When consumed in large quantities, added sugar can be harmful to your health. Sugary beverages, on the other hand, are far and away from the worst source of sugar. This is especially true of sugary sodas, but it also applies to fruit juices, heavily sweetened coffees, and other liquid sugar sources. The following are 13 reasons why sugary soda is harmful to your health.
1. Weight Gain
The most common type of added sugar, sucrose or table sugar, contains a lot of fructose, a simple sugar. Fructose, unlike glucose, the sugar that forms when you digest starchy foods, does not lower the hunger hormone ghrelin or stimulate fullness. Because sugary drinks don't make you feel full, you usually add them on top of your total calorie intake when you consume liquid sugar. Sugary drinks are, in fact, one of the most fattening aspects of today's diet.
2. Fatty liver
Table sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup are made up of roughly equal amounts of two molecules: glucose and fructose. Every cell in your body can break down glucose, whereas fructose can only be broken down by one organ: your liver. Sugary drinks are the most convenient and common way to consume too much fructose. When you consume too much fructose, your liver becomes overworked and converts it to fat. Some of the fat is excreted in the blood as triglycerides, while the rest is stored in your liver. This can lead to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease over time.
3. Increases Belly Fat
Sugar consumption is linked to weight gain. Fructose, in particular, has been linked to an increase in the dangerous fat around your stomach and organs. Type 2 diabetes and heart disease are linked to having too much belly fat.
4. Insulin Resistance
Insulin is a hormone that moves glucose from the bloodstream to the cells. However, drinking sugary soda may cause your cells to become less sensitive to the effects of insulin. When this happens, your pancreas produces more insulin to remove the glucose from your bloodstream, resulting in an increase in insulin levels in your blood.
5. Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes type 2 is a common disease that affects millions of people around the world. It is defined by high blood sugar levels caused by insulin resistance or deficiency. Given that too much fructose can cause insulin resistance, it's no surprise that soda consumption has been linked to type 2 diabetes in numerous studies. Even a single can of sugary soda consumed per day has been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
6. No Essential Nutrients
Sugary soda is devoid of nearly all essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It adds nothing to your diet except a lot of sugar and calories that you don't need.
7. Leptin Resistance
Leptin is a hormone that fat cells in your body produce. It controls the number of calories you consume and expend. Leptin levels fluctuate in response to hunger and obesity, so it's also known as the "fullness" or "starvation" hormone. Resistance to the effects of this hormone, known as leptin resistance, is now thought to be one of the leading causes of fat gain in humans.
Sugary soda has the potential to become addictive. Several studies have found that sugar — and processed junk foods in general — have a similar effect on the brain as hard drugs. Sugar can trigger reward-seeking behavior known as food addiction in people who are predisposed to addiction.
9. Increase Heart Disease Risk
Sugar consumption has long been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Sugar-sweetened beverages have long been known to raise risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood sugar, blood triglycerides, and small, dense LDL particles.
10. Higher Risk of Cancer
Other chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease often coexist with cancer. As a result, it's no surprise that sugary beverages are frequently linked to an increased risk of cancer. Endometrial cancer, or cancer of the uterus' inner lining, may be more common in postmenopausal women who consume a lot of sugary soda.
11. Disaster for Dental Health
Sugary soda is well-known for being bad for your teeth. Acids such as phosphoric acid and carbonic acid are found in soda. These acids create an acidic environment in your mouth, making your teeth more susceptible to decay. While the acids in soda can cause harm on their own, the combination of sugar makes soda particularly dangerous. Sugar provides the bad bacteria in your mouth with easily digestible energy. This, combined with the acids, has a long-term negative impact on dental health.
12. Increased Risk of Gout
Gout is a condition that causes inflammation and pain in your joints, especially your big toes. Gout is caused by the crystallization of high levels of uric acid in the blood. The main carbohydrate that raises uric acid levels is fructose.
13. Increased Risk of Dementia
Dementia is a term used to describe changes in brain function in older people. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type. According to research, any increase in blood sugar is strongly linked to an increased risk of dementia. To put it another way, the higher your blood sugar, the more likely you are to develop dementia. Sugar-sweetened beverages cause rapid spikes in blood sugar, so, understandably, they could raise your dementia risk.