Have you ever Googled “How much soda do Americans drink per year?” I was shocked at the answer: from 2010 data, the answer is “an average of 44.7 gallons consumed per person, per year.” Surprising? How much soda do you drink? Are you aware that drinking soda increases disease risks?
Are you aware that consuming sugary drinks increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions? Did you know that:
- If you drink soda regularly—1 to 2 cans a day or more—you have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely drink soda.
- If you drink one can of soda per day you have a 20% higher risk of having or dying from a heart attack?
- Women who drink a can of soda per day you have a 75% higher risk of gout.
- Men who drink a can of soda per day have a drastically increased risk of gout.
- Drinking soda weakens your bones
- Drinking soda (or consuming lots of sugar regularly from any source) ages your skin more rapidly
Articles are posted to the internet constantly showing a correlation between drinking sodas and increased 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.
In a 2014 article in the American Journal of Public Health, a study was published that looked at the effect of soda consumption on 5309 US adults, aged 20 to 65 years, with no history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease. The study found that "regular consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas influences metabolic disease development through accelerated cell aging." They found that sugar-sweetened soda consumption was associated with shorter telomeres. As stated in The Best Exercises to Make You Younger, telomeres are the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that keep your DNA intact, and are linked to aging and disease.
1. Eliminate soda and you’ll be less hungry
This isn’t just about sugar containing sodas – it’s also true for diet sodas. Johns Hopkins researchers found that people who drink diet beverages end up consuming more calories from food than people who drink regular soda or other sugary beverages. Why? Our bodies expect a large amount of calories when we take in something sweet, and artificial sweeteners are 400 - 8,000 times sweeter than sugar. When you have artificial sweeteners, your body expects high-calorie food, and when it isn’t satisfied because of the lack of calories, it can result in causing you to have some other food to fill the gap.
2. Eliminate soda and you’ll look younger
A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that drinking even one soda per day increases cell aging the same amount as smoking.
3. Eliminate soda and you’ll lose more weight
Here’s an interesting one. Diet sodas don’t have any calories, but your body releases insulin when you have them, which actually prevents weight loss. Why? Diet drinks are have potent sweeteners that trick your metabolism into thinking sugar is on its way, causing insulin levels to spike. When insulin levels spike, your body shifts from fat-burning mode to fat-storing mode. Here’s another thing: whatever the body does a lot, it gets good at. So when you consume sweet drinks, you actually train your taste buds to crave sweetness, so you’re more likely to choose sweet foods.
4. Eliminate soda and you’ll reduce your risk of heart attack, type 2 diabetes, and stroke
A 2015 study by the Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health found that people who consumed one or two sugary drinks a day had a 35% increase in risk for heart attack or fatal heart disease, a 16% increase in risk for stroke, and a 26% increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, when compared with people who drank fewer sugar-sweetened beverages.
5. Eliminate soda and you’ll reduce hidden fats
Danish researchers recently discovered that drinking non-diet soda leads to dramatic increases in fat buildup around your liver and your skeletal muscles, both of which can contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes. The study revealed that people who drank a regular soda every day for six months saw a 132 - 142% increase in liver fat, a 117 – 221% jump in skeletal fat, and about a 30% increase in both triglyceride blood fats and other organ fat, and led to an 11% increase in cholesterol.
6. Eliminate soda and you’ll reduce the risk of your bones from breaking
The caramel color in soda contains an artificially created phosphorus that is bad for long-term bone health, because it can cause calcium to leach out of bones, causing osteoporosis.
7. Eliminate soda and you’ll have more energy
Most soda contains caffeine. Drinking too much caffeine can make you dehydrated over stimulate your nervous system, making you fatigued and exhausted. Quitting soda can bring positive results, like replacing soda with more fresh foods and make better choices. By giving up soda, it may seem like you’re making one change, but it can actually change a couple aspects of your diet for the better.”
8. Eliminate soda and you could live longer
A study published in a 2010 issue of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal found that the excessive phosphate levels in sodas caused lab rats to die a full five weeks earlier than the rats whose diets had more normal phosphate levels. Another study from the University of California determined that soda actually shortens your life by 4.6 years. The study looks at the sugary drink outside of it’s known relationship with obesity and found that it actually ages your cells.
If you’re still drinking soda, don’t you think it’s time to stop?