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Health and Fitness News

Farewell, Soda Pop

Regardless of how good it tastes, it’s bad for your health. Here’s how.

It’s fizzy, sweet, and refreshing. With enough flavors to make your head spin, everyone has a favorite, and millions of people around the world love the taste of soda. The problem is, soda is not good for you, regardless of whether it has fewer calories or less sugar than another soda. In fact, there’s nothing redeeming about soda besides the fact that it tastes good.
Drinking soda as an occasional treat isn’t a big deal, but drinking it everyday is cause for concern. Here are eight reasons why it’s time for you to cut back on soda.

Reason 1: Weight Gain

There’s zero nutritional value in soda, only empty calories. A 20-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola contains 240 calories and a whopping 17 teaspoons of sugar. Those calories add up fast and pile the pounds on your hips and belly. In fact, sugary drinks such as soda are a major cause of the high rates of obesity among children and adults. For every sugary drink a child consumes each day, his or her risk of obesity increases by 60 percent.

Reason 2: Tooth Decay

It’s no secret that soda harms your teeth. The combination of sugar, carbonic acid, and phosphoric acid is a recipe that leads straight to tooth decay. Harmful bacteria love to feed on sugar while the acid weakens the teeth. Plan for high dental bills if you drink a lot of soda.

Reason 3: Type 2 Diabetes

People who drink one or more cans of soda a day are at a 26 percent greater risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes compared to people who rarely drink soda. Your pancreas has a hard time keeping up with the demand for insulin when bombarded by the high sugar content of soda, putting you at increased risk for diabetes.

Reason 4: Heart Disease

Multiple studies show the increased risk of heart disease for both men and women who drink soda each day. Why is this? People who drink soda tend to be overweight and eat an unhealthy diet. In addition, the high sugar content of soda increases inflammation in the body and raises blood sugar, both risk factors for heart disease.

Reason 5: Gout

Painful joints, especially the big toe joint, are a hallmark characteristic of gout. This condition occurs when there’s too much uric acid in the blood. Fructose, a major ingredient in soda, boosts uric acid levels. Drink a can of soda each day and your risk of developing gout goes up by 75 percent if you’re a woman and 50 percent if you’re a man.

Reason 6: Weak Bones

People who drink soda tend to have weak bones. The reason for this is two-fold. When you drink soda, you’re likely not drinking as much milk, which is high in bone-building calcium. Soda, on the other hand, contains phosphate. Consuming more phosphate than calcium actually harms your bones.

Reason 7: Dehydration

You may feel like soda quenches your thirst, but beverages that contain caffeine only increase dehydration. This occurs due to your body’s natural response to caffeine: increased urine production. Urinate more often than usual and you wind up with less fluid circulating in the body.

Reason 8: Cancer

Add cancer to the list of potential risks associated with drinking soda. The artificial caramel coloring that’s found in many sodas may be carcinogenic. The chemical reactions that make caramel coloring form compounds that cause cancer in mice and rats. So for your good health today and tomorrow, it may be best to drop the soda and grab a glass of natural, refreshing water.