.  Heavy consumption of phosphates can result in heart and kidney problems, muscle loss, and osteoporosis. Looking at the phosphate levels in sodas reveals a disturbing trend over the past few decades - soda manufacturers are actually increasing the amount of phosphates in their soda beverages despite knowing how poor they are for human consumption.

- Calories consumed from liquids do not satisfy the feeling of hunger as well as calories from food do.  This results in people often over consuming liquid beverages and in turn leads to the overconsumption of calories.

- “Mountain Dew Mind” may be the next medical condition named after a popular soda beverage, especially popular among children. Mountain Dew, and other citrus-based soft drinks and sports drink, include an ingredient called brominated vegetable oil, or BVO for short, that has been shown to cause memory loss and nerve disorders when consumed in large quantities. Current studies are researching if BVO can be blamed for increased body fat levels, which may ultimately lead to behavior problems, infertility, and even lesions on the heart muscle. 

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