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Soda. Pop. Coke. Whatever you call it, carbonated beverages are universal in their popularity. And while it’s no secret that they’re no good for you, do you know exactly how they take their toll? Here are 7 big ones:
According to a study published in the Journal of General Dentistry, soft drinks “aggressively” harm teeth. The study used slices of enamel, from freshly pulled teeth, placed in different types of soft drinks. Within just a few minutes of exposure, the enamel started to show superficial damage. However, cumulative and frequent exposure proved to induce more serious damage. The ingredients in soda that dissolve tooth enamel are citric acid and phosphoric acid.
Phosphoric acid also plays a part in bone health, but phosphorus needs to be balanced with calcium. Too much phosphorus tilts the scale and can, in fact, start to leach calcium from your bones.
It is no secret that sodas are high in calories, sugars, and other body-clogging junk including artificial sweeteners. But what’s more, research suggests the artificial sweeteners make you feel hungrier, masking satiation— the feeling of being full. And don’t be fooled, diet sodas are just as guilty! According to a study conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center, diet soda enhances weight gain by up to 41%.
Sodium benzoate is a common preservative added to sodas and other foods such as jams, dressings, and condiments. When this additive is exposed to vitamin C, the reaction results in pure benzene. Benzene is known to decrease red blood cells, which severely hinders the body’s immune system.
According to a study from Harvard Medical School, researchers found kidney function declined when more than 2 sodas a day were consumed. More specifically, high levels of phosphoric acid in sodas are closely linked with the development of kidney stones.
Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health discovered that people who drank more than 8.5 ounces of soda a day were more likely to develop pancreatic cancer by as much at 19% when compared to those who didn’t. The sugar rush that occurs after you sip a soda causes the pancreas to increase insulin production. As a result, pancreatic cells are exposed to higher concentrations of insulin than other cells in the body. This imbalance is believed to cause cancer growth.
If you’re cringing at the thought of giving up your beloved bubbly beverage, start slow. Replace 1 soda a day with a glass of water, then increase the occurrence of the swap until you are only sipping a soda once or twice a week. Something that seems so small can make a big difference in your health!