Soda is the guilty pleasure of many Americans, both young and old. Soda is the most consumed beverage (aside from water), beating out milk, coffee, tea, and beer. The average American drinks the equivalent of over 450 12 ounce cans of soda per year. Whether it’s cola or uncola, regular or a low calorie version, caffeinated or caffeine free, soda is damaging our health and our wallet. It may taste good, but soda isn’t good for you.
We will highlight 5 reasons to ditch soda forever.
Soda can contribute to heartburn.
The carbonation of soda can contribute to distending the stomach and putting pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter. In addition to the carbonation, the acidity of soda is also associated with heartburn. For those who have had gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, or lap band surgery, consuming a beverage that contributes to stretching the stomach is something that should be avoided.
Soda increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Metabolic syndrome is a collection of 3 risk factors (high cholesterol, high fasting glucose, high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, or abdominal obesity) that leaves sufferers twice as likely to develop heart disease and five times as likely to develop diabetes as those without metabolic syndrome. According to a study by the American Heart Association, “drinking as little as one can of soda a day- regular or diet- is associated with 48% increased risk of metabolic syndrome, a key predecessor of heart disease and diabetes.” The lead author of the study conceded that the culprit may not be an ingredient in soda itself, but perhaps that consuming sweet sodas changed overall dietary patterns or that soda consumption was a marker for study participants’ poor eating habits. While this study does not prove a cause and effect relationship, it does highlight an alarming statistic.
Soda wreaks havoc on your teeth.
Between the sugar and the acidity of soda, your teeth can pay the price. The bacteria in our mouths feed on the sugar in soda, then they produce an acid that weakens the enamel on teeth, leading to tooth decay. Even switching to diet soda does not prevent the problem, as soda itself is highly acidic and can damage tooth enamel. Your teeth are very important for chewing your food adequately, especially after lap band surgery, so cavities and tooth loss could be detrimental to your post bariatric surgery diet.
Soda is associated with increased risk of osteoporosis.
Although the research is not complete on the subject, there seems to be a link between people with high soda consumption and lower bone mineral density. Research seems to point to more complex reasons than just people consumed soda in place of calcium containing drinks, such as milk. The phosphoric acid and caffeine in cola have been noted to interfere with calcium absorption. Many bariatric patients have other conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, or joint pain, and would not welcome the complication of adding osteoporosis.
It’s contributing to your weight.
A regular soda provides about 140 calories in a 12 ounce can. If the average American drinks about 450 cans per year, that adds up to 18 pounds per year. Of course, you can exercise to work off those 63,000 calories per year, but it will take many days in the gym to burn them off. Switching to diet soda may not solve the problem. Studies do not show a direct link between switching to diet soda and weight loss.
This list of reasons to break the soda habit is offered by the staff of Dr. Shillingford, M.D., P.A., a board certified surgeon specializing in adjustable lap band, gastric sleeve, and gastric bypass surgeries. Dr. Shillingford’s bariatric weight loss practice is located in Boca Raton, Florida and serves patients from all over South Florida including Coral Springs, Delray Beach, Miami, Wellington, Naples, and Fort Lauderdale. Dr. Shillingford’s bariatric patients often ask about ways to reduce calories in their diets, including limiting and stopping soda.