The average American drinks 44 to 56 gallons of soda yearly, depending on the survey results one looks at. (This is a whopping 101 to 128 cups of sugar a year, just from soda!)
Open a 12 ounce can of soda and be prepared to be ingesting 10 to 12 teaspoons of sugar. Yet, despite admitting knowing about the high sugar content and that this very sugar is not good for health, 48% of Americans still admit to drinking soda every day. (Reported in a Huffington Post article about a Yale University study on obesity.) Average consumption is 2.6 glasses of soda a day. Much liquid sugar is being ingested.
Where is this soda and sugar consumption taking Americans, their waist lines or their overall health?
Let us look at some of the impact soda, and the sugar, has in the human body.
1. Soda is empty calories. This means your body is taking in calories that have no nutritional value. Your body needs calories, dense with nutrition, to support the replication of healthy cells. Empty calories = empty cells. This is cell degeneration... this is degenerative disease happening slowly but surely to your body. Empty calories means weight gain, as well.
2. One can of soda contains at least 10 teaspoons of sugar. This causes an immediate blood sugar spike which causes an insulin spike. The physiological reaction in your body is a sweet (no pun intended) set up for diabetes and all the other diseases that diabetes invites into your life.
3. Soda contains phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid contributes to tooth decay and osteoporosis (cellular health thing again), both of which are also exacerbated by the empty calories and sugar content. It is a triple whammy to your cellular health.
Phosphoric acid interferes with digestive activity and inhibits nutrient absorption. Not what you want to happen if you want strong, healthy, nutrient dense body cells.
4. Soda is loaded with liquid corn syrup; high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup comes from corn, genetically modified corn. Corn syrup is harsh to your liver. Love your liver; feed it whole foods.
5. Got diet soda? You then get aspartame or another synthetic sweetener (Aspartame's name has been changed to Aminosweet. Do not be fooled!) No calories, yes, but it is a fake substance with many inherent health issues.
Artificial sweeteners: contribute to headaches and migraines, fake your body into thinking sugar is coming and this leaves you actually craving and eating more sugar and calories than you normally would, the before mentioned sugar consumption increases your risk of diabetes, and is linked to many health problems (look it up!).
6. Erodes tooth enamel contributing to decay from the outside, on the actual tooth surface. The phosphoric acid and empty calorie issues contribute to decay from the inside, de-mineralizing your teeth from inside.
7. Soda, sugar consumption, is linked to higher rates of depression. I would be happy to go into cell physiology with you and sugar's effects on the nervous system (your brain & mood health) if you want to chat.
Depression is certainly an issue in our culture. Perhaps moving away from sugary drinks would lower the numbers of anti-depressant prescriptions written daily in this country? Just a preventative health thought....
8. The base of soda is tap water and is most likely not from pure sources. You are getting a dose of chlorine and fluoride and the health issues that go along with ingesting chlorine and fluoride.
9. Soda and obesity are linked; walking through life hand in hand. I think it is about that sugar and empty calorie thing again.
10. Back to your teeth... soda consumption causes plaque to build up on your teeth. Plaque contributes to cavities (Another whammy to the teeth from the outside; the surface of your teeth.) and can lead to gum disease. All that plaque creates space for harboring bacteria...
11. Soda contributes to de-mineralization of your body / body cells. (See #6 above.) Empty calories, refined sugar in your blood stream, and phosphoric acid all contribute to minerals being pulled from bones, teeth, organs, muscles... every body cell is affected by this mineral leeching. Mineral deficiencies (as this is what de-mineralization does) cause many health problems: osteoporosis, tooth decay, bone spurs... any and every degenerative disease process is contributed to by mineral deficiencies.
Action To Take:
1. Drink pure water that is free of chlorine and fluoride.
2. Make herbal teas using the above mentioned pure water.
3. Mix high quality fruit juice with above mentioned pure water to make a fruity flavored drink.
4. Mix that high quality fruit juice with seltzer water to create your own healthier version of a fizzy drink.
5. Drink beer! : ) If you opt for this one, do so in serious moderation. Also, find craft brewed beers from ingredients that are good for you and good fo the Earth. Avoid beer produced in the typical mass production methods.