Most people know by now that soft drinks are not healthy for you. They are filled with sugar and empty calories and have relatively few health benefits. But while most people are completely aware that drinking soda is bad for your health, they are rarely aware of just how bad it can be. Drinking sugary drinks like soda or fruit juices can cause much more significant and prolific health issues than you may have realized.
Soda Causes Weight Gain
The most common form of sugar that is typically added to drinks is simple sugar fructose. Fructose has the unique properties of not making you feel full or satiated in the same way that glucose does. It does this because fructose does not lower the hunger hormone known as ghrelin.
Lots of Sugar Is Turned to Fat Inside the Liver
Table sugar and high fructose corn syrup are made of two molecules in equal amounts: glucose and fructose. Whereas glucose can be metabolized by all of your body’s cells, fructose can only be metabolized by the liver. This puts an excess burden on the liver – drinking too much fructose will cause your liver to convert it into fat. If left untreated, this can lead to the development of fatty liver disease.
Sugar Severely Increases the Accumulation of Belly Fat
Not only are high levels of sugar consumption linked to weight gain, but fructose specifically increases weight gain around the belly. When fat accumulates around the belly, it is known as visceral fat. If left untreated, visceral fat can increase a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.