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Is sugary soda bad for you? 10 facts, alternatives and benefits



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Created by the experts at Healthline for Greatist. Read More

If you want to enjoy your afternoon boost with a can of coke, there's no easy way to say it: yes, sugary soda is bad for you.

The recent study found that those who drink sweetened or artificially sweetened beverages for extended periods of time have an increased risk of death.

The study began in the 1980s and tracked the health of over 118,000 people who were initially free of chronic disease. There were 36,436 deaths in the 30-year study.

The researchers found that for every additional 12-ounce serving of sugary drink, there was a 7 percent increase in the risk of death for any reason, a 5 percent increase in cancer mortality, and a 10 percent increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

The somewhat good (or better) news is that drinking diet drinks reduces these risks. However, these same diet drinks have been linked to other health issues, including kidney disease, depression, dementia and stroke. More on that later.

. 1 Sugary soda is associated with weight gain.

No matter how much soda you drink, it will never satisfy your hunger. This is because many sodas contain high fructose corn syrup, which does not lower ghrelin, the starvation hormone, like glucose (the sugar in starchy foods).

So, when you drink lemonade, in addition to what you need to feel full, you only add calories.

In addition, fructose increases visceral fat – also known as belly fat. The higher the amount of visceral fat, the higher the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Important note: Fructose is perfectly fine. Fructose from added sugar is bad.

. 2 In your liver, large amounts of sugar become fat.

Yes, your liver can get fat too. While glucose can be processed by every cell of your body, fructose can only be processed by the liver.

The continuous repulsion of these sugary sodas understandably overloads the liver and can lead to an alcohol-free fatty liver disease.

Imagine glucose as an angel potato on your right shoulder and fructose (added sugars) as a diabolical chocolate bar on your left side.

3. Sugary soda leaves your cells resistant to insulin.

When you drink a lot of sugar, the chemistry in your body changes. For example, the more you spend on sugary soda, the more your cells will stop responding to insulin, the hormone that allows cells to absorb and use glucose.

In this case, your pancreas is pumping out even more insulin to remove the glucose from your bloodstream, resulting in an increase in insulin levels.

This is known as insulin resistance, a major driver of metabolic syndrome and a precursor to type 2 diabetes.

. 4 Sugary drinks are the leading cause of type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes caused by insulin resistance or deficiency affects millions of people around the world.

And since drinking large amounts of sugary soda increases the likelihood of developing insulin resistance, it also increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.

You may think "no big deal" because you only drink a can of soda every day – all in moderation, right?

This study found that the risk of type 2 diabetes increases by 1.1 percent if an additional 150 calories of sugar are consumed per day. This is just a tin of soda. The more you know …

5. The more you eat it, the more you need it.

News Flash: Sugar is addictive. That's why a cupcake never feels enough.

When you consume sugar, dopamine is released, a neurotransmitter in the brain that gives you the feeling of pleasure and reward. This dopamine also trains your brain to want more and more of this sugar. Can we blame it?

A study conducted on rats found that sugar can even make you physically dependent, much like the effects of drug use. Just say no to sugar.

. 6 It increases the risk of heart disease.

Studies have shown that sugary drinks increase the risk factors for heart disease by increasing blood sugar, blood triglycerides, and small, dense LDL particles.

And the increase in visceral fat and insulin resistance also increases the risk of heart disease.

. 7 It increases the risk of cancer

Since cancer is associated with other chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, it is not surprising that drinking sugary soda also increases the risk of cancer.

Post Menopause In women, drinking sugary soda is associated with type 1 endometrial carcinoma (which affects the lining of the uterus).

Studies have also shown that drinking sugar increases the risk of recurrence and death from cancer in stage 3 colon cancer patients.

] 8. Sugary soda destroys your teeth

Your dentist is not a professional spoiler (well, not only that) – sugar will really rot your teeth. And with sugary soda, phosphoric acid and carbonic acid are added to the mixture that causes tooth decay.

The combination of acidity with sugar is particularly harmful as it creates an environment in the mouth that allows harmful bacteria to thrive. Over time, this can be catastrophic for both your gums and your chompers.

. 9 It causes inflammation in your joints (also known as gout).

Gout is an arthritis that causes inflammation in the joints, especially in your big toes. It usually occurs when a high uric acid level crystallizes in the blood.

If you have not guessed already, uric acid is increased by our enemy, fructose.

Long-term studies from 2008 and 2010 have linked sugary soda to a 75 percent increased gout risk in women and an almost 50 percent increased risk in men.

10th It raises your blood sugar, increasing the risk of dementia.

Research has shown that an incremental rise in blood sugar is associated with a higher risk of dementia – the most common form is Alzheimer's disease – or with a sharp decline in memory and other thinking skills.

Sugar-sweetened beverages can trigger a rapid increase in blood sugar, so it makes sense to increase the risk of dementia as well. Would you exchange your precious memories for sugar? I would not have thought that.


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