Know Why Drinking Sodas Are As Bad As Smoking? Explains Nutritionist Swati Bathwal

Diet soft drinks are as harmful as non-diet soft drinks. Artificial sweeteners used to sweeten non diet soft drinks has similar effect on health

Swati Bathwal
Healthy DietWritten by: Swati BathwalPublished at: Feb 17, 2021
Updated at: Feb 17, 2021
Know Why Drinking Sodas Are As Bad As Smoking? Explains Nutritionist Swati Bathwal

If smoking is detrimental to our health in many ways, it goes without saying that drinking soft drinks or sodas contribute to the “Dia-besity” epidemic. One can say that with the increase in the cases of diabetes and cardiovascular health issue around the globe availability of these fizzy drinks plays a contributing factor to diabetes. Drinking soft drinks provides nothing but just empty calories.

How much sugar is in each drink? 

A 600 ml cola has 16 teaspoons sugar, 600 ml sports drinks 11 teaspoons sugar, 600 ml lemonade 17 teaspoons sugar, 500 ml ice tea has 7 teaspoons sugar, 600 ml flavored milk can have almost 18 teaspoon sugars. 1 teaspoon is 5 gm of sugar, so you can imagine how much it adds up to your weight when you consume these drinks. Sugars used in these drinks are made from high fructose corn syrup which are made from corn starch. Unlike traditional sugars like jaggery, dates, munaccas which have some health benefits, high fructose corn syrup has NO health benefit. High fructose corn syrup is used commercially in making candies, colas, soft drinks, cakes, biscuits. 


Also Read: The 'No Fizzy Drinks' Guy: He Battled His Soda Addiction & This Is How It Changed His Body

What happens when you drink soft drinks or sodas?

Toxic for Metabolic disorders

Soft drinks are major contributing factor for fatty liver, diabetes, thyroid imbalance and PCOD. Sugars used in commercial preparation of sodas get stored in the liver in the form of glycogen and fat. This contributes to increase fat around the organs (a typical apple shape body – with skinny legs and fat around the abdomen region). Increase fat levels -visceral fat that is organ fat cause insulin resistance.

Increase cholesterol and impacts heart health

Consumption of excess sugar makes us gain weight but did you know excess sugar intake can be harmful for your heart too? Sugar consumption causes insulin resistance in the body. Insulin resistance is a health condition where our body is unable to use insulin efficiently. This health condition is a major factor for high cholesterol. When we have insulin resistance, unused insulin in the blood makes liver produces more cholesterol. It can also cause a high CRP (c-reactive protein) and elevated ESR levels in the blood, contributing to inflammation in the body. 


Cancer risk 

Preservatives, colors and flavors used in soft drinks and stored in plastic bottles can never be healthy for you. The unwanted calories stack up weight and increased weight or obesity is linked with several types of cancer. Obesity or high fat levels are linked to Breast cancer in women. Evidence or research suggest that soft drinks or drinking sodas can trigger almost 13-15 different types of cancers. Pancreatic cancer, Breast cancer, upper gastrointestinal cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer and many more. Soda drinks including soft drinks should be replaced with herbal decoctions, green tea, black teas and coffee. Infact, ice coffee and other types of ice teas available in the markets have high fructose corn syrup added and it should be preferred to consume freshly homemade brewed ice tea with stevia or black coffee with no sugar.


Research shows that increase intake of soda or fizzy drinks increase hunger hormone “Ghrelin”. Ghrelin is a hormone responsible for satiety, if it is high it makes us hungrier and store food as fat. It rises just before we eat a meal and it lowers when our meal is over. But when we drink soft drinks, research shows that ghrelin levels doesn’t get lower quickly and it makes us hungrier. Other than hormone imbalance, sugars in the drinks bring empty calories which means extra calories with no nutritional value. Excess of these sugars are stored in the liver as glycogen and as fat. Over a period of time, drinking soft drinks makes people gain weight and contribute to “obesity epidemic”. 


Makes you look older

Sugars in soft drinks reduce collagen in the body. It causes wrinkles, pigmentation, age spots and wrinkles. The proteins that are most vulnerable to damage are those that serve as the building blocks for your skin that are Collagen and elastin. These proteins are responsible for keeping our skin firm and are responsible for the plump and bouncy characteristics of a healthy and youthful complexion. Sugars makes collagen and elastin stiff, dry and brittle and reduces its strength. If you want to stay away from wrinkles, have younger looking skin, stay away from soft drinks. 

High uric acid or gout

High fructose corn syrup added to soft drinks is a major contributing factor for high uric acid. Soft drinks – any type of soft drink and fructose (excess sugars from fruit juices) builds uric acid crystals in the joints and causes gout in men. If you are at risk of high uric acid or gout arthritis, swapping soft drinks to healthy drinks should be considered. 


Also Read: 6 Health Risks to Know before Sipping Soda

There are many other issues on how soda effects our body like dental caries, vaginal infections, cellulite, candida, high blood pressure and many more. Always swap soft drinks with healthy beverages like herbal teas, homemade decoctions, lemonade, coconut water, vegetable juices and plain water. Water has always been an underrated beverage.

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