Sinful Soda: Its Effects on Your Body
Here’s something you can do today to make yourself feel better and stronger. Stop drinking soda. Or at least cut way back for a solid start.
It won’t take much time, it will be easy, and you will definitely see the results of your efforts. We have less of a sweet tooth than we think.
Most of us enjoy having sweetness in our food. We’re attracted to cookies and sugary pastries. We’ll add spoonfuls of sugar to our coffees and enjoy too much dessert. However, most of us aren’t born craving as much sweetness as we do now. The overabundance of sugar in our diets has conditioned our taste buds to crave a high level of sweetness. Try this. Eat less sugary foods for two weeks. We’ll find that our taste buds will reset and actually crave sugar less than before. After the week we probably won’t enjoy having as much sugary foods as we used to.
The problems with soda
The staggering negative effects of it surprise many of my patients. A lot of us hear that soda is bad for us, but the degree to which it impacts our health is greater than many of us realize.
Our teeth wear away
“You change your body chemistry every time you eat” is a thought I often share with my patients. Let’s first talk about our teeth. The acidity of soda causes our teeth to erode . Dental erosion is irreversible. We cannot regrow the tooth enamel that we lose.
We gain weight
Soda is packed with high calories and when we drink it, the brain has no idea how to process the extra calories. The brain decides to ignore the calorie intake and we overeat. Looking to lose weight? Stop drinking soda.
Soda is actually toxic
One key ingredient in soda is high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a sweetener made from corn. HFCS can now be found in a plethora of processed foods. Look for it on labels and avoid it. HFCS raises blood sugar and causes fatty liver, a condition of abnormal deposits of fat in the liver. HFCS also increases lactic and uric acids and induces mineral loss through the kidneys. Another common sweetener in soda is sucralose, devised by two scientists who were trying to make pesticides. Sucralose is an organochlorine, which is in the same chemical family as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (better known as DDT).
What happens to our bodies when we drink soda?
It forces our pancreas to rapidly create insulin in response to the sugar. Consider this, a single 20-ounce bottle of cola contains the equivalent of 16 teaspoons of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup. According to Dr. Mercola, here’s the effects that has on your body over the course of an hour:
20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes and your liver responds to the resulting insulin burst by turning massive amounts of sugar into fat.
40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete; your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises and your liver dumps more sugar into your bloodstream.
45 minutes: Your body increases dopamine production, which stimulates the pleasure centers of your brain. The same effect that heroin has on users.
60 minutes: The blood sugar crash begins and you’re likely tempted to reach for the next sugar fix.
Steps to reducing the amount of soda we drink
Drinking less soda is easier than it seems! Try gradually reducing your intake. If you drink three a day now, try one a day. If you drink two a week, try having just one. After each day, look back on your progress. Congratulate yourself. Seeing the progress we have made will be strong motivation to continue.
Looking for a soda substitute? Try carbonated spring water and flavor it with natural juice (not from concentrate). The carbonated water lends the delightful fizzy sensation without the health concerns of soda. Iced teas are another tasty option and are high in good compounds such as flavonoids, polyphenols, and catechins.
Start here: Drink one less soda today. Drink two less sodas tomorrow. You will have feel better and live longer.