Dangers of Soda
The average American consumes approximately 57 gallons of soda each year. Unfortunately, this leaves many at risk for serious health problems linked both directly and indirectly to this sugary beverage. Before you fill your next glass, learn what experts are saying about excessive soda consumption.
Serious Long-term Risk
Although the occasional soda presents few difficulties for most healthy people, regular consumption - even one or two cans per day - can add up to long-term health trouble. Because it contains large amounts of sugar, soda directly promotes obesity. What's more, a growing body of research has linked soda drinking to a myriad of serious health problems, including:
- Cardiovascular Disease: According to a report from the American Heart Association, at least one study showed that everyday soda drinkers have a 61 percent higher risk of suffering serious vascular events compared to non-soda drinkers.
- Metabolic Syndrome: Regular soda drinkers also appear to have a much higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome, which is a collection of symptoms indicating increased risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes.
- Diabetes: Research has pinpointed soda as a major contributor to diabetes. Many people are surprised to learn that a single can of soda contains the equivalent of about 10 teaspoons of sugar. By boosting insulin levels, soda may promote insulin resistance, which can ultimately result in a serious long-term decline in health.
Sugar-free not Risk-free
Since sodas contain high amounts of sugar, they can also contribute to tooth decay and weight gain. For this reason, many people opt for sugar-free colas, which contain no sugar. Unfortunately, these beverages have also been linked to key health issues, including teeth and bone problems. In fact, a study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology determined that diet soda consumption results in an increased risk of osteoporosis and kidney problems in females.
Making Smart Choices
To reduce the risk of potential long-term health problems, experts recommend that consumers limit their soda consumption to one or two times per week. If you've been a regular soda drinker, consider replacing these beverages with tea or lemon water. Since they also contain large amounts of sugar, sports drinks make poor substitutes for soda. Fruit juice can also be problematic when consumed regularly, since it's usually high in calories and contains high amounts of natural sugar, which also boost insulin levels.