First, some interesting soda facts:
The first commercial soft drinks were produced in the 17th century from water and lemon juice sweetened with honey.
In 1881: The first cola-flavored beverage was introduced.
In 1885: Charles Aderton invented “Dr Pepper” in Waco, Texas.
In 1886: John S. Pemberton invented “Cola” in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1898: “Pepsi-Cola” is invented by Caleb Bradham.
In 1899: The first patent issued for a glass blowing machine used to produce glass bottles for soda manufacture.
In 1913: Gas motored trucks replaced horse-drawn carriages as delivery vehicles for bottled soda.
If you have ever heard the rumor that cola once contained cocaine, this is actually true. Research indicates that only trace amounts were used and at the time the dangers of cocaine were unknown. Cocaine was not an illegal substance then and it was used in many feel-good “tonics,” which is what Coca was originally meant to be. It was also added to get the cola-drinker addicted to the product. (That is the opinion of this author).
In 1969 it was reported that babies in Zambia had become malnourished because their mothers fed them Cola and Fanta, believing it was the best thing they could give their children. Around the time 54% of the seriously malnourished children admitted to the children’s hospital at Ndola, Zambia had “Fantababy” written on their progress charts. The Zambian government subsequently banned Fanta advertisements “because of their influence on the poor”.
Americans drink 13.15 billion gallons of carbonated drinks every year, and the average American drinks 57 gallons of soft drinks in a year. High-fructose corn syrup is used in sodas and soft drinks as a sweetener due to its low cost.
Sodas provide the human body with empty calories that lack any nutrients, and these calories are generally converted into fat. Sodas also rob the body of nutrients by replacing milk, juices and water, and soft drink consumption is thus associated with lower intake of numerous vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Participants in a study of school children, who had high soft drink consumption, consumed less milk and fruit juice compared with those whose soft drink intake was low.
Studies have indicated that intake of cola is associated with low bone density in females. The phosphate content of some sodas is very high, and this leads to high phosphate and low calcium levels in the blood. When phosphate levels are high and calcium levels low, calcium is pulled out of the bones.
Soft drinks are the leading source of added sugar in the diet and exceed the recommended total sugar consumption. A 330 ml can a day of soda translates to more than one pound of weight gain every month. A study of children concluded that regular soft drink consumption might put some young children at a greater risk for obesity.
Another study at the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, indicates that a greater consumption of soft drinks is associated with weight gain and obesity. Obesity also contributes to other health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and foot problems.
The latest research on diet sodas suggest they do not assist in weight loss, in fact by stimulating appetite they contribute to weight gain.
Consumption of soft drinks is associated with weight gain and an increased risk for development of type 2 diabetes by providing excessive calories and large amounts of rapidly absorbable sugars.
Results in a human study demonstrate increased urinary magnesium, citrate, and oxalate levels after cola consumption, which could contribute to kidney stone formation. Another study proved that consumption of cola causes unfavorable changes in the risk factors associated with calcium oxalate stone formation.
Toxic Artificial Sweeteners
Perhaps the worst ingredients in sodas are the artificial sweeteners aspartame, acesulfame K and Sucralose that are a serious health hazard despite FDA reassurances.
Findings from a study of adults suggest that sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption is associated with high levels of uric acid, which may significantly increase the risk of gout.
Studies have proved that soft drink consumption erodes dental enamel. Results of a study of children’s teeth suggest that consumption of carbonated soft drinks is a risk indicator for dental caries.
Sodas contain caffeine, which in high dosages can cause high blood pressure, dehydration, gastrointestinal disturbance, irritability, restlessness, tension, insomnia, excessive urination, irregular heartbeat, and other side effects.
Colas have an acidic pH of 2.5, the pH scale ranges from 0 to 14 for most liquids, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline.
A recent study conducted at the University of California in San Francisco on 9,000 women showed that those who have chronic acidosis are at greater risk for bone loss than those who have normal pH levels. Mild acidosis can lead to heartburn, fatigue, immune deficiency, gout, and candida. Cancerous cells thrive in an acidic environment.
The latest research on diet sodas suggest they do not assist in weight loss, in fact by stimulating your appetite they contribute to weight gain.
Aspartame is used in most diet sodas in place of corn syrup. The components of aspartame may cause brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, migraines, panic attacks, dizziness, irritability, nausea, intestinal discomfort, skin rash, nervousness, depression and male infertility.
If you are overweight or at risk for heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, or kidney disease, limit your intake of sugar sweetened beverages. Water makes a wonderful zero-calorie substitute.
The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 450 calories from sugar-sweetened beverages per week. This is equivalent to three cans of soda. Think before you drink.
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