Soda remains to be the single most significant source of calories in the American diet, with more of this stuff being consumed daily by the average American than any other calorie-dense processed food like regular wheat products and candies. Soda has become so easily and widely available that what once used to be an occasional treat has become a part of the daily diet. Nothing more but a concoction of sweeteners, synthetic flavorings, preservatives and additives, soda should be eliminated from one’s diet for a host of health reasons.
Read further and discover more about the negative effects of soda and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends you avoid this source of hydration to help in your quest to Become Superhuman.
Soda consists mostly of water. However, what’s diluted in this water to achieve that addiction-inducing taste is cause for worry. With numerous studies associating soda consumption with conditions such as dental erosion, gout, increase in the frequency and severity of peptic ulcer attacks, increased risk for stroke in women, and cardiovascular disease (CVD), educating yourself as to the dangers of commercial beverages is even more crucial.
First off in the ingredients list are the sweeteners, with processed sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) being the most heavily utilized. Both are after all relatively cheap sweeteners, and with soda makers producing other similar beverages like energy drinks and flavored waters, it only makes economic sense to go for these versatile sweeteners.
Sodas have become so sweet that some brands have an equivalent of 8 teaspoons of sugar per serving. Excessive sugar and HFCS consumption is linked to type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, as well as obesity and CVD. Hyperactivity in children and addiction to sugar has been traced to undue consumption of these sweeteners as well.
Meanwhile, individuals looking to curb their caloric intake by going for diet soda are not in any way choosing a healthier alternative. This is because low-calorie aspartame, sucralose, and acesulfame have their own set of disturbing health effects such as decreased kidney function and “metabolic confusion”.
A range of preservatives are used in soda products, too, from sodium benzoate to potassium benzoate, and calcium disodium EDTA. Sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate have been found to cause mutation and death of human cells in vitro. Meanwhile, the US Environmental Protection Agency classifies EDTA as a persistent organic pollutant. Side effects of exposure range from allergic reactions, decreased calcium levels, low blood pressure, seizures, or even death.
Food dyes are heavily used in the soda manufacturing industry as well. Caramel food coloring used in popular cola brands has long been found in a study to cause cancer in rats. In yet another study, it was found that nine petroleum-derived food dyes approved for use in the United States indeed raise health concerns. Red food dyes used in cherry and strawberry flavored soda, for instance, may bring about hypersensitivity reactions and are also potentially carcinogenic. Blue dyes mixed in bubble gum flavored beverages may cause allergic reactions as well. Lastly, yellow dyes utilized in lemon flavored soda have been found to be toxic to genes.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the negative effects of soy milk and why you should avoid it to help in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of drinks to avoid as well as consume regularly and moderately on the Superhuman Food Pyramid:
- Non-Caffeinated Teas
- Coconut Milk
- Raw, Grass-Fed Cow or Goat’s Milk
- Sports Drinks
- Smoothies (With Natural Ingredients)
- Arabica Coffee Regular and Decaf
- Caffeinated Tea (includes Green Tea)
- Anti-Oxidant Drinks or Powders
- Rice Milk
- Almond Milk
- Red Wine
- Energy Drinks
- Flavored Waters
- Soy Milk
- Regular Cow’s Milk
- Instant Coffee
- Blended Coffee
- Mixed Drinks
- Hard Alcohol
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the negative effects of soda, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the negative effects of soda.