20. Tooth Decay
We’ve been told since childhood that eating sugar is bad for our teeth. That’s not entirely accurate: it’s the bacteria that feed on the sugar in our mouths that cause the decay of tooth enamel. Add to that the phosphoric and/or citric acid and other chemicals in soda, and the drink becomes highly acidic (pH level as little as 2.5 on a scale of 14). Acids go to work immediately on destroying tooth enamel and once it’s gone, it doesn’t grow back. (33)
And vast amounts of it. One twelve-ounce soft drink can contain almost eighty grams (that’s sixteen teaspoons!) of sugar—more than twice as much as a candy bar. North American sugar consumption is currently seventeen times more than it was a hundred years ago, with corresponding increases in obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancers, autoimmune disease, and others.
22. Weight Gain
Diet soft drinks are marketed as healthy alternatives to regular sugar-sweetened beverages, helping in weight loss efforts. That is absolute hogwash. One of many studies on the reality of diet sodas’ impact on weight loss found that:
“Diet soft drink users, as a group, experienced 70 percent greater increases in waist circumference compared with non-users. Frequent users, who said they consumed two or more diet sodas a day, experienced waist circumference increases that were 500 percent greater than those of non-users.” (34)
There are SO many delicious alternatives to soft drinks that won’t harm you.
- Carbonated water for fizz with added lemon, lime, or orange
- Kombucha, for flavor and fizz without all the sugar
- Infused water for flavor, sweetness, and nutrition
- Teas (hot or cold) to quench thirst
- Coffee (hot or cold) for caffeine
- Plain old filtered water for hydration
Don’t let Big Soda and its nefarious tentacles squeeze the life out of you.