Seven reasons not to drink soda, part 2 of 2

Here are seven kicks in the pants, to help you quit the soda habit:

1. SODA BRAIN! Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, is added to soft drinks. It’s an industrial chemical used in plastics as a flame retardant. (It’s also in sports drinks.) It is known to cause nerve disorders and memory loss. It builds up in body fat and causes behavioral and mood problems, infertility, and heart problems.

2. FAT ON THE INSIDE! Researchers in Denmark found that those who drink soda have fat stores around their liver, other organs, and skeletal muscles, which leads to diabetes. Soda drinkers in the study also had much higher triglyceride blood fats and cholesterol than non-soda drinkers.

3. HORMONE UPSET! Aluminum cans are coated with BPA, which interferes with hormones and causes obesity, diabetes, cancer, and infertility. Neither Pepsi nor Coke has been willing to switch to BPA-free, while everyone else in America is doing so.

4. FRANKENFOOD! Lots of soda ingredients are corn-derived, and nearly 90 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. is now genetically modified. The U.S. government isn’t particularly interested in testing this horrible social experiment, but we know that genetically modified crops are linked to rapid aging, infertility, and gastrointestinal tract damage. Not that those ingredients really resemble corn by the time you drink them….but you get none of the fiber and other nutritional benefits of corn (which are limited anyway) and all of the downside of the GMO “frankenfood.”

5. CARAMEL CANCER! Two chemicals with reeeealllly long names are known to cause cancer in animals, and they make the lovely brown color in colas. Center for Science in the Public Interest tried unsuccessfully last year to get the FDA to ban them. The chemicals are just cosmetic, but of course Coke and Pepsi aren’t gonna back down. (Look how big the experiment went over when Pepsi tried to make a clear cola called Crystal Pepsi in 1992. All they care about is what sells.)

6. DIET AIN’T ANY BETTER! Even diet soda makes you fat. A study in Texas found that those who drink diet soda gained 70 percent in waist circumference in 10 years, compared with people who don’t drink soda. Those who drank more than two per day? They had a 500 percent waist expansion! The culprit is the neurotoxin aspartame. It actually raises your blood glucose levels, even though it contains chemicals rather than sugar.

7. GET OLD FASTER! Phosphates in cola extend their shelf life and improve taste. But they rob your bones and blood of desperately needed minerals. That leads to kidney problems, osteoporosis, heart disease, and rapid aging. It stops children and teens from building bone mass, in the critical period they are developmentally meant to do so. (After 30, we generally lose bone mass.) Soda manufacturers have increased phosphate levels higher and higher—but a medical journal article two years ago showed that lab rats with elevated phosphates died much earlier than normal.

19 thoughts on “Seven reasons not to drink soda, part 2 of 2

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  1. ROBIN,

    Unrelated question — in your hot-pink breakfast smoothie recipe, it calls for coconut liquid — what do you mean by that? You suggest raw, but for financial reasons, I’ll probably need to do canned for now. What is “coconut liquid”? Coconut water? Coconut milk?

  2. So glad I don’t drink soda, have never really liked the stuff nor had a desire to. Now if I could just get those close to me that unfortunately do like it and are addicted to it to get off of it. These seven points may help me to do so. Thanks.

  3. I love your blog and read it almost daily. However, I find myself often wondering the source of your information. I don’t read a ton of health books so maybe that is my problem (maybe it’s known to most people), but the things you talk about as facts are often things I’ve never heard or read before and I would love to know where you get your information from. Will you ever consider publishing sources for the things you talk about on your blog?

    1. Hi Ellie, sometimes I do fail to quote source (often a simple google search will find for you some other info on the topic) and will try harder to quote source, although I consider space and reader attention at a premium on the blog. In my books I do that.

  4. I love this! This past Christmas my mother in law bought 8 (2 liter) bottles of soda to feed our group of 30 family members that spent Christmas afternoon visiting and eating at her home. By the end of the night only 1 of the 8 bottles was empty. Her grandkids wouldn’t touch the stuff. She tried to hand it off to everyone on our way out and no one wanted it. There is hope for the next generation when they become educated about the harmful effects of soda. Thanks for your great efforts!

    1. Ah, Holly, so glad your kids are avoiding it. Only because you have taught them so well! I’m proud of your kids. 🙂

  5. robyn – ok, so I completely agree that sodas are the devil, but man, sometimes in the afternoon at work, there is nothing like the burn and flavor of a diet pepsi. BUT…I do it about once or twice a week, and I take two or three sips off a can and throw the rest away. Because it really is the first couple of sips that give you that deeply satisfying moment – after that, you are just getting it down because you paid for it and it’s not really all that enjoyable. Are three sips a week still an unacceptable amount of stress on your innards, especially if you are eating enough greens to choke a cow? Is it, as I’m thinking, your basic ‘nutritional cigarette’ – even once a year is too much? I guess I hear of so many people who drink 2-3 cans a day, my little forays to the dark side seems almost saintly to me – am I kidding myself?

    1. mgm, I think it entirely depends on your physical weaknesses, you know? Some people can get away with surprising nutritional sinfulness for a surprising length of time without dire diagnoses. Some people have to be on the “strait and narrow” path or the consequences are pretty devastating. (I personally find I am closer to the latter category than the former. Feels like a curse, but maybe it’s a blessing because it keeps me honest?) See if the “burn” of some Synergy kombucha gives you that?? Or, see if Zevia brand soda from the health food store makes you happy? No chemicals, no aspartame, just stevia.

  6. I brew a lot of kefir water and kombucha for my family. Many years ago my husband and I used to love to drink pop, so I like to have a little bit of a replacement besides just water and smoothies. My only concern is how much sugar is left in the kefir water. I do a second ferment without the grains before drinking, to add carbonation, but am wondering if the natural carbonation is bad and if I should be worried about my waistline b/c of the residual sugar left in the kefir water ????

    1. CN (Christine), I have the same doubts. I read about how the fermentation process consumes the sugars in kombucha—so why is it still sweet?? Read the sugars on the label. HOWEVER, trust your instinct, this is a SOMETIMES food, not a 3 times a day food! I would prefer the naturally fermented mild carbonation, to chemically produced heavy carbonation, for sure. When you make your own, use a bare minimum of agave or maple syrup or whatever.

  7. Hello ,

    I am New to this but I really want to start this and get it into my system and also to Help My Family . .

    What would be the starting point for me and what would be a great Detox Drink to help loose weight .

  8. AACCCKKKK!!!! I am addicted to coffee and diet coke! I’ve always known they were bad for you, but not in the way outlined above! I’m a huge creature of habit, and I love not just the coffee taste and smell (and the caffeine jolt), but the ritual aspect of having it in the AM when getting ready for the day. At night when I’m doing homework (I’m in my junior year of my bachelors degree- I went back to school at 35) I like to have a diet coke or dr. pepper with some popcorn. How do I cut this stuff out of my life without going completely off the deep-end and having a 3 day long migraine What have other soda-philes used as a replacement? (don’t say “water”, I’m not at that place yet)

  9. Brandie,

    I just recently got off diet pepsi after a couple decades of drinking it. I have tried before and was scared off by the headaches and the depressive crash that always happened in the wake of getting off of it. I promised my brother I would quit, so that was a motivator for me. I slowly weaned off of it over a month and replaced it with green tea with chia seeds, which I have come to LOVE. I add the chia seeds and stir them in and drink it once the chia have absorbed all the liquid and it gives my mouth something to DO while I’m drinking it, which somehow makes up for the carbonation. But I have now recently weaned myself of that, too, and am now living caffeine free! I can’t really believe it because it controlled me for so long! It was a lot easier giving up the green tea and now I just have it a couple of times a week with chia as a treat. It helped me to figure out why I drink it an then came up with a replacement. For me it was more emotional, it was the ‘thing’ I did every day that felt like self-care. It was the one way I spoiled myself in the day. Now I drink green tea or a green smoothie instead. When I think about how I’m replacing something toxic that hurt my body with something nutrient-dense and healthy, the net benefit is pretty dramatic.

  10. Robyn, on the coconut water for Rebecca, you said canned (of course not milk), but what about cartons, like VitaCoco? Are they okay too, and worse or any better?

  11. Robyn, the only soda I drink is Sierra mist natural, which, to the best of my knowledge, doesn’t contain the chemicals you’re talking about. From what I have researched, the only downside is the high sugar intake. Is Sierra mist natural okay, or am I missin something? I’m curious what you think.

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