A single 12-ounce can of soda packs an average of 39 grams of sugar—that’s more than three times the amount you’d get in a Krispy Kreme glazed donut, and yet, we’re still drinking the stuff by the gallon. The CDC reports that 49 percent of adults in the U.S. drink at least one regular soda or other sweetened beverage per day, which adds up to a ton of calories, sugar, and extra weight per year.
While soda sweetened with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup comes with its own risks—from increased risk of ailments like diabetes and tooth disease—the diet stuff isn’t much better. In fact, research suggests that diet soda drinkers have an increased likelihood of weight gain and increased waist measurements. If you’re eager to get on the right track toward a healthier, fitter body, try enjoying the 100 healthiest foods on the planet instead. Here are all of the potential side effects of drinking soda that will make you quit the sweet stuff for good.
It probably comes as no surprise to you that drinking soda has been linked to obesity . While this may be partially due to the types of high-calorie foods that tend to accompany sodas and fizzy drinks, a single can of soda packs 140 calories but is almost guaranteed to be of no help when it comes to your hunger. Add a soda to every meal for 30 days and you could be gaining more than three pounds by the time the month is done. Related: Here’s the one drink that’s worse for you than soda .
Think switching to diet soda is doing you any favors in terms of your blood sugar? Think again! Both regular and diet soda have been linked to an increase in type 2 diabetes . The sugar spike you get from soda forces the body to transform that sugar into fat in your liver. Over six months, the fat deposits in your liver may have increased by as much as 150%, increasing your risk factor for diabetes along the way. Similarly, research published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine suggests that artificial sweeteners may actually increase your cravings for real sugar, putting you at greater risk for diabetes. Lower your risk of chronic disease starting today by avoiding these 50 worst foods for diabetes .
A single 12-ounce can of soda contains almost ten packets of sugar, coating your teeth and gums every time you crack open a can. In fact, multiple studies have shown just how deleterious soda can be to your teeth ; left in soda for sufficient time, human teeth will actually dissolve. Unfortunately, despite the claims pushed by some toothpaste companies, tooth enamel can’t be regrown after it’s eroded—once it’s gone, it’s gone for good.
If you feel like your gum line is receding faster than your hair, your soda habit might be to blame. The sugars, preservatives and artificial colorings found in your average soda can get trapped beneath your gums. If that area isn’t cleaned thoroughly, bacteria feeds on the trapped particles causing deterioration, infection, and the destruction of gum tissue, which is nearly impossible to regenerate. Fortunately, giving up soda now can reduce your risk of receding gums and keep that smile healthy and bright as you age. Related: 25 Foods You Had No Idea are Good for Your Teeth
Sporting a spare tire? Blame your soda habit. The refined sugar in soda is quickly absorbed, causing your blood sugar to spike. This sudden surge in blood sugar triggers the production of insulin and can turn that sugar into fat—particularly those pounds around your waist—in no time. Fortunately, eliminating soda from your diet can save you thousands of calories and hundreds of thousands of grams of sugar each year, fighting that belly fat . Related: 15 Flat-Belly Secrets from a Nutritionist Who Lost 100 Pounds
Those aches and pains that won’t go away might just be getting worse every time you put a sugary soda in your shopping cart. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that women who regularly consumed sugar-sweetened soda have an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis, so there’s no time like the present to cut soda from your diet.
Often called the most excruciating pain this side of childbirth, kidney stones are the result of an accumulation of minerals in the kidneys over time, which eventually pass through the urethra. Unfortunately, those with regular soda habits are at an increased risk for this unpleasant condition; both excessive sugar consumption and dehydration are associated with increased risk of kidney stones, and soda just so happens to contribute to both. Related: The Best Food for a Kidney Cleanse, and Which to Avoid
You might not be the only one in your family affected by your soda consumption . The plastic bottles soda comes in often contain BPA, a chemical used to harden plastics, which has been shown to contaminate substances that come in contact with it. The result? Potential behavioral problems in your offspring—researchers at Columbia University, the National Center for Environmental Health, and the CDC have found a link between exposure to BPA and an increased risk of behavioral health issues.
Keep your heart healthy and your life long by giving up your soda habit today. The British Medical Journal suggests that drinking sweetened sodas may contribute to heart failure, and your risk for heart failure is closely associated with diabetes, obesity and uncontrolled blood pressure, all of which have been linked to the regular consumption of sodas and other sugary drinks. Related: 105 Sodas Ranked by How Toxic They Are
Your risk for stroke increases with each sip of soda you take. Soda is directly responsible for increased fat stores in the body, some of which can cause hardening of your arteries, including the ones close to your brain, increasing your stroke risk. The quickest and easiest way to improve your arterial health today is to put down that can of soda and opt for water or unsweetened tea instead.