Soda is among worst drinks you can consume. There is serious and compelling evidence out there confirming this – including a video of reporter Yunji DeNies drinking a 20-ounce glass of cola, which contains an equivalent of 16 teaspoons of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
When you buy soda, you get water, a bit of flavor, and HFCS, which usually contains a mix of 45 percent glucose and 55 percent fructose. Recent investigations, though, have discovered that many brand-name sodas actually contain 65 percent fructose.
With the help of a doctor, DeNies explains the effect of soda in your body. Once soda is consumed, your pancreas quickly starts to create insulin in response to the sugar. There is a quite rapid rise in blood sugar. The effects are as follows:
- Within 20 minutes – Your blood sugar spikes. Your liver responds to the insulin burst by converting massive amounts of sugar into fat.
- Within 40 minutes – You completely absorb the caffeine. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, and your liver dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. DeNies had a blood glucose level of 79 at the outset of the experiment, but after 40 minutes, it rose to 111.
- Around 45 minutes – Your body increases production of dopamine, which stimulates your brain’s pleasure centers. This response is physically identical to that of heroin.
- After 60 minutes – You have a blood sugar crash. You may then be tempted to get another sweet snack or drink.
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What Does This Mean for Your Child’s Health?
Chronically elevated insulin levels (which you would have in no time with regular soda consumption), along with the subsequent insulin resistance, are the foundation of most chronic diseases, from diabetes to cancer.
Fructose is a major concern, as it has been clearly shown to be far worse than other forms of sugar. It is processed in your liver, and most of it gets shuttled into fat storage, unlike other sugars. This is the reason why fructose is a primary cause of obesity. According to the news report above, you or your child can gain a pound of fat a week by drinking two bottles of soda a day!
You may also want to pay attention to some of the other major components found in most sodas:
- About 150 empty calories, most of which will transform into fat
- Benzene, which can be as high as 79 parts per billion (ppb) in some soft drinks. The federal limit for it in drinking water is 5 ppb.
- Between 30 to 55 milligrams of caffeine, which can lead to jitters, insomnia, vitamin and mineral depletion, and serious diseases like cancer.
- Phosphoric acid, which can interfere in your child’s ability to use calcium (may lead to softening of teeth and bones)
- Aspartame, an artificial sweetener that has more than 92 different side effects, including brain tumors and epilepsy/seizures.
- Artificial food colors, including caramel coloring, which have been identified as a carcinogen.
- Tap water, which can carry chlorine, lead, cadmium, organic pollutants, and other chemicals.
- Sulfites, which can cause sulfite-sensitive individuals breathing problems, headaches, and even death in some cases.
- Sodium benzoate, a common preservative in soda that can cause DNA damage and eventually lead to conditions like Parkinson’s.
Weaning Your Child Off Soda and Other Sugary Treats
There are simple, natural, and yet radically effective ways to improve your child’s well-being, including having him or her quit drinking soda. Eliminating soda consumption is one of the most important things you can do for your child’s health.
Replace soda, store-bought fruit juices, and other sugary beverages with pure, clear water. If you want to transition your child slowly, try sparkling mineral water with some lime or lemon juice.
You may also help your child explore healthful beverages, such as green tea and tulsi tea. Your hot or cold concoctions may be flavored using milk or a natural herb sweetener like stevia.
Address your child’s soda cravings naturally. You may consider using turbo tapping, a simple yet profoundly effective use of the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), an energy psychology tool that can help resolve pain, cravings, and other emotional barriers.
Katrina Pascual works for Mercola.com. She writes about child health issues such as drinking soda, and replacing the bad habit with regular consumption of filtered water or healthful beverages like green tea or tulsi tea.