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 the sugary drinks can come with health risks.

Here are five health risks to keep in mind:

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. “The relative risk is 23% higher among those drinking one or more sugar-sweetened colas per day compared to non-users as described in this study,” she says.

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: A study involving more than 40,000 men over two decades revealed that drinking just one sugary drink daily increases heart attack risk by 20%. The findings indicate that chronic heart diseases and other related issues with arteries and blood pressure can also arise as a result of guzzling soda.

“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.

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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.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

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