You don’t see soft drinks recommended by health professionals, so how bad are they really for us? We know they’re extremely popular for both children and adults alike, but their negative health effects have been gaining increased attention of late. So, let’s weigh in on their link to obesity, ascertain if soft drinks really cause soft bones and look at other health risks regular consumption can expose us to…
Studies have shown that regular soda use can lead to a loss of calcium in the urine and may weaken bones over time. Soft drinks typically contain large amounts of phosphates, which cause calcium to be removed from bones, in turn increasing the risk of developing osteoporosis. This is further exacerbated by the fact that soda consumption often offsets the intake of beverages such as milk that actually reduce your osteoporosis risk!
Studies consistently show that the high sugar content in soft drinks encourages plaque formation, which is bad for tooth enamel. The acids that most soft drinks contain can also damage teeth and increase the risk of cavities. Tooth decay is related to the duration of sugar being in contact with the teeth, making soft drink consumption particularly damaging as they are generally slowly sipped which can maintain a sugary environment in the mouth for extended periods of time.
Diabetes and Obesity
Studies have shown that regular consumption of sugary soft drinks can increase a child’s risk of diabetes, both while they’re young and later in life. Soft drinks are increasingly indicated as being partly responsible for the expanding girth of Western nations. Recent studies have proved that drinking sugary beverages interacts with genes that affect weight, amplifying a person’s risk of obesity beyond what it would be from heredity alone.
Some of the specific ingredients suggested to be causing such complications are discussed below…
This acid can interfere with the body’s ability to use calcium, which can lead to osteoporosis or softening of the teeth and bones. Phosphoric acid also neutralizes the hydrochloric acid in your stomach, which can interfere with digestion, making it difficult to utilize nutrients.
Sugar increases insulin levels, which can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, premature aging and many more negative side effects. Most sodas have over 100 percent of the normal adult RDA for sugar. In fact, one can of soda typically contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar. This is an alarming amount of sugar for a beverage that most often has no nutritional value at all!
This chemical is used as a sugar substitute in diet soda. There are over 92 different health side effects associated with aspartame consumption including brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders and epilepsy/seizures.
Caffeinated drinks have a stimulant action and can cause jitters, insomnia, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, elevated blood cholesterol levels, vitamin and mineral depletion, hyperactivity and other such issues. Most cola drinks contain about 30-50 mg of caffeine. Caffeine is also a diuretic, so it can sometimes cause dehydration.
Article by Renée Leonard-Stainton, Naturopath & Nutritionist
Renée Naturally – www.reneenaturally.com