Do you spend most days quenching your thirst with a cold, refreshing can of soda? You probably want to break this habit. The fact is, all soda – even diet – is bad you. Science and medical research have found that the health effects of soda include everything from hyperactivity to tooth decay, and diabetes to obesity. Still wondering why soda is bad? Here are five health effects of soda that will make you want to give it up for good.
Top Five Reasons Why Soda is Bad
1. Soda makes you age faster.
Whether it’s regular or diet, all soda contains phosphates or phosphoric acid. This common food additive improves the shelf life of cola and gives it its tangy flavor. According to the latest research, the soda health risks of high levels of phosphates include accelerated signs of aging, severe muscle and skin atrophy, and increased the prevalence and severity of age-related health problems.
2. Soda makes you gain weight.
Both regular and diet soda are tied to obesity. A 2011 study by the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio found that people who drank diet sodas had a 70% greater increase in waist circumference over a few years compared to those who skipped soda. So why is weight gain one of the diet soda health risks? Researchers say that our brains recognize that we’re consuming fake sugar causing our bodies to produce more insulin to make up for it, which blocks the ability to burn fat. Additionally, many artificial sweeteners have neuroexcitotoxic properties which will impact the hypothalamus of your brain. This area of the hypothalamus known as the proopio-melanocortin receptor is responsible for controlling your weight. When this receptor is dysregulated by environmental toxins (like artificial sweeteners) your body will perceive a state of famine and make you hungrier, slow your metabolism and store fat rather than burn fat.
3. Soda increases disease risk.
Almost all non diet soda contains high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as the sweetening agent. Consuming large amounts of this poorly digested sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup causes a spike in blood sugar and insulin, which can lead to inflammation and insulin resistance. Diet soda health risks are perhaps worse because they substitute toxic chemicals to give it its sweet taste. The health of effects of soda, both regular and diet are undeniable, including the risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Researchers find that the sugar overload from regular soda triggers insulin production that fuels cancer cell growth. Additionally, in 2011, the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban the artificial caramel coloring used to make brown colas like Coke and Pepsi. Two contaminants in the coloring, 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, have been found to cause cancer in animals, a additive the group says is unnecessary, considering that the coloring is used for cosmetic purposes.
4. Soda causes tooth decay.
Did you know that regular soda contains the equivalent of nine to 12 teaspoons of sugar per can? It’s no wonder why soda is bad. While you may enjoy its sweetness, your mouth doesn’t. Sugar interacts with the bacteria in your mouth, producing acid that can weaken gums and cause dental erosion. And while you may think that switching to diet soda will do the trick, you’re out of luck. Although diet sodas don’t contain sugar, they do contain chemicals that can erode tooth enamel and cause cavities.
5. Soda cans may be toxic.
It’s more than the liquid itself that’s causing soda health risks. Mostly all aluminum soda cans are lined with the epoxy resin bisphenol A (BPA), which is used to prevent the acids in soda from reacting with the metal. BPA can interfere with hormones and has been linked to everything from cancer and infertility to obesity. In addition, the aluminum in the can becomes incorporated into the soda. Aluminum is a highly positively charged metal which destroys the healthy electronegative colloidal properties of your body fluids. This health sapping effect can contribute to flocculation of body fluids and therefore lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and other health problems.
When you take into account the negative health effects of soda and what they can do to your body, it’s easy to see why soda is bad for you. It’s time to put down that can of soda and pick up a glass of water instead. Drinking six to eight glasses of water daily keeps you healthy and hydrated. You’ll also save big bucks at the grocery store!
For over 20 years, Dr Michael E. Rothman has dedicated his life to helping his patients understand the “how & why” of their health. At MD Wellness, he will help find the cause of your symptoms via his Metabolically Directed Functional Medicine approach. He is a true blend of traditional & alternative medicine, integrating Eastern & Western methods.