- Soda is harmful to our health. These beverages are linked with many serious diseases, including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, gout, kidney disease, and non-alcoholic liver disease. It is also the leading cause of tooth decay.
- Soda is also associated with chronic diseases such as cancer and dementia.
- Even one can of soda per day can have a significant negative impact on your health and lead to many dangerous diseases in the long run.
- There are many healthy soda alternatives that will provide you with numerous health benefits. Some of them are water, coffee, tea, and unsweetened carbonated waters such as sparkling spirulina drink by FUL®.
Getting rid of bad habits is never easy, and you may wonder whether drinking soda is really all that bad. The reality is that it is, and there’s enough evidence to convince any health-conscious person to quit this sugary drink. Soda consumption is tightly linked with many diseases, including obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease, and non-alcoholic liver disease.
A study by the American Heart Association has found that the consumption of sugary drinks increases the risk of death from coronary vascular disease. At the same time, consuming artificially sweetened beverages causes mortality associated with cardiovascular disease in those who consume soda in large amounts.
Why Is Soda Harmful?
Fizzy drinks like soda contain water, carbon dioxide (which makes the drink sparkling), artificial flavours and colourings, sweeteners, preservatives, caffeine, acidulants (such as phosphoric acid, malic acid, citric acid, or tartaric acid), potassium, and sodium.
A regular soda can contains about 150 calories and between 40 and 50 grams of sugar, which is the same as 10 to 12 teaspoons of pure sugar. The American Heart Association recommends people to consume no more than 25 and 36 grams of sugar for men and women, respectively. If you drink even moderate amounts of soda, you can quickly reach this recommended maximum amount. Therefore there’s a great chance that you’ll end up regularly exceeding the limit by the end of the day. For example, one study has found that people who consume soda in addition to their daily food and beverage intake increase their calorie intake by 17%.
When you consume high amounts of fructose, it leads to an increase in the amount of visceral or belly fat - a dangerous type of fat associated with metabolic disease. Another factor that contributes to metabolic syndrome is insulin resistance, which often occurs when you consume too much fructose.
There’s plenty of evidence showing that soda consumption causes tooth decay. The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) claims that sugary drinks are the primary cause of tooth decay. The reason for this is the acid produced by the bacteria that breaks down sugar and lives in the mouth.
Most soda drinks contain high-fructose corn syrup, which is made up of 50% of fructose and 50% of glucose. Glucose can be broken up anywhere in the body, while fructose can only be metabolized by the liver. Therefore, soda consumption puts too much pressure on the liver. As a result, the organ can start converting fructose into fat, which can potentially lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Many soft drinks, including soda, contain caffeine. Consuming caffeine on a daily basis can cause addiction since it provides an energy boost, which can result in insomnia, irritability, and increased heartbeat. Cutting back on caffeine can bring about an unpleasant withdrawal syndrome, which is why it’s important to wean yourself off it slowly.
Some studies have found that consuming too much phosphoric acid prevents calcium from being absorbed by the body. This can then deplete the bones of this mineral. This is especially dangerous for post-menopausal women predisposed to osteoporosis. Plus, soda drinkers tend to consume very few healthy beverages such as milk, which can cause low calcium levels. This is another factor that can contribute to weak bones.
Diet soda contains less added sugar and fewer calories than regular soda, but nevertheless, it isn’t healthy. Consuming soda instead of nutritional beverages such as water, milk, and even pure juice may result in nutrient deficiency in the body. This can cause many health problems.
Our bodies naturally produce leptin - a hormone responsible for regulating the number of calories we consume and burn. Leptin is also known as the starvation or fullness hormone since its levels may change in response to obesity and starvation.
The development of leptin resistance is one of the leading causes of fat gain, and animal studies suggest that fructose consumption heavily contributes to this condition.
In statistics that show causes of mortality, cancer usually comes after other dangerous conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease - all of which can be caused by drinking soda. Therefore, it’s no wonder that soda consumption is also linked with an increased risk of cancer.
For example, one large study has found that adults who consume two or more servings of soda per week are 87% more predisposed to pancreatic cancer.
Soda consumption is also associated with the increased risk of developing endometrial cancer and even cancer recurrence and death in patients who suffer from colorectal cancer.
Increased Risk of Gout
Gout is a disease characterized by joint inflammation and pain which tends to occur in the toes. This condition occurs when high uric acid levels in the blood become crystallizedю Fructose is the leading carbohydrate that can cause elevated uric acid levels.
Increased Risk of Dementia
Dementia is a general term used to describe a decline in the cognitive function that comes with old age. Research has found that high levels of blood sugar can exacerbate dementia.
Studies conducted in rodents have found that frequent consumption of sugary drinks can impact memory and decision-making capabilities.
What If I Drink One Can Of Soda A Day?
Many people think that one can of soda a day is harmless, but the big picture isn’t as appealing. Studies show that even one can of soda can impact your health. Soda doesn’t make you feel full, which means you consume extra calories with no nutritional value. Even one can of soda a day can potentially result in metabolic syndrome, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Consuming one can of pop a day without decreasing the intake of other calories can potentially result in you gaining 15 pounds in a single year.
What About Diet Soda?
Diet soda is no better than regular soda, and the studies conducted by the American Diabetes Association show that those who regularly consume diet soda increase their risk of getting diabetes by 70%. Diet soda is filled with artificial sweeteners, which intensify food cravings and feelings of hunger, which then leads to weight gain. Studies have also found that drinking diet soda can change the metabolism and dopamine responses in the brain, which means you will be more likely to crave high-calorie foods.
Just like a regular soda, diet soda also harms tooth enamel since it contains artificial sweeteners.
If you want to quit drinking soda, there are plenty of alternatives that you can choose from.
You may have heard that carbonated water is one of the most popular soda alternatives. But not all carbonated waters are healthier than soda. If you want to find a healthy soda alternative, opt for unsweetened sparkling water.
However, carbonated water doesn’t always have to be flavourless. There are healthy options with no artificial sugars and sweeteners that contain many vital nutrients. For example, sparkling spirulina drinks by FUL® come in different flavours, and they are packed with nutritional value, thus providing you with health benefits. Their main component is spirulina extract. Spirulina is a superfood rich in plant protein, vitamins B1, B2, as well as different minerals such as iron and magnesium. It helps to maintain healthy blood lipid levels, blood sugar and blood pressure levels and prevents harmful impact from oxidative stress.
Coffee and Tea
If you crave soda for its caffeine kick, try enjoying a cup of plain black coffee or tea instead. You can also drink valerian, chamomile, or lemon tea to relieve stress from cravings. Hibiscus tea also helps with hypertension and, therefore, will help you to maintain normal blood pressure.
One of the easiest ways to wean yourself off soda is to drink flavoured water instead. You can add different fruits and berries to the water or flavour it with cucumbers. Alternatively, you can make ice cubes with fruit slices and add them to your drink. Water is essential for our bodies, as it helps to maintain homeostasis, prevent kidney stones, get rid of waste, and lubricate joints. By drinking more of it, you can significantly improve your health.
Another soda alternative is fruit juice. It contains a lot of natural sugars, which will help you to get rid of sugar cravings. However, it’s best to consume juices in moderation. You can also mix fruit juice with seltzer to get that sparkling effect.
Make sure that the beverages you drink don’t contain added sugars. It’s recommended to keep the added sugar intake under 10% of your daily calory consumption.
Is it bad to drink one soda a day?
Yes, even one soda a day can hurt your health and cause many serious diseases such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, liver, and heart disease.
Is one soda a week OK?
Soda is a high-calorie and high-sugar drink that has no nutritional value and can only harm your health. Therefore, it’s better to avoid drinking soda altogether and find healthy alternatives that will provide you with health benefits and essential nutrients. That being said, one can of soda per week likely won’t cause significant damage to your health.
How much soda is healthy per week?
No amount of soda is healthy, as it only harms your health and increases the risk of many chronic diseases. Diet soda is also no better than regular soda. However, consuming one or two cans of soda a week likely won’t cause any major issues for your health.
How can I replace soda?
Healthy soda alternatives include unsweetened sparkling waters such as sparkling spirulina water by FUL®. Other alternatives include coffee, tea, freshly squeezed lemonade, and even juices, given that they are consumed in moderate amounts.