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More bad news for soda drinkers

If you knew something caused weight gain, heart disease, liver failure, high blood pressure, and diabetes, would you eat it?

A bit of a silly question actually. Of course you would. Smokers know all about the terrible health problems that smoking causes and they still smoke.

We all know that sugar makes you fat and burps your teeth, but other than that, it’s okay, right?

More and more research is highlighting the fact that our bodies simply cannot cope with a high sugar load. New research, conducted by Bangor University, has found significant metabolic changes in people who consume just two cans of sugary soft drinks a week. One can definitely cause problems every day, and it does so very quickly.

This trial showed that regularly drinking just one can of soda a day (one can contains the equivalent of about 10 teaspoons of sugar) caused an increase in fat deposition by inhibiting fat metabolism and increasing blood glucose. What happens in the body when you eat too much sugar is that you train your body to burn sugar, rather than fat, for fuel. But this training doesn’t reverse very quickly when you stop consuming sugar. So the longer you keep consuming excess sugar, the messier your metabolism becomes. So it becomes harder for your body to burn fat and harder and harder to lose weight. During the test, the metabolic change took place in just four weeks with fit, healthy and lean volunteers.

Another problem is that excessive intake of sugary soft drinks alters the perception of sweetness. I am not a soda drinker and my hot drinks, with the exception of an occasional hot chocolate, are sugar free. I no longer eat chocolate bars or other sweets, and I have noticed that my tolerance for sweetness is much lower than most people I know. I was at a party a few weeks ago with some friends. He had a small piece of cake that he couldn’t eat because it was too sweet. My friends had no problem eating and enjoying it. A few years ago, I was eating Walker’s Crisps, flavored with Prawn Cocktail, and thought they tasted sweet. I checked the ingredients and sugar was on the list. So I can certainly endorse the idea that sweetness becomes much less appealing once sugar intake is reduced. When that happens, you lose the desire to consume excessively sweet foods and enjoy foods with a much lower sugar content, so there are no long-term difficulties or the feeling of having to go without them.

Sugar is doing a lot of damage and the sugar in drinks is hidden. If you want to stay healthy and lose a little weight, cutting back on sugar is probably the biggest favor you can do for yourself. And in case you’re thinking of switching to diet drinks instead, there are good reasons to avoid them too.

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