While the health risks of soda should be well-known by now, Americans are continuing to drink the dangerous, sugar-filled beverage in excess. There has been a slight decrease in sales thanks to those who say they are actively avoiding it, but more than $75 billion worth of soda is still being purchased every year, leading to an increased risk of diabetes, obesity, tooth decay, heart disease and more. If you’re still battling a sugar addiction and haven’t kicked your soda habit yet, here are some amazing reasons why you should.
1. Soda Can Lead to Osteoporosis
Whether diet or regular, all sodas contain phosphates or phosphoric acid to give them their tangy flavor and improve their shelf life. Phosphoric acid exists in many whole foods, but too much can lead to heart and kidney problems, muscle loss, osteoporosis, and can accelerate the aging process. Too much phosphoric acid in relation to calcium intake can cause bone loss, and the caffeine in soda can interfere with calcium absorption. A diet that includes soda, diet or not, decreases bone density and raises your risk for osteoporosis.
2. Soda Causes Fat Gain
Danish researchers discovered that drinking non-diet soda leads to dramatic increases in fat buildup around the liver and skeletal muscles — both of which contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes. The study found that those who drank a regular soda every day for six months saw increases in liver fat, skeletal fat, triglyceride blood fat and other organ fat, along with an 11% increase in cholesterol. Not only does soda lead to fat gain and weight gain, it causes fat to build up in some of the worst places!
3. Soda Contains Cancer-Causing Additives
Artificial caramel coloring is a popular additive in many sodas to give them their brown color. This ingredient contains two contaminants: 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole. Both have been found to cause cancer in animals, and according to California’s strict Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, just 16 micrograms a day of 4-methylimidazole is enough to pose a cancer threat. Here’s the scary part: most popular brown colas, both diet and regular, contain 200 micrograms per 20 oz bottle.
4. Soda Causes Tooth Decay
Dentists have a name for the tooth decay they see in children and adults who drink too much soda. Called “Mountain Dew Mouth,” those who drink soda in excess are winding up with a mouth full of decaying teeth. The citric acid in soda erodes the enamel and eventually the dentin, which is the core of the tooth.
5. Soda Leads to Disease
- Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Consuming too much fructose through sugary drinks can overload the liver, causing the fructose to be turned into fat. This fat can remain in the liver and lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Insulin Resistance: Consuming too much sugar can also cause the cells to become resistant to the effects of insulin. When this happens, the pancreas must produce even more insulin to remove the glucose from the bloodstream, increasing insulin levels and leading to insulin resistance.
- Type 2 Diabetes: Drinking as little as one can of soda per day has been consistently linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Imagine if every American added one can of soda to their daily diet. Almost 3.5 million people might become diabetic!
- Heart Disease: Sugar-sweetened drinks can increase some of the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Many studies have found strong links between sugar intake and heart disease risk. Just one sugary drink per day can cause a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack.
- Dementia: Researchers have found a link between an increase in blood sugar and an increased risk for dementia. Large doses of sugary drinks can impair memory and decision-making capabilities, potentially leading to conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.