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FoodBlog Facts: The Effects of Soft Drinks 🥤

FoodBlog Facts: The Effects of Soft Drinks 🥤

Soft drinks are something that everybody demonises when it comes to talking about dieting and health, but why is that? 🤷‍♀️



Many studies have found clear associations between a high intake of soft drinks and a multitude of diseases, including heart disease, high blood sugar, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer (due to its high link with the aforementioned diseases). Soft drinks are also linked to weight gain and a lower intake of nutrients, two factors synonymous with a bad diet. 🍔

The most clear finding is that of increased caloric intake - which basically means that people who drink more soft drinks tend to eat more food, too. One of the reasons for this is that people don't consume soft drinks to replace other things in their diet, even though they're high in calories, because soft drinks just don’t fill you up. So by the end of the day, someone who drinks soft drinks is more likely to have consumed more calories than they need. 🍽️



We won’t sugarcoat it 🍬

In all these studies the main problem seems to be the high intake of sugars, particularly high fructose corn syrup, which is the sweetener used in most soft drinks. Unlike glucose (the sugar found in starchy foods), fructose does not make you feel full because it doesn’t lower ghrelin (the hormone that makes you feel hungry). Fructose is also linked to increased visceral fat - which is stored around the midsection and organs, which in excess can strain the organs and be dangerous to one’s health. 😬



Another problem with the sugar content in soft drinks is that it makes cells less sensitive to insulin. This means that more insulin is made by the body to break down the sugar in the blood, causing an insulin spike - the levels of sugar in the blood rise and fall sharply. Over time this becomes an issue which ultimately results in an increase of the levels of sugar in the blood, and even type two diabetes. Not to mention the fact that sugar is just as addictive as hardcore drugs. 😵

What about sugar-free soft drinks?

Some claims say that sugar-free (‘diet’) soft-drinks are just as bad or even worse for your health than regular ones, but is this true? 


What's your fave kind of soft drink?


Sugar free soft-drinks are also calorie-free, which makes them a popular choice for people who are dieting or counting their calories. Most of them contain artificial sweeteners to make up for the fact that they don’t contain sugar, or they wouldn’t taste as good as they do. These artificial sweeteners (most commonly aspartame and saccharin) aren’t the best for health and could still affect blood sugar, but they don’t pose as bad side effects as fructose does. They are also highly linked to metabolic problems and weight gain, but only when consumed daily. Similarly to fructose they don’t lead to satiety and may also trigger cravings for sugary food. 🍭



Another obvious issue with soft drinks is tooth decay. All carbonated drinks can cause problems with your teeth (and even your bones). A common ingredient in soft drinks is phosphoric acid, which is what keeps the drink long-lasting, acidic, and carbonated. But being an acid, it’s a harsh compound that can erode the enamel that covers your teeth, which if consistent will result in tooth decay. This applies for any kind of soft-drink, but it’s worse for sugary drinks since bacteria in the mouth feeds on sugar left over on the teeth, which will speed up the process of tooth decay. 🦷

FoodBlog Facts: Take Home Message

All the evidence seems to point toward the fact that soft-drinks are just bad for our health. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re something that can’t be enjoyed in moderation - there’s no comparison between the effects of drinking soft drinks everyday, and the effects of drinking them once in a while. At the end of the day, we must take into consideration that various studies are funded by the food and beverage industry, and so simply cannot provide an accurate conclusion on these relationships. 🤔

We think keeping yourself healthy is super important, but it’s okay to enjoy your favourite things too, from time to time. 😉🥤


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