How Many Sodas Before You Are On the Fast Track?

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

The fast track to diabetes, that is. We all know that drinking soda isn’t good for you, but you really have no idea. Honestly, most people think their little afternoon soda isn’t such as big deal; it’s only one little soda, right?

When we tell you about that one little soda, you will definitely see things in a different light.

You already know that high fructose corn syrup and sugar can seriously damage your health, but did you know that processed foods are a big source of both? Adding those on top of sodas is a true double whammy, but sodas are by far the worst offenders.

Cambridge University looked at the diets of 25,000 subjects for a period of 11 years. The scientists there found that for every 5 percent increase in calories from sodas, the subject’s risk of developing diabetes increased by a whopping 18 percent! We aren’t talking about each soda that you ingest, but for every 5 percent increase in calories that you consume from sodas. So if you normally consume 2000 calories each day, this means that for every 100 extra calories you take in drinking sodas, you increase your risk of developing diabetes by 18 percent. Wow.

All you need is 100 calories of soda to increase your risk 25 percent. When you consider that one can of Coke contains 140 calories, which is about 1.5 times the amount you need to increase your risk of diabetes, it becomes really clear how drinking just one little soda every afternoon can have a dramatic impact on your health.

Now imagine having a couple of sodas each day.

The lead author of this study, Dr. Nita Forouhi, wondered what would happen if they substituted those sodas for plain water. What did they find?

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Cold glass with cola and ice cubes

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When sodas were replaced with plain water, unsweetened tea or coffee, it greatly helped to lower the odds of developing diabetes. How much are we talking about? A full 25 percent reduction in the risk of the development of diabetes. 25 percent! Better still, the researchers only swapped out one soda for water. Just one. Imagine if you simply exchanged all of your sodas for healthy, pure water?

By the way, this study included more than just colas. They also considered other sweetened drinks such as canned lemonade (150 calories), canned ice tea (270 calories), and sweetened fruit juice such as Snapple (about 200 calories).

In another study, it was found that people who drank a 12 ounce can of soda each day over a 16 year time period were 18 percent more likely to develop diabetes. Not only that, but this study showed that those who drank 2 sodas each day were 18 percent more likely to have a stroke than those who drank only 1 soda each day. These results held up even after researchers took into account other risk factors such as age, BMI, total daily caloric intake, and physical activity levels.

These are some pretty scary study results.

Another research analyzed information about a group of 12,000 people who had developed Type 2 diabetes between the years of 1991 and 2007 and another group selected at random from a pool of 15,000 people. All subjects were taking part in a larger study that was investigating the interaction between diet and environmental factors compared to the risk of cancer and chronic disease.

This study found that those who drank one or more sodas each day were 30 percent more likely to develop diabetes than those who had less than one soda can each month. This study was published in the April 2013 journal Diabetologia.

Other studies have shown that consuming large amounts of soda have been linked to numerous health problems, including poor dental health, diabetes, weight gain, and cardiovascular disease, which can lead to strokes, heart attack, and premature death.

 

SEE ALSO: The Effects of Drinking Soda Infographic

 

Besides increasing your risk of diabetes, you need to consider what the sugar does to your weight as well. If you ate the right amount of calories to maintain your weight and only added 1 can of soda to your diet each day, you would gain 14.5 pounds in just one year.

Although some people think that a calorie is a calorie, but that might not be as true as we think.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Scientists at Purdue University say that the calories from sugar are more easily turned into fat than the calories in other foods. Although researchers aren’t sure why this is, they believe that the liver can only process so much refined sugar at one time so it stores the rest as fat.

Other scientists believe that the brain does not register liquid calories the way it does food. This is why people can keep drinking several sodas with their meals, consuming several hundred calories in the way that they never could consume several hundred calories of food.

Hard to believe? Consider this: the average American drinks 45 gallons of sodas each year, at least according to a study done by Yale University in 2011. Obesity is an epidemic in the US, with more than 69 percent of adults being either overweight or obese. Many health experts blame this on America’s love of soda.

Due to the obvious health problems that come with drinking sodas, you should seriously consider dropping sodas from your diet completely. If you really need some type of 140 calorie fix at lunch, almost anything would be better than a soda. Even French fries would be a better choice; at least you would get some nutrition from those!

You might want to consider consuming something healthier than French fries, however. Try some of the healthy fruit and herb infused waters or some green tea along with your lunch.

So before you order a super–sized soda, think again and order some water with a twist of lemon. When it comes to sodas, a bad thing, even a little bit of a bad thing, is a really bad thing.

References:

Care.diabetesjournals.org

Circ.ahajournals.org

Ajph.aphapublications.org