Both soda and diet soda are two drinks you won’t want to be anywhere near if you really care about your health. These highly consumed beverages contain massive amounts of sugar and toxic ingredients, leading to a great deal of health complications. Research has found that those who drink soda on a daily basis are increasing their risk of heart attack and stroke.
Lead researcher Hannah Gardener and her team studied 2,564 adults aged 69 years or older in New York City over the course of 10 years. During the time period, 591 men and women had a heart attack, stroke, or died of cardiovascular causes. Researchers found that diet soda consumption was linked to a 44 percent higher chance of heart attack or stroke, up from the 22 percent non-soda drinkers have.
Although the findings are sad for soda-consumers, it is only a glimpse of how soda and diet soda can really cause problems. Most sodas contain very large quantities of sugar. This sugar often comes in some refined form, like high-fructose corn syrup, which is even more dangerous than regular sugar and is known to contain mercury. The over-consumption of sugar alone can actually damage the body in a number of ways, including damaging DNA, causing inflammation, altering cellular metabolism, increasing production of free radicals, and causing cancer. Amazingly, high-fructose corn syrup is even worse.
Research released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows that half of the US population above age 2 consumes sugary drinks like soda daily. Around 5 percent of the population consumes more than 4 12-ounce cans of soda every day. Needless to say, these stats go very much against the recommendation of the American Heart Association, which is to drink less than 3 cans of soda per week. But even soda with little or no sugar is harmful.
Marketed for containing little to no sugar, diet soda could even be worse than regular soda due to the addition of a toxic sweetener called aspartame. Aspartame has been shown to cause neurological issues as well as cancerous brain tumors. One study even found that 67 percent of female rats exposed to aspartame developed tumors about the size of golf balls.
To add to the health issues, one infographic shows that:
- Drinking two sodas per week increases risk of pancreatic cancer by 87 percent.
- Drinking one soda per day increases risk of metabolic syndrome by 44 percent and a child’s risk of becoming obese by 60 percent.
- Drinking two sodas per day increases risk of gout by 85 percent.