Everything in moderation, right? While the occasional can of soda likely isn’t a big deal in the context of a balanced diet, making it a regular habit can increase risk for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Drinking one soda each day? Consider this: a single can of Coca Cola contains 140 Calories and 1.56 day’s worth of added sugar (39g). In a year, that adds up to 14.5 lbs of fat and 31 lbs of sugar.
What about one soda a week? An improvement! With one soda each week, you’re looking at 1.92 lbs fat and just over 4 lbs of sugar per year.
The primary issue surrounding the consumption of sweetened beverages is the ingestion of liquid, empty calories.
Empty calories contribute no nutritional value, while liquid calories, are- appropriately- calories in the liquid form. Whenever you consume liquid calories, they are metabolized very quickly, eliciting a dramatic rise in blood sugar, and a correspondingly high insulin response.
The role of insulin is to remove sugar from the bloodstream, carrying it into working cells for energy, or into fat for storage. Over time, the influx of these beverages tends to create a disproportionate amount of fat storage relative to cellular use.
Additionally, empty calorie beverages do nothing to promote satiety: hunger remains even after liquid calories are consumed, prompting additional consumption.
Studies have shown that the increased risk for obesity associated with the consumption of sweetened beverages may be as high as 60%,
If you’re trying to kick a vicious one soda each day habit, the best course of action is to minimize your consumption, slowly reducing your intake over several weeks. Replace your consumption with another carbonated beverage (albeit one with zero calories, such as La Croix), as the sensation of carbonation is often helpful in staving off cravings.
In certain applications, diet soda may also be helpful in weaning off the full-sugar version. However, in some cases, consumers end up compensating in other areas, negating the potential caloric reduction achieved by kicking soda in the first place.
Regardless of which route you choose to kick the one soda each day habit, make sure you’re paying attention to your habits in other areas, lest you accidentally undo your good work!