Read this if soda is your go-to beverage

Read this if soda is your go-to beverage

Soda is everywhere, but health professionals say regularly drinking sugary drinks can come with health risks.

Here are five ways soda can impact your health:

1. Kidney damage and kidney stones: Diet sodas are linked to a decrease in the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of the kidney, a key measure of the kidney’s function. The GFR measures the amount of blood passing through glomeruli, which are clusters of kidney filters for waste in blood, according to the National Kidney Foundation. While the GFR naturally decreases with age, drinking more than two diet sodas per day can speed up this decrease.

And it isn’t just diet sodas. Dr. Maria Khan, a nephrologist at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill., says kidney stones can form as a result of the fructose content in sweetened colas.

2. Diabetes: Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the body either produces no insulin, too little insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it produces. Insulin is essential to helping your body metabolize blood sugar. People who drink just one or two sugary drinks on a regular basis have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who don’t, according to Harvard’s School of Public Health.

3. Obesity: The standard 20-oz. soda contains between 15 and 18 teaspoons of sugar and 250 calories or more. In addition, the calories from sugary drinks like soda tend not to make a person feel as full as food.

4. Heart issues: “I educate my patients to avoid sweetened beverages and to drink a moderate amount of water instead,” says Dr. Khan. “The high sugar content in the sweetened beverages is a risk factor for obesity and obesity-related conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease.

5. Weakened teeth: Drinking elevated amounts of soda weakens tooth enamel. The sugar in these drinks works with bacteria to form teeth-attacking acid.

Want to learn more about your risk for diabetes? Take a free online quiz here. 

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  1. Great article! Giving up soda is the BEST health decision I have ever made! I used to drink a 24 pack of Mountain Dew per week. I quit five years ago and now I wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole. We have to connect the dots between what we consume and chronic disease. Let food be thy medicine.

    p.s. I am excited about our organization making the transformation from sick care to wellness. Let’s do this!!!

  2. Why is diet soda the option in our cafeterias and soda machines? Regular soda was removed due to high sugar and it was replaced with diet only option and that is just as unhealthy.

  3. Does this also include artificial sweeteners? Is there anything that is safe to drink with flavor and no calories?? Are the artificial sweeteners still linked to memory issues, any recent data on that?

  4. Great article, but still plenty of soda (regular and diet) in our cafeterias and vending machines.

  5. Hello,

    Adding on to what Cindy said, what about drinks like Crystal Light or diet Snapple? Are they just as unhealthy as diet soda? What can I drink – besides water – that isn’t terrible for me? I have a lot of trouble drinking plain water.

  6. I’m confused about diet vs regular soda. Is diet better than non-diet? Only the first bullet point targets diet pop. Do the other bullet points apply as well?? Are diabetes, obesity and heart issues at risk with diet as well???

    • Diet soda has aspritame which is basically poison it caused cancer and death it gets into your bones and eats them away and high fructose corn syrup which is what all soda companies have stooped to do the companies make more money better profit margins at the expense of the American people. And humanities overall health. U guys should be so mad at these companies that have been poisoning us on account of money f what happens to us. They do not care about anyone’s well being but their blood/family.

  7. I drink a lot of sparkling flavored water and some of it has aspartame / non-sweeteners in them. I don’t like plain tap water. I’m conflicted about drinking sparkling water with flavor. Does anybody know if it’s harmful?

  8. Op-ed comment: It’s strange that on the one hand medicals and governments tell us that sugar is bad for us, and the food industry continues to pack foods full of sugar. I spend more time reading labels for the grams of sugar. If the govt was smart it would tax all foods that have a certain amount of sugar in their products. Foods can taste so good without sugar, or with natural sugars. I’m sure the public would not mind paying more for good non-sugar foods.

  9. I’m allergic to all artificial sweeteners so I still use sugar in moderation. I drink only filtered water because the minerals in water bother my throat. I don’t use bottled water because not many filter their water. Also I try not to put more plastic in use. Sugar seems to be the only sweetener I can use, I have tried fruits but sometimes too sweet.

  10. People have been drinking REGULAR soda for well over 100 years, and tons of them lived well in to their 90s and 100s. DRINK whatever you want to! Just don’t over-do anything, that’s all.

  11. My go-to beverage, if not plain water, is iced tea made with instant tea mix. No calories, no artificial sweetener. Is this a safe beverage to consume on a regular basis? I wish I knew of other flavors I could add to plain water.

  12. I find BAI drinks to be a healthier option to go to. They are naturally sweetened with Stevia or Erythritol.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.