Thursday, June 20, 2013

26 Shocking Reasons to Give Up Soda for Your Health

5354313_mAre you addicted to soda, diet soda, fruit, energy or sports drinks? Do you have at least one per day, or can’t get through a grocery or convenience store without picking one up? I’m glad you’re here, because maybe you have thought about giving up your soda habit but just not sure why. You’ve probably heard that it’s not good for you, but that’s an abstract concept.

Why is Soda Bad for You?

As a consumer, you should be aware of the dangers of regular soda consumption. As a former Coke Zero junkie, these facts helped motivate me to make the decision to give them up forever.
Soda:
  1. contains high fructose corn syrup, which is proving to be especially dangerous. I wrote about the dangers of HFCS here.
  2. has been directly linked to an increase in obesity
  3. has been directly linked to an increase in type 2 diabetes [1] [2]. This includes diet soda. Read more about diet soda and weight gain here.
  4. coincides with a decrease in the intake of nutritious foods and beverages [3]
  5. more than 40% increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease, even after other unhealthy lifestyle or dietary factors are accounted for [4]
  6. has been linked to the build up of visceral (belly) fat, which is in and around the liver and organs, and associated with the deadly metabolic syndrome [5]
  7. has been shown to increase cholesterol by 11% [6]
  8. has been proven to decrease insulin sensitivity [7]
  9. contains caramel coloring (made with ammonia), which has been linked to cancer in mice [8]
  10. lowers the body’s ability to regulate appetite (leptin resistance) [9]
  11. contain phosphates, which accelerate aging and caused lab rats to die sooner [10] Here are 10 more dangerous food additives to avoid.
  12. artificial sweeteners found in diet soda do not break down in our bodies and pollute the water supply, putting organisms at risk as well as contaminating drinking water [11]
  13. cause cavities and tooth decay with a pH level that is almost as acidic as battery acid
  14. citrus flavored drinks like Mountain Dew contain BVO, which is a flame retardant and is suspected in behavioral problems, infertility, memory loss, nerve disorders, and heart lesions [12]
  15. aluminum cans may contain BPA, linked with fertility disorders, reproductive cancers, obesity and diabetes [13]
  16. contain high levels of genetically modified corn from HFCS
  17. diet soda was shown to cause a 2x rate of kidney function decline [14]
  18. can cause osteoporosis [15]
  19. artificial sweeteners found in diet sodas have been linked to migraines and headaches as well as visual disturbances [16]
  20. can cause dehydration
  21. preservatives found in diet soda (sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate) cause cell damage by destroying mitochondria in DNA, and also linked to hives, asthma, and other allergic conditions [17]
  22. aspartame (also known as Neotame), an artificial sweetener found in diet soda, is a known excitotoxin which causes brain damage by “exciting” your brain neurons to death. [18]
  23. Pilots in the US are advised against ingesting anything containing aspartame because of the risk of seizures and visual disturbances. [19]
  24. aspartame is converted to formaldehyde in the body and builds up in the brain. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.
  25. the pH level of soda will cause body inflammation and age your skin
  26. diet soda has been linked to depression [20]
Scary, right?
The occasional diet or sugar-sweetened beverage probably isn’t going to hurt you, but like many processed foods these beverages can be addicting, leaving us wanting more and more every day. If you’re a regular consumer of these drinks, I urge you to consider cutting back for the sake of your health. As I found myself after 15 years of drinking diet sodas every day, it’s never too late to reverse the damage!