Soda and other sweetened beverages have no redeeming nutritional value and ditching them from your diet can go a long way toward improving your health. One 20-ounce bottle of cola contains the equivalent of about 16 teaspoons of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which will cause your insulin to spike within 20 minutes of drinking it.
Your liver responds to this insulin burst by turning massive amounts of sugar into fat, most of which is stored hence the weight gain associated with a high-sugar diet.
But a chronically elevated insulin level which you definitely have if you drink soda on a regular basis is also a foundational factor of most chronic disease, from diabetes to cancer.
Most recently, British researchers investigated whether sugary beverages, fruit juice, and “diet” beverages could still influence the risk of type 2 diabetes even after controlling for the risk factor of obesity — meaning, can they increase your risk of type 2 diabetes even if you’re not obese?
The meta-analysis included 17 observational studies involving more than 38,250 cases of type 2 diabetes, all of which reported consumption of sugary drinks, fruit juice, and artificially sweetened beverages. None of the studies were funded by industry.
Sweetened beverages, whether it’s sweetened with sugar, HFCS, naturally-occurring fructose, or artificial sweeteners, are among the worst culprits causing obesity, diabetes, and related health problems. Remember that sweetened beverages also include flavored milk products, bottled teas, and “enhanced” water products. I’d be leery of anything listing “artificial flavors” as well — especially if the products boasts being low in sugar.
Ditching ALL of these types of beverages can go a long way toward reducing your risk of weight gain and diabetes. Your best, most cost effective choice of beverage is filtered tap water. I strongly recommend using a high-quality water filtration system unless you can verify the purity of your water. Since most water sources are now severely polluted, the issue of water filtration and purification couldn’t be more important.