Soft drink dangers

Deanne Stein Health Guide August 09, 2007
  • I've never been much of a soda pop drinker. I've had my share of them and I like them. I just wouldn't call myself a pop junkie. Most of the time, I can take them or leave them. Until pregnancy!! Now I crave Dr. Pepper like crazy. Most of the time I just take a sip of my husband's fountain drink. That is usually enough to satisfy me. But then some days, I crave my very own.

     

    I talked it over with my doctor and caffeine isn't as taboo during pregnancy as it used to be. I remember when I was pregnant with my son years ago caffeine was completely off limits. And I abided by my doctor's advice. Now, doctors say a small amount of caffeine each day isn't bad for the baby. However, like with anything, don't overindulge. I still decided to cut out my coffee, and I only have a Dr. Pepper a couple of times a week. But I still feel so guilty because of my past experiences. Now I recently read soft drinks, even diet ones, are linked to heart disease.

     

    According to an American Heart Association's rapid access journal report, drinking more than one soft drink a day may be associated with an increase in the risk factors for heart disease. In the Framingham Heart Study, researchers found an increased risk in the development of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is just a fancy way of labeling a variety of cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk factors. Some of those factors include excess waist circumference, high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, low levels of good cholesterol (HDL), and high fasting glucose levels. The presence of three or more of these risk factors increases the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.

     

    It makes sense to me. Soft drinks are loaded with sugar and hollow calories (calories that don't satisfy). Drinking too many a day can cause weight gain or obesity and lead to insulin resistance and diabetes. But what surprised the researchers was the fact the same risk existed even with diet soft drinks. However, I don't believe you have to cut out the soft drinks just yet. As I read further, researchers say in the sample of participants they monitored, these people not only drank multiple soft drinks each day, but they ate high fat meals to go with those drinks. Another theory was that people who drink sodas are more prone to eat sweet foods. Again, the experts debate the importance of these theories. And researchers admit their study is observational.

     

    It all goes back to my way of living. Do everything in moderation. Have the coke, the diet coke, the hamburger, and even some cheesecake. Just don't eat and drink this stuff on a daily basis!!

     

    http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3049074