Everywhere you go, people are drinking carbonated beverages. Whether you call them soft drinks, sodas or pop, if you want optimum health, it’s time you pop the soda bubble. Soft drinks are hard on your health. Their high sugar and carbohydrate content can contribute to obesity, type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. They have also been linked to bowel cancer and nerve damage. The carbonation can leech minerals from your cells-in other words, carbonated beverages drive calcium out of your bones. For women approaching menopause age, this means an increased risk of osteoporosis. For growing children and teens, soft drinks often replace calcium-rich milk in their diets. Not only do they ingest less calcium, they retain less, as well.

Little bubbles, lots of weight.

Drinking one carbonated beverage a day can put on 15 pounds of fat a year. 130 million Americans, including half of women ages 20 to 39, are overweight or obese. While processed foods and sedentary lifestyles contribute to obesity, eliminating soda can be a big first step to reclaiming that thin person within. A can of pop has the equivalent of 12 teaspoons of sugar in it. Can the pop. Opt for water, 100% juice or unsweetened tea. Even if you add a teaspoon of sugar, you are coming out ahead.

Few carbonated beverages are sweetened with sugar these days. Instead, most manufacturers rely on cheaper, more plentiful high fructose corn syrup. This sweetener presents two dilemmas. First of all, it tends to build belly fat-and fat around the belly has been proven to be the most dangerous to your health (as well as your image). Second, the body has difficulty in breaking down high fructose corn syrup into energy so it turns into fat more easily.

Artificially sweetened carbonated beverages don’t bode well, either. Your body was not designed to handle these synthetic substances. Some of these sweeteners, for example, aspartame (NutraSweet) actually stimulate the appetite and cause you to crave sweets. Ask yourself: how many overweight people have you seen drinking diet sodas?

Extra pounds tip the scales to disease.

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. Science has proven that extra pounds lead to disease and premature death. Consuming the sugars and refined carbohydrates in soda has been linked directly to weight gain as well as type 2 diabetes. Research has proven that soft drinks are a contributing factor in this growing diabetes epidemic, an epidemic that is striking record numbers of people at ever-younger ages. In turn, type 2 diabetes puts you at risk for cardiovascular disease, loss of sight, nerve damage, kidney damage and other health problems.

No bones about it.

Not only does pop leech calcium from your body, it also contains high levels of phosphate. When children and teens ingest too much phosphate, their bone development is impaired, leaving them at higher risk for fractures today and osteoporosis tomorrow. As women approach menopause, it is important that they maintain healthy calcium levels to ensure healthy bone density. Drinking carbonated beverages puts them at higher risk for fractures as well as loss of height and dowagers’ hump.

Drink to your health.

If you’re like most of us, you aren’t drinking enough water. Next time you’re out to dinner, ask for ice water instead of choosing a Coke or Pepsi product. If you’re like the rest of us, you could also use more servings of fruit in your diet. When you have to have something out of that vending machine, choose a 100% juice. Pop the soda bubble! Raise your glass of water or bottle of juice in a toast to your good health!

Source: http://www.alternet.org/story/45498/

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