“Food is information to our genes.” – J. Bland
Knowing this, it is important that you get the right information to your body. That brings me to one of the absolute worst things you can be consuming – soda! Soda consumption is at record levels in Canada. An average Canadian drinks more than 119 liters of carbonated soda drinks a year! In fact, carbonated soda accounts for more sugar in a typical 2 year-old toddler’s diet than cookies, candies, and ice cream combined. That’s a horrible statistic but not that surprising if you really think about it. A few weeks ago, I was at a family gathering and was appalled at the amounts of soda being consumed by the children. I understand that most people view soda as a harmless treat once in a while but I feel the need to correct this – it is harmful and is in no way a treat for your body, let alone the body of a child.
Soda consumption is linked to a number of serious and dangerous health concerns. It’s funny to me how we have all realized that cigarettes can lead to cancer but refuse to take the same notice of an even more common product that may be just as harmful, if not more so. For those of you who doubt me when I say soda is deadly, take a look at the following conditions that it is linked to:
- Heart Disease – Studies suggest that drinking more than one soda a day is associated with an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome. This refers to a group of symptoms including elevated blood pressure, obesity, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides, and low levels of HDL (good cholesterol). The scary part is that having three or more of these symptoms significantly increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
- Osteoporosis – Soft drinks that contain phosphoric acid (basically almost all of them) lower calcium levels and raise phosphate levels in your body. What this means is that when calcium levels are low and phosphate levels are high, calcium is essentially pulled out of your bones and eventually softening them to the point of osteoporosis.
- Diabetes – Soft drink manufacturers are the single largest user of refined sugar. Increased sugar intake means increased risk of diabetes. It really is as simple as that. Drinking soda stresses the body’s ability to process sugar and leads to insulin resistance, an underlying factor of type 2 diabetes.
- Impaired Digestion – Drinking soda can upset the fragile acid-alkaline balance of your stomach and gastric lining, creating a continuous acid environment. This can lead to gastric inflammation and stomach lining erosion. An unhealthy gut is a breeding ground for many other dangerous illnesses so this is nothing to ignore.
- Cancer – There are an abundance of studies that demonstrate the link between sugar and increased rates of various cancers. According to Craig Thompson, a leading researcher on cancer and president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the cells of many human cancers come to depend on insulin to provide the fuel and materials they need to grow and multiply. Essentially, this means that regulating sugar intake is a key factor in slowing tumor growth.
For the last few decades, society has been successfully programmed into believing that soda is a wonderful treat – deliciously cool and so refreshing. This is untrue and just plain wrong. These sorts of eating habits and lifestyle choices have led society to become ridden with preventable illnesses, diseases, and conditions. Everything from diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are all on a very scary rise. Our diets play a crucial role in this.
It’s time to reprogram ourselves and take our health into our own hands. Healthy living can seem difficult but it really is about taking it one step at a time. Eliminating soda from your homes is definitely one step in the right direction.