Soft drinks (or soda) are carbonated drinks which contain sweeteners and flavourings. They are widely consumed across the world, with the average American drinking approx. 56 gallons of soda each year. These drinks can contain the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar in one can alone. This amount of sugar, especially in liquid form, skyrockets the blood sugar and causes an insulin response in the body. It has been reported that people who consume sugary drinks regularly (approx. 1 to 2 cans a day) have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who only consume them on occasion .
More recent studies have raised concerns that diet sodas boost stroke risk. Diet and regular sodas have both been linked to obesity, kidney damage, and certain cancers. Regular soft drinks have been linked to elevated blood pressure .
Research published in 2011 by the University of Bristol suggests that drinking soda can actually trigger sweet cravings by dulling your sensitivity to sweet tastes, resulting in a vicious cycle of eating sweet foods and drinks .
Now don’t go thinking that it’s okay to drink diet soda either because the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society recently published research which found that diet soda intake is directly related to abdominal obesity in adults over the age of 65. The study also found an increase in waist circumference among diet soda drinkers was three times the amount in non-drinkers.
So don’t you think it’s time to kick your soda drinking to the kerb? Swap out these harmful drinks for healthy refreshing alternatives such as:
- Malik VS, Popkin BM, Bray GA, Despres JP, Willett WC, Hu FB. Sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. Diabetes Care. 2010
- American Heart Association: ‘Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Associated with Higher Blood Pressure’, Feb. 29, 2011.
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