Soft drinks: we all know there are good reasons to avoid them – obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay; but these drinks have been shown to have even more damaging effects on our health than first thought.
Carbonated drinks usually contain no useful nutritional value apart from energy. They have been blamed as a co-conspirator in the obesity epidemic that is sweeping the globe. Even the so-called “diet” drinks have been implicated in obesity. Results from research suggest that consumption of artificial sweeteners in fizzy drinks interfere with physiological balance processes, thereby leading to increased body weight. These same artificial sweeteners have also been linked to cases of kidney failure.
A study conducted in the United States shows that those who drank diet soft drink on a regular basis where 44% more likely to develop cardiovascular disease compared to those who rarely, or never drank them.
Fizzy drinks have been implicated in causing damage to mitochondria. The mitochondria is a vital part of each cell – it provides us with energy. When this becomes damaged, the cell becomes impaired and cannot function properly. As a result of this, fizzy drinks can also lead to a poor metabolism, a condition otherwise termed ‘metabolic syndrome’. This disease is a combination of health issues including obesity, diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia.
Tooth decay is another problem caused by sugary, fizzy drinks. The high sugar content is damaging to teeth and promotes decay, particularly in children.
The packaging of carbonated drinks can also be detrimental to health. BPA – or bisphenol A – is found in the epoxy resin lining of soft drink cans and other containers. This chemical can leach from the lining into food or drink and has been found to disrupt endocrine function. It mimics the action of the hormone estradiol in some cells, and may be a possible cause of infertility.
So, next time you’re feeling thirsty, stop and think about what that soft drink might be doing to your body… And reach for a glass of water instead!