One More Reason to Put Down That Soda

April 22, 2015

Whether you call it Coke, Pepsi, soda, a soft drink or pop, it all means the same thing: a fizzy drink with high-fructose corn syrup. And while we all know that guzzling Mountain Dew is not the healthiest way to make it through a long day in the theater, what about having the occasional soft drink?


According to a recent study from the University of California, Davis, drinking sugary beverages, even for a short period of time, significantly increases your risks of cardiovascular disease. And the more added sugar you take in, the more your risk factors go up.


The study included 85 men and women, aged 18 to 40. Over a 15-day period, participants drank beverages containing different amounts of high-fructose corn syrup. They were split into four groups, with each sipping an increasingly higher amount of added sugar, equivalent to 0 percent (an artificial sweetener was added), 10 percent, 17.5 percent or 25 percent of their required daily calories. Researchers drew the men and women’s blood at the beginning and end of the study to check for changes in their levels of lipoproteins, triglycerides and uric acid (all three indicate risk for heart disease). Except for the group who drank a beverage with no high-fructose corn syrup, all the others saw increased risk factors. The more added sugar in their beverage, the higher their risk. The full results will be published in the June edition of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, but it’s shocking to know that only two weeks of enjoying a sugary beverage can have a proven effect on your health.


If you’re feeling thirsty and are craving some fizz or flavor, try a glass of seltzer water or add a mint leaf or a slice of lemon, lime or cucumber to plain water for a refreshing twist.