So you think you eat a healthy diet, do you? Well, if you can place your hand on your heart and say in all honesty that you are at your correct weight and you are healthy, fit and feel good, then we can believe you. But… if you are overweight and not so fit or healthy, there might be some underlying cause. That cause is more often than not diet related. So let’s look at what you might need to be avoiding in your diet even if you think its okay to include it.

Soda is Bad for You

It is quite amazing how many people go to great lengths to ensure they eat lots of fresh, healthy food, then go ahead and wreck all their good work by pouring what amounts to fizzy poison down their throats to quench their thirst. If you thought that its okay to drink soda as long as you eat right, then you could be doing your health a disservice. There are some really compelling reasons why soda is bad for you, not least of all it will add several inches to your waistline even if what you are eating does not.

There are the two main varieties of soda from our viewpoint. One has copious amounts of refined sugars and the other uses artificial sweeteners. Dieters will be quick to point out that the sugar-laden variety are definite no-no’s when it comes to losing weight. But what they may not realize is that even the so-called diet sodas are just as bad, if not worse than their sugar toting counterparts.

Sugar Sweet and Deadly

It is common knowledge that sugar is just empty calories and the body will store them as fat if it can’t use them right away, which is often the case. Recent medical research has linked a high intake of refined sugar (sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) to cell damage leading to more rapid aging, as well as uncovering links to the formation of cancer cells.

Too much refined sugar in your diet can also lead to a variety of other health problems in the long term. Even some forms of arthritis may be linked to a high level of sugar consumption and the resulting excess of visceral fat.

So what about the artificially sweetened variety of soda?

Artificial Sweets

The chief artificial sweetener of choice is aspartame, which is many times sweeter than refined sugar, cheaper to manufacture and therefore a cheap alternative that has the benefit if creating a low calorie drink for dieters. You might think that this is the solution, but you would be wrong. Very wrong. The first thing dieters need to know about aspartame is that it has been shown in studies to stimulate hunger and cravings for high calorie or high carb snacks. This can lead to snacking on things that will bust your carefully crafted diet when you are between meals.

But it gets worse. Aspartame is made up of three main components, none of which are good for you. About 10% of aspartame is methanol, better known as wood alcohol that is a poison. It is the substance that was responsible for killing or blinding skid-row alcoholics. Methanol becomes unstable at temperatures above 86 degrees Fahrenheit to form free methanol that is easily absorbed by the body. Free methanol breaks down in the body to form formic acid and formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a neurotoxin and is carcinogenic, causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication and causes birth defects. You can read more about the “dangers of Aspartame” by Googling that term, or visiting http://aspartame.mercola.com/.

What about the fizz itself?

Fizz is…

The carbonated water that characterizes soda is also detrimental to health in a number of ways, especially dental health. Excessive amounts of the carbonic acid in soda can corrode the enamel protection of teeth, which will gradually dissolve them over time. This damage cannot be reversed. There have been scares about bone density loss and stomach excessive lining wear, but these have been debunked by more recent studies. However, if you suffer from a gastric ulcer, your doctor will probably recommend that you do not drink soda as this can inflame it.

Still want that cold, refreshing can of soda?

Terry Didcott