Sugary beverages are not good for your health.
How bad can they be? The Harvard School of Public Health has done the research, and the results aren’t too sweet.
Body Weight and Obesity
Sugary beverages like soda or juices from concentrate are often just empty calories. Meaning they provide little nutritional benefit, and even worse, your body isn’t registering the calories like it does with solid food.
When you eat solid foods, the stomach expands and tells the brain when it is time to stop. Fluids don’t have the same effect, taking up less room and making the brain think you still need to eat. More than that, sweeteners can stimulate a person’s appetite, even if you just ate a full meal; diet drinks aren’t off the hook either as artificial sweeteners can have the same effect on some people.
So for people who drink these beverages, you may not stop at just one. You may also not realize how much you are eating in a day because the calories from these beverages aren’t registering with your body.
People that consume 1-2 sugary beverages a day have a 26% greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Young adults, Asians, and African-American women may be most at risk of developing diabetes.
Additionally, of all men and women, having 1-2 sugary beverages a day were 25% more likely to struggle with blood sugar management, and 50 more likely to develop a metabolic syndrome.
Body weight and its related health conditions contribute to the risks of developing heart disease. Because people that consume sugary beverages are more likely to have weight problems and difficulty managing blood sugar level, they are more likely to develop heart disease.
Research showed that men who averaged 1 can of soda per day had a 20% higher risk of a heart attack than those who rarely consumed soda. Women too are at risk, with there being a 40% higher risk when drinking 2 cans of soda each day.
Soda, in particular, may affect healthy bones in a few ways. The first is that some parents and adults may replace milk with soda, leading to poor bone development due to a lack of calcium intake. Sodas can also contain phosphate. Phosphate is a nutrient that supports bone health, but too much may affect how calcium is utilized in the body.
The same could be said for juices if they do not contain added calcium. If your child won’t or can’t eat dairy then you may want to consider foods that are a good natural source of calcium.
People who drink sugary beverages were, overall, viewed as being at a higher risk of premature death.
Drinking 1-4 sugar drinkings per month was linked with a 1% increase in early death; 1-6 per week with a 6% increase; 1-2 per day with a 14% increase; and 2 or more per day with a 21% increase. These results were also more apparent among women than men.
People who develop cardiovascular disease are at an even higher.
Are you thinking that it may be time to step away from sugary beverages? Don’t drink soda pop! Instead, try healthy soda alternatives.
If you are, then it’s time to start brewing a pot of flavorful and delicious tea. Simply boil water and steep your favorite herbs, then serve hot or over ice.
Mountain Rose Herbs
TeaSource offers a wide variety of sifted and whole tea leaves, fruit and herbal blends, plus mugs and other accessories that are perfect for tea drinkers. Try Red Berries Herbal Tea or the go-to Teasource Green Tea.
There you have it. Hopefully there was enough convincing health reasons why you may want to avoid sugary beverages in the future. To make things easier for yourself, switch to tea to provide you something flavorful and delicious to sip during the day.