We tend to grab that can of juice or cola, ever so often, sometimes for taste and a lot of times as an alternative to water, when we are thirsty. In this article, I will attempt to explain to the reader, how it is a bad choice, and why he/she needs to really think if they really need that soft drink…because if you ask me, it is just not worth it.
Soft drink refers to any beverage which has added sugar or other sweeteners including soda, pop, cola, tonic, fruit punch, lemonades, powered sweet drinks as well as sports and energy drinks. Researches suggest that these are single largest source of calories and added sugar in our diet and practically come with zero nutritional contribution. The average can of sugar-sweetened soda or fruit punch provides about 150 calories, almost all of them from added sugar. If you were to drink just one of these sugary drinks every day, and not cut back on calories elsewhere, you could gain up to 3kgs in a year. Beyond weight gain, routinely drinking these sugar-loaded beverages can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases. Furthermore, higher consumption of sugary beverages has been linked with an risk of premature death. Read it as when you drink at cola or soda, you are inviting belly fat, obesity, heart and liver problems without quenching your thirst or satiating your hunger.increased
While one tends to compensate a large meal by having smaller portions in the next meal, the more sugary beverages a person has each day, the more calories he or she takes in later in the day. Countless studies establish links between intake of soft drinks and weight gain. A study at the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that each additional can of soda consumed increases the risk of obesity by 1.6 times. Each additional soft drink consumed per day increases the likelihood of a child becoming obese by about 60%. Diet soft drinks also affects our waistline dramatically. One meta-analysis of 88 studies showed that the effect appeared to be stronger in women. Studies in children and adults have found that reducing sugary drink consumption can lead to better weight control among those who are initially overweight.
What About Diet Soda?
Despite its deceiving label as a “diet” beverage, diet soda is not a healthy alternative to regular soda. In fact, a study found that those who drank diet fizzy drinks saw their waistlines expand nearly three times as much as non-drinkers and even more so than those drinking non-diet versions.
A 2010 study by Malik et al unveils that people who consume 1 to 2 cans of soft drinks a day (or more) have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely have such drinks. Risks are even greater in young adults and Asians.
Scientists in America claimed that drinking three cans a day could triple our risk of heart disease. Another study found that men who averaged one can of a soft drink per day had a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack than men who rarely consumed such drinks. The Nurses’ Health Study found that women who drank more than two servings of soft drink a day had a 40 percent higher risk of heart attacks or death from heart disease than women who rarely drank such beverages.
Soda takes a toll on the bones due to the presence of phosphates. Its consumption interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium, and leads to conditions such as osteoporosis, cavities and bone softening. Studies have also found that as the consumption of soft beverages increases, the consumption of milk goes down, and milk is an important source of calcium.
Gout is a condition where defective metabolism of uric acid causes arthritis. A 2010 study by Choi et al found that women who consumed a can a day of soft drink had a 75% higher risk of gout than women who rarely had such drinks.
Sodas contain high levels of phosphoric acid and high fructose corn syrup, which have been linked to kidney stones and kidney disease. A Harvard Medical School study, found that diet cola is linked with a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline.
A 2009 study found that soft drinks can cause fatty liver disease. Drinking soda causes fat build up around the organs by as much as 25 percent and almost doubles the amount of fat around the liver, making the organ susceptible to disease and malfunctioning.
Risk of CANCER
As per latest studies – Drinking just two soft drinks a week increases the amount of insulin and can double the risk of pancreatic cancer. Drinking one fizzy drink a day increases the risk of prostrate cancer in men by 40%. Drinking one and half cans a day increases the risk of breast cancer in girls by inducing early puberty and for each year they mature early the risk increases by 5%. Coloring agents in the soft drinks are increasingly found to have cancer causing properties. Do you still want to grab that can?
The good news is that it is rather easy to give up on these soft drinks. There are plenty of healthy alternatives out there. Replace soda with sparkling water, you can add lemon or orange or mint to add flavor to it. Replace packaged juices with fresh fruit juice, coconut water and the milk. Try buttermilk, and fruit milkshakes or unsweetened coconut milk if you are into ready to drink dairy based drinks. Needless to say, have lots of water, there is no substitute for it. Cheers!