Soft drinks and health

A soft drink is usually a term used for non alcoholic sugary drinks that are mostly but not necessarily carbonated. The sweet taste maybe because of fructose, sugar, fruit juices, corn sugar or artificial sweeteners such as aspartame or saccharine. Some of the most popular soft drinks available in markets are CocaCola, Pepsi, Fanta , 7up and many more.

Commercially available fruit juices are the mixture of sugar solution and fruit flavours. Fruit juices claiming to bi 100 % fruit still contains sugar as a main ingredient. Fizzy drinks are usually made by mixing water ,sugar and flavours and then carbonated by using carbon dioxide under pressure . It is widely consumed by people around the world and sometimes replaces water. These carbonated beverages are alcohol free but according to some studies a small amount of alcohol may produce as a result of fermentation of sugars and by adding flavouring extracts.

health risks associated with excessive consumption of soft drinks

The potential risks associated with the excessive consumption of soft drinks include

Obesity

Carbonated beverages and fruit drinks provide you with empty calories which contributes to weight gain and obesity. A can of 330 ml of carbonated soft drink provides you with 140 kcal . It means that one person is consuming almost 7 tsp of sugar in one go. The low levels of satiety provided by these soft drinks makes people consume more food along with the drinks which results in weight gain. Sometimes these commercially available soft drinks contains high fructose corn syrup as a sweetener which is comparatively cheaper than common sugar, it stimulates appetite and is responsible for metabolic disorders including type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases

Bone loss

Excessive consumption of soft drinks can result in bone loss and reduction in bone mineral density. This is because people who consume more soft drinks do not consume much milk which results in the diet deficient in vitamin b12 , b6 and calcium . Also the phosphoric acid present in colas displaces calcium from the bones which results in lowering bone density , bone loss and ultimately osteoporosis.

Tooth decay

The acid such as carbonic and phosphoric acid present in soft drinks erodes teeth enamel and high sugar content of these drinks make teeth more susceptible to decay. Studies reveal that those who consume these soft drinks on regular basis are at higher risk of developing dental carriers and tooth decay than those who tend to avoid it.

Cancer

The chemical process used for caramelisation in cola drinks produces the carcinogen which increases the risk of cancers . Studies suggest that high consumption of soft drinks doubles the risk of developing pancreatic cancer , prostrate cancer in men and breast cancer in young girls.

Tips to avoid soft drinks

Some basic tips and tricks to avoid soft drinks are

  • Replace soft drinks with homemade fruits and vegetables juices with less sugar
  • Drink a glass of water if you are having a desire of soft drink. A glass of lemonade with little slat and sugar is a healthy substitute.
  • Do not add soft drinks in your grocery list.

    by,

Aliya Waqas

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