Today’s Reading List tackles a vice many of us have – the never ending battle to give up soda.
A can of Coke has 140 calories and a whopping 35g of sugar. That’s the equivalent of 10 sugar cubes.
We all know cola is high in calories and sugar. But did you know these surprising facts?
1. It Builds Up Fat Around Your Organs
Yep, we’re talking dangerous fats that are hard to detect with the naked eye, meaning, you might not know you’re in risk of certain health problems because you won’t see the changes in your own body. Danish researchers conducted a study of the effects of non-diet soda by asking participants to drink either sweetened soda, milk containing the same amount of calories as the soda, diet soda, or water every day for six months. Total fat mass remained the same across all beverage-drinking groups, but the drinkers of regular soda saw a drastic increase in harmful hidden fats, like liver and skeletal fat.
2. Switching to Diet Doesn’t Help You
It’s a logical assumption; switching from a sugar-based soda to a non-sugar-based soda would help your health. While calorically speaking that might be true, diet sodas contain their own dangers and side effects. In a shocking study, researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center monitored 475 adults for 10 years and found that the participants who drank diet soda saw a 70 percent increase in waist circumference compared with those who didn’t drink any soda. So much for the idea that diet soda helps you diet.
3. Some Contain Toxic Flame Retardants
Europe and Japan have already banned the toxic flame retardant brominated vegetable oil (BVO) out of their bubbly beverages, but it’s still going strong in several North American soda products (specifically, the citrus-flavored ones). Originally created to make plastics flame-retardant, BVO has since been used to keep the flavoring in fizzy beverages from separating from the rest of the drink. While none of us want a layer of flavor floating at the top of our drink, it’s hardly a fair trade off for the potential side effects. As of May 2014 Coca-Cola and PepsiCo had both announced that they were working to remove BVO from their products, but they can still be found in Dr. Pepper/Seven Up, Inc products like Squirt, Sun Drop, and Sunkist Peach and Fruit Punch flavors.
So what can you do to fight the craving? One option is to switch to soda water and add a splash of juice or a squeeze or lemon or lime. That’s often enough to placate the carbonated or sugary craving.
Read about more surprising reasons you should give up soda at the Huffington Post.