The health dangers of soda have long existed: whether they are regular or diet, caffeinated or caffeine-free, soda is just plain bad news. Willingly drinking soda is almost like opting to smoke: if you know how harmful it is, then why do it? Here are some reasons that will make you think twice before reaching for soda, whatever variety or flavor it may be.
12 Reasons Why Soda bad For Us
1. Soda cans have bisphenol A (BPA), which prevents acids from reacting with metal. BPA is linked to altering hormones, obesity, cancers and infertility.
2. The caramel coloring found in many sodas is known to cause cancer. Two of these carcinogens are 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimadazole. According to California’s Strict Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, only 16 micrograms per person per day of 4-methylimidazole is enough to cause cancer, and there is 200 micrograms in a 20 ounce bottle!
3. One of the reasons for this, is that sugar supplies large amounts of the simple sugar fructose, which does not lower the hunger hormone ghrelin in the same way as glucose, the main carb found in starchy foods.
4. The main function of the hormone insulin, is to drive glucose from the bloodstream into cells.But when we drink sugary soda, the cells tend to become resistant to the effects of insulin.When this happens, the pancreas must make even more insulin to remove the glucose from the bloodstream, so insulin levels in the blood go up.
5. Type 2 diabetes is a very common disease, affecting about 300 million people worldwide. It is characterized by elevated blood sugars in the context of insulin resistance or a deficiency in insulin. Given that sugary drinks can lead to insulin resistance, it is not surprising to see that numerous studies link soda consumption with type 2 diabetes.
6. A study following 40,000 men for two decades found that those who had about a can of soda a day had a 20 percent higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack than those who rarely consumed sugary drinks.
7. Drinking a lot of soda can leave you at an increased risk of painful kidney stones. Researchers analyzed data from over 194,000 participants for more than eight years, and found that those who consumed the most sugar-sweetened beverages had a 23 percent higher risk of developing kidney stones. Consumption of coffee, tea, beer, wine, and orange juice, on the other hand, were associated with a lower risk.
8. A 2012 study found that women who drink a soda most every day are 83 percent more likely to have a certain type of stroke than women who rarely drink sugar-sweetened beverages. Another study that same year found similar results in both men and women—a significantly higher risk of stroke in those consuming more sugar-sweetened and low-calorie sodas. Researchers theorized that high soft drink intake is associated with increased weight gain, higher levels of blood sugar and fats, and hypertension—which are all linked to an increased risk of stroke.
9. As mentioned above, soda is bad for your bones. A 2006 study looked at over 1,400 women and found that those who regularly consumed colas had a lower bone mineral density (BMD), indicating compromised bone health predictive of osteoporosis. Similar results were seen for diet colas.
10. In a study published in Respirology in January 2012, researchers in Australia studied 16,907 people aged 16 and over in South Australia for two years. They found an association between a heightened risk for asthma and other breathing conditions and drinking more than half a liter soda every day.
11. Scientists discovered BVO, a preservative and flame-retardant for plastic, in citrus sodas like Mountain Dew. The substance can cause nerve disorders and memory loss. A case report from 1997 explained a case of poisoning, possibly from drinking 2 to 4 liters of cola containing BVO a day.
12. A researcher at Bangor University in England kept track of 11 healthy men and women as they drank a Super Gulp’s worth of sugary drink (about 140 grams of sugar) every day for four weeks. In the study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition in June of 2012, researchers found that their metabolism changed after the four weeks, making it more difficult for them to burn fat and lose weight.
Healthy Soda Recipes That Are Best Alternative
Is there such a thing as a “healthy” soda? We found a few options online. Please let us know if you have more!
- Ginger Ale: Combine ½ cup hibiscus flowers, ¾ cup coconut crystals, ¼ cup ginger root, juice from ½ fresh lemon, pinch of salt, and one cup filtered water in small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir until all sugar is dissolved, strain into a glass jar, discard the flowers and root, and then mix 3 tablespoons of the resulting syrup with 8 ounces of carbonated water. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy!
- Citrus soda: Combine the juice from ½ grapefruit, ½ orange, and two limes with 1 cup coconut crystals in a small saucepan. Boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved, cool, and then strain into a glass jar. Stir 3 tablespoons into 8 ounces of carbonated water and cool.
- Stevia soda: Combine 4 teaspoons stevia extract (liquid or powdered) with 2 cups water, stir to dissolve, then add your favorite flavors—fruit, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla. It’s best to simmer these with the syrup for 5-10 minutes, strain, and then cool before adding to your carbonated water.
- Lemongrass-lime leaf: Combine ¼ cup lemon zest, ¼ cup lime zest, 20 kaffir lime leaves, 2 stalks lemongrass roughly chopped, and 2 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain into a jar and chill. Mix 2 Tbsp with the sweetener syrup of your choice, top with soda water and stir.
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