Moving Towards Moderation: Is Soda Really That Bad? |

Moving Towards Moderation: Is Soda Really That Bad?

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It seems like every week there are new studies and headlines reporting yet more new health risks associated with soda consumption. In fact the Mayor of New York City has recently proposed legislation to ban the consumption of super sized sugary drinks in the city of New York, and several states and municipalities are pondering soda taxes.

What is the big deal about the sweet stuff?
Soda is the greatest single source of added sugar in the American diet. Soda contains absolutely no nutritional value, so the calories it carries are completely empty. And the truth of the matter is that all of the data shows that by drinking lots of soda you are putting yourself at a heightened risk for everything ranging from a heart attack to osteoporosis. First of all soda is loaded with sugar (or HFCS) and contributes to weight gain. Too much of this leads to a high level of fasting glucose (a pre-cursor to diabetes.)

What else does soda do?
Studies have shown that drinking just one sugary beverage a day was associated with a 20% bump in a man’s risk of having a heart attack over a period of 20 years. Sugary soda consumption has been linked to serious health risks in women as well.

How does it work?
The excess of soda and other sugary drinks is converted into body fat, but unlike fat that is visible under the skin, much of this sugar transforms into either triglycerides or fatty tissue that surrounds organs, like the liver. Metabolic syndrome and fatty liver disease contribute to higher risk of stroke, coronary disease and type 2 diabetes.

But I only drink diet soda, that's cool right?
Nope. Recent studies have shown that drinking even diet sodas result in a larger waistline. The American Association of Diabetes has conducted a study that shows that aspartame (an artificial sweetener in diet soda) actually raises blood sugar levels. This too will make you prone to diabetes and weight gain.

So what’s the answer?
Soda consumption should be limited to the occasional indulgence, or eliminated from your diet entirely, like Joe has done. Drink water, good wholesome water, and lots of it.

Joe's Progress, Week 11:


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