3 Surprising Reasons to Give Up Soda
By Leah Zerbe
Soda—it’s actually grosser than you thought. You already know it’s not good for you, but these three facts could help you quit soda—cold turkey. By now, it’s probably fair to say that most Americans know soda isn’t a health-promoting drink. Over the years, the carbonated beverage has been blamed for the obesity epidemic and rising healthcare costs. Some public health experts have even called for a soda tax to help deter people from drinking so much of it. While love handles and diabetes are obvious problems associated with soda, drinking the sweet carbonated beverages harbors hidden threats, too.
1. It causes invisible fat buildup around your organs.
In the latest bad news for the soda industry, Danish researchers discovered that drinking non-diet soda leads to dramatic increases in dangerous hidden fats. In the study, researchers asked participants to drink either soda sweetened with 50 percent glucose and 50 fructose (table sugar, the soda sweetener of choice in Denmark), milk containing the same amount of calories as the regular soda, diet cola, or water every day for six months.
While total fat mass remained the same across all beverage-consuming groups, researchers say dramatic increases in fats that are hard to detect with the naked eye occurred. Those who drank the regular cola experienced a 132 to 142 percent increase in liver fat, a 117 to 221 percent jump in skeletal fat, and about a 30 percent increase in both triglyceride blood fats and other organic fat. The regular soda-drinking group also experienced an 11 percent increase in cholesterol, compared to the people who drank beverages.
In America, many sodas are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup that has been shown to cause even worse fat buildup. Avoid turning to diet soda as a healthy alternative. Artificial sweeteners and food dyes have been linked to brain cell damage and hyperactivity; people who drink diet soda are also more prone to developing diabetes.
2. Some contain toxic flame retardants.
Some popular soda brands, including Mountain Dew, use a toxic flame retardant chemical ingredient to keep the artificial flavoring from separating from the rest of the liquid. Brominated vegetable oil, also sometimes listed as BVO on soda and sports drink, can cause bromide poisoning symptoms like skin lesions and memory loss, as well as nerve disorders.
3. You’re taking part in the biggest science experiment on the planet.
Many soda brands on the market in America today are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, a heart-harming man-made compound derived mainly from genetically engineered (GE) corn. GE technology was only introduced into our food chain in the 1990s. We don’t know the long-term health impacts of their use because the corporations that developed the crops never had to test to make sure it’s safe over the long term. Other independent scientists are finding that GE crops are linked to digestive tract damage, accelerated aging, and even infertility.