It comes in every size and flavor you can imagine, bursting with sugary bubbles and flavor. But it has a dark side too (and I don’t mean just it’s color). Love it or not, soda is quite the popular drink. In 2018, soda consumption was measured at 38.87 gallons per person in the United States for an entire year. As huge as that number sounds, it has consecutively decreased over the years, with the record high from 2000 being at 53 gallons per person! The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have made the statement that most Americans do consume too many unhealthy sugars that do lead to a number of health problems. Don’t let its sweetness fool you, soda is NOT your friend. As we unpack all the ways that soda is bad for you and it’s lasting impacts on your health, we just might have you cleaning out your refrigerators and going cold turkey on your soda habit!
18 REALLY GOOD Reasons To Quit Drinking Soda
I know what you are thinking first off: a tall, ice cold soda is the perfect companion to the best cheeseburger, slice of pizza or barbeque you can eat. And yes, it pairs well with those meals, but the effect it can and will have on your overall health is serious, and one worth investigating.
The truth is:
- Sugar increases the high gain of unwanted belly fat and makes you gain weight
- Drinks that contain a lot of sugar do not help you feel full
- Sodas with high sugar content can cause insulin resistance – when your pancreas has to work harder to produce even more insulin to remove the excess glucose from your bloodstream
- Heavy amounts of sugar turn into fat in your liver
- Several medical studies have found that regular soda consumption is a leading factor in developing type 2 diabetes
- Binging on sugar can become an addictive behavior in some people and soda can play a part in that
- Regularly drinking sugary sodas can be a risk factor for heart disease
- The amount of sugar and acids in soda can ruin your teeth and hurt your oral health
- As regular soda consumption can lead to chronic diseases, it can also lead to the development of cancer
- Regular soda drinkers are at a higher risk for developing gout and inflammatory issues
- Sugary sodas elevate your blood sugar which increases your risk for developing dementia
- Sugar enhanced drinks can grow your appetite for more unhealthy foods
- Drinking sugary sodas can cause your body to age faster, causing shorter ends of chromosomes called telomeres. When the telomeres are shorter, your cells are are not able to regenerate themselves quickly which causes a faster aging process of the body
- High sugar content drinks and foods mess up your insulin levels and can cause acne
- A study was done of men who drank sugary sodas and other beverages and found them to have a lower sperm count
- A similar study was done on women who drank at least one soda (or more) per day and found that it could lower her chances of becoming pregnant, by about 25%
- Drinking certain sodas can weaken your bone density
- A study done in Australia of people that drank large amounts of soda increased their risk of asthma and COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder
Ok, so basically drinking lots of soda is a BAD IDEA! Got it! There’s always DIET sodas, right? Well, before you head out to buy a surplus of “diet” drinks, you might want to hear some substantial medical truths about diet sodas as well.
- Many diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners that are made of chemicals that are not good for you
- Changing to diet soda does not decrease your risk for developing diabetes
- Diet sodas can, in fact, cause you GAIN weight instead of lose weight
- Drinking diet soda increases your risk for kidney disease
- Diet soda can increase your risk of developing depression
Getting the feeling that soda in general, diet or otherwise, is not good for you? I’m coming to that conclusion as well.
Healthy Alternatives To Soda
So regular and diet sodas are a big health NO NO! And water is boring and tasteless, right? So, where do we go from here? We use our brains and creativity and find healthy alternatives that make our water and other healthy beverages take the place of sugary drinks.
- Water is ALWAYS the best beverage of choice for your best health
- Add fruit or herbs to your water to give it flavor
- Fruit juice is not a bad choice but many juices have added sugars, check the labels before buying. You can always add a splash of fruit juice to your water
- Carbonated water is a good swap for sodas, just be sure to check the ingredients and make sure sugar or sweeteners have not been added
- Coffee with no added sugar or sweeteners
- Tea with no added sugars or sweeteners
- Low fat/fat free milk in moderation
- Coconut water is a healthy alternative, again check to make sure there are no added sugars before purchasing
The Path To Sugar Ends Here
While the soda habit may not be an easy one to break, it’s one that is definitely important to your overall health. I knew sodas were not good for you in general, but I had NO CLUE just how damaging they can be to your body, presently and for the future. It’s changed my view on sodas and if I will continue to drink any in the future. I encourage you to do your own research, there is PLENTY out there, medical experts by the thousands who will open your eyes to the harsh truths about soda consumption. And I’m thinking just like you must be, “If only water tasted that good.” Sadly, it may not, but I sure want to live a long, healthy life so I’m going to have to part ways with my favorite sodas. Stay safe and stay healthy!
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