The Dangers Of Soft Drinks And Heart Disease

By Guest author Steve Kelly

They taste sweet, but there’s a darker side to sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks. They may increase the risk of the number one killer of Americans – heart disease.


Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Heart Disease: The Dangers of Too Many Soft Drinks


According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, soft drinks are bad for the heart. When researchers looked at the beverage sipping habits of almost 89,000 middle-aged women using questionnaires, they found that drinking two or more sugar-sweetened drinks boosted heart disease risk in these women by 35%. The good news? Soft drinks sweetened with non-calorie sweeteners didn’t increase the risk of heart disease.


Why are sugar-sweetened beverages so bad for the heart? No one knows for sure, but there are theories. Soft drinks are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener made exclusively of fructose, which raises triglyceride levels more than table sugar, a combination of glucose and fructose. Triglycerides, which are essentially circulating fats, increase the risk of heart disease when they’re too high.


High fructose corn syrup also elevates uric acid levels – and high uric acid levels are linked with heart disease. In addition, the brain seems to respond differently to fructose than it does to glucose – in a way that encourages overeating. This can lead to weight gain and obesity, another risk for heart disease. All in all, high fructose corn syrup doesn’t win any points for being heart-healthy.


Sipping sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks may be even riskier if you already have type 2 diabetes or its close cousin, insulin resistance. High fructose corn syrup further increases insulin resistance, which is not a good thing if you’re diabetic or predisposed to diabetes.


Healthier Sipping Options:


Why put your heart at risk by drinking sugar-sweetened drinks with no nutritional value? Better options are white or green tea, which are loaded with heart-healthy antioxidants called catechins. Brew it yourself from loose-leaf tea leaves to maximize the antioxidant benefits. Most bottled green and white teas don’t have the same antioxidant benefits as freshly brewed.


Don’t forget about the universal beverage – water. If you don’t like it plain, squeeze in some lemon, lime or fresh orange. You can even add fresh herbs to water for a unique flavor. These drinks are all almost sugar and calorie-free, but you can sweeten them by adding a natural sweetener like Stevia.


The Bottom Line?


Sugar-sweetened drinks like soft drinks offer no health benefits, especially when it comes to heart health. Try these “better for you” options instead.


Cinergy Health & Life Insurance Agency is dedicated to providing quality health and life insurance plans for people in a variety of life situations. For more information on a selection of health and insurance topics, visit the Cinergy Health & Life Learning Center at .

Dr. Jo’s notes:

This article caught my attention because of the many research papers that are now uncovering the health hazards of drinking soft drinks. Although non-caloric sweetened soft drinks did not seem to cause heart disease in this research project, other studies are showing that they cause disease too.

I applaud this author on suggesting water as the best drink and green tea has benefits too – we’ll talk about it some more in the next article.


Dr. Jo




About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

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