The Dietary Poison we could easily avoid

On, Lecia Bushak makes her case against consuming sugary drinks like soda pop.

Soda is addictive, she tells us, not unlike tobacco, alcohol or drugs. At the time, it seems harmless enough, but over years of drinking such toxic fluids, your body suffers in a variety of ways.

For example, a Harvard study in 2012 demonstrated a significant connection between the intake of soda and chronic heart problems, with pop drinkers suffering as much as a 20% greater probability of cardiovascular disease. A 2011 study found soda directly related to hypertension.

And the caffeine and sugar boost so many indulge in every mid morning or mid-afternoon? It may help you focus in the moment, but over time it diminishes thinking processes and brain function, affecting memory and behavior patterns.

The sugar seems to act in reducing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which in turn lessens your ability to learn and remember. Some studies even showed a tendency toward Alzheimer’s and brain pathology in heavy soda drinkers.

Needless to say, soda rots your teeth and ruins oral health in general. A 2013 research project showed that imbibing two liters of diet soda per day for three to five years led to the same level of tooth erosion as a crack or methamphetamine addict. The citric acid in soda eats tooth enamel, leaving the teeth vulnerable to dental caries and discoloration.

Soda has diuretic qualities that can irritate the bladder and foster urinary infections. It compromises bone health and causes osteoporosis. It increases the risk of kidney malfunction, and scientists from the Nurses’ Health Study found women who drank excessive diet soda more prone to liver disease.

Some soda cans contain bis-phenol A (BPA) which has been linked to cancer, impairment of endocrine function and disruption of the reproductive organs. It’s a synthetic estrogen-like compound that appears to contribute to breast cancer, prostate cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

Weight loss experts say that dropping one large Coke from your daily diet could result in 200,000 fewer calories, about sixty pounds worth of calories. Drinking water instead would fight our obesity epidemic from the inside out. Even organic soda, without chemicals or added sugar, would be better.

Finally, and perhaps most terrifyingly, a study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that consistent soda abuse damaged the telomeres in immune cells. This interrupts the body’s natural self-healing and self-regulation by distorting genetic material, which prevents self-repair and hastens the aging process. This shortens life and creates a greater risk of serious disease.

I could keep going, but I guess you get the picture – seems like soda should come with a warning on the label. The whole soda drinking habit, from the contents to the packaging, is detrimental to your health. Do yourself a favor – move away from such sugary drinks, and especially guide the children you influence to do the same. It’s simple enough to do, and the benefits will be immeasurable.

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One Response to The Dietary Poison we could easily avoid

  1. Jacqui Stone says:

    Very interesting… I suffered from an addiction to lucozade and coca cola during my study years… the effects were pretty dramatic. I have been wary ever since. During a weekend retreat focusing on CBT and other psychology related techniques a couple of years ago the tutor did a particular exercise to stop you from doing something you no longer wanted to. I chose to never drink coke again. I was a little sceptical but do you know I have never touched a drop since! Powerful stuff… I do thank my lucky stars that my 6 year old turns his nose up at fizzy drinks. Long may that continue! As you well know my sugar vices are not of the liquid kind… J

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