Thursday, May 26

Soft drinks and sodas, the biggest driver of obesity in the United States

Avoiding the consumption of soft drinks and sodas is one of the best eating habits to lose weight and gain health.

Photo: Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels / Pixabay

We all want to enjoy a healthy weight, it is finally one of the most important health measures. Roughly for years the easiest way to approach weight loss has been by adding powerful foods to the diet, which are conspicuous for their nutrient density and medicinal properties. While it is a scheme full of benefits, it is also important focus on what needs to be eliminated, is an essential part of building healthy habits and long-term sustainable results. In a way, it is well known that a good way to start is by doing daily physical activity, increasing the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and seeds, drinking enough water, managing stress and avoiding the consumption of ultra-processed foods and fast foods. However, when we commit to losing weight, there is a drink that is simply essential to eliminate immediately from the diet: soft drinks The reason? It is the beverage most closely associated with weight gain in the United States: soda.

The truth is that for years we have been warned about the devastating effects of a recurrent consumption of soft drinks, it is nothing new to say that they are related to an increase in the development of chronic diseases such as: diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, mental health conditions, depression, hypertension and obesity. Soft drinks are belong to the most worrying and highly addictive group of beverages. They are loaded with added sugars, caramel coloring and a long list of additives, plus there are many other damaging factors in sodas than what is normally listed on Nutrition Facts labels.

According to a recent study published in the journal BMC Public Health, 20% of the total calories you consume in a day come entirely from beverages. For added context: For the average person who consumes 2,000 calories a day, that’s roughly 400 calories added to their diet from drinks alone. In the first place, the study was based on analyzing what type of drinks constitute exactly those 400 calories and found that in most people it is a combination of coffee and tea (considering the typical supplements such as milk, sweetener and sugar), drinks energy, juices and fruit drinks, milk and alcohol The worrisome? These calorie-dense beverages pale in comparison to the beverage that contributes the most calories to the American diet: The drinks. The study found that soft drinks contribute between 35 and 141 calories to your diet per day, depending on the age. So by now it shouldn’t be surprising to say that soft drinks are related to weight gain, as they contain approximately 150 calories per can.

In addition, the study indicates that these are completely empty calories and that they come completely from sugar. In fact, as part of the study, a rather alarming data was released in which it was found that an average soda contains between 35 and 61 grams of sugar per can. Taking into account the recommendations released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other emblematic institutions, the recommended daily dose of sugar ranges between 25 and 50 grams. In addition, it is advisable to obtain it through the consumption of healthy and whole foods, which contain it naturally, such as fruits and vegetables. Therefore, with a simple can of soda a day, we will not only be exceeding the recommended daily dose of sugar; we are actively promoting weight gain and the risk of developing future chronic complications.

The data doesn’t lie and forces us to take more serious action: The average American adult consumes 13 pounds of sugar exclusively from soda every year. And studies show that consuming sugary drinks like soda contributes to weight gain in both adults and children. Among the most concerning reasons is the high content of high fructose corn syrup, which characterizes most variants of soft drinks. It is worth mentioning that the body can only process the fructose in this sweetener through the liver And you can’t use fructose for energy like you can glucose. This contributes to even greater weight gain along with metabolic dysregulation and impaired glucose tolerance.

Finally, it is no coincidence that over the years, dozens of studies have linked the consumption of soft drinks with weight gain. And the outlook gets worse: a study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, found that even though participants exercised if they drank soft drinks, they were still gaining weight. In other words, not even doing daily physical activity will we be able to avoid the weight gain associated with the consumption of soft drinks.

While cutting calories is the basic method of losing weight, avoid the type of calories from ultra-processed such as sweetened beverages; it is one more tool to lose weight and gain health. Fortunately, fewer and fewer Americans are drinking soda on a regular basis: according to a recent survey the 45.8% of residents in the United States, reported that they do not consume soda at all. Without a doubt, we are on the right track!

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