Now I don’t want to alarm anyone, but go check out your refrigerator or pantry. If you see a soft drink you need to read this and pass it along. “Pop” as I called it growing up in the Midwest, appears primed to become the newest health hazard. In 2004, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), obesity actually killed almost as many people in the U.S. per year as tobacco did, and it is predicted to surpass tobacco as the number one cause of death.
Guess what? It's preventable. Soda drinks, pop, fizz, whatever you call it has no nutritional value. The bad actors are caffeine, phosphorylated products, sugar and sodium. The answer is not diet soda, either. Though the thought to decrease sugar, thus unnecessary calories is a great one. The artificial sweeteners in diet soda have been linked to increased rates of stroke and vascular events. Even after risk factors for heart and vascular disease were taken into account, the diet soda drinkers had more strokes than non-drinkers.
Also, did you know that regular and diet soda can steal good calcium from your body? The phosphoric acid in soda can binds to calcium preventing it from depositing in your bones. If you have “brittle bones” or osteoporosis, keep the soda to a minimum.
So, why do we crave certain drinks??
Truly people are fans of one brand or another of diet soda...and THEY ARE LOYAL! Diet soda is clearly not as addictive as nicotine but people do get psychologically addicted to soda. The effect of too many regular sodas is seen on the waistline rapidly. The weight gain is unwanted so the switch to diet soda is made because of the “zero” calories. Then with zero calories people drink multiple cans, which are typically one size or supersized. Some research suggests that the artificial sweeteners do not satisfy the sugar urge as completely so the craving continues. So though it may contain no caffeine or no sugar, it has artificial sweetener and phosphorylated products.
The research is not definitive. It is good enough, though, to recommend carbonated water with lime or lemon. As I tell my patients, we get a hall pass for awhile with our bodies and how we treat them. But it will catch up to us, so today start cutting back on soda of any sort. Another thought, only real products in your body. Next trip to the grocery store, start with small serving cans and a large supply of “fuzzy water” as we call it in the Moore household.