Thankfully, soda is one habit I never acquired. As a kid, Mom gave it to us as a treat. We couldn’t afford to drink it but had milk, juice or water instead.
Americans guzzle about 60 gallons a year per person, leading the world in soda consumption, ten times the soda consumption of Japan. This doesn’t surprise me when I see soda being hauled out of the grocery store by the case.
Soda is empty calories, artificially flavored, colored and sweetened. It makes you fat. It rots your teeth. It isn’t good for you at all but millions of families drink 3, 4 or more cans a day. Moms wonder why their kids are attention deficit, hyperactive, have bad teeth, obese, and overeat. The culprit could be that ever-present can of soda!
High fructose corn syrup contributes to obesity, especially in children. A recent study confirmed that children who consume soda are more like to have diabetes and be overweight than those who don’t.
High fructose corn syrup in soda has been proven to damage the liver. Duke University reports that scarring of the liver, usually associated with alcoholism, is found in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, also known as fibrosis. As reported in Science Daily, researches at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found It also stimulates the hunger mechanism in the brain leading to overeating.
Sodium Benzoate, a common food preservative, is found in soda. (read the cans!) While it can be from natural sources, more often it comes from petrochemical origins. It is formed through the oxidation of toluene, an industrial degreasing agent. When mixed with vitamin C, it forms benzene, a carcinogen.
A noted Microbiologist and Professor of Biotechnology at Sheffield University, Dr. Peter Piper has studied the effects of sodium benzoate. His research indicates that sodium benzoate damages DNA. He states, “The mitochondria consumes the oxygen to give you energy and if you damage it – as happens in a number of diseased states – then the cell starts to malfunction very seriously. And there is a whole array of diseases that are now being tied to damage to this DNA – Parkinson’s and quite a lot of neurodegenerative diseases, but above all the process of aging.”
Lower blood calcium levels are linked to soda drinking. Soda is high in phosphates, which leaches calcium from bones. Those who consume soda are 4 times as likely to suffer from bone fractures, and develop osteoporosis, especially as they age.
Dentists call soda a “chainsaw for teeth,” as it dissolves enamel. The Naval Medical Research Institute conducted an experiment where human teeth were put into a cola drink. After a short period the teeth began to soften and dissolve. Additionally, tooth loss, periodontal disease and gingivitis are of particular concern, especially in soda drinkers, cites Dr. Elson M. Haas, MD.
A link to hyperactivity in children has been shown in a study by the Food Standards Agency in the UK. ADHD incidences in children increased when they drank soda containing sodium benzoate and artificial colorings.
Soda aggravates acid reflux. If you suffer from this condition, you’re not helping it by choosing soda over a non-carbonated beverage such as iced tea or (gasp!) good old-fashioned water!
So, this is why I’m glad I don’t drink soda. Another plus: “Look Ma, no cavities!”