As much as I hate to say this drinking soda will not directly cause you to gain weight. The problem with soda is the sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and loads of empty calories it provides! One 12-ounce can of regular (non-diet) soda contains about 150 calories, and one 20-ounce bottle, contains about 250 calories.
With soft drinks it is easy to consume many extra calories in addition to regular meals and snacks. The fact is if you eat more calories than your body needs, you will gain weight.
What is High-Fructose Corn Syrup?
High-fructose corn syrup is a sweetener that is used in place of sugar in everything from soft drinks to salad dressings, and even bread and soup. Actually, its pretty hard to find any food that is processed that doesn’t contain high-fructose corn syrup.
Is High-Fructose Corn Syrup Bad For Me?
Many scientists attribute the surge in obesity to increasing consumption of high-fructose corn syrup; some also argue that it increases the risk of diabetes and abnormal cholesterol levels. There are also recent concerns that high-fructose corn syrup made in the United States may contain mercury.
Eliminating high-fructose corn syrup from your diet is easier said than done. But if you start avoiding packaged or processed foods and eliminate soda, you may find that you are well on your way to improving your health.
Skip the Diet Soda
Many people assume that choosing “diet” foods is a good way to lose weight. At least that is what the commercial suggest. Taking in few calories would seem to be an obvious way to shed pounds but there is some bad news for you diet cola addicts out there! Drinking diet soda is not associated with weight loss. In fact, one study found that a daily can of diet soda was associated with a 41 percent increased risk of becoming obese. Body mass index has been shown to increase by 1.5 points in those who drink three diet sodas daily.
Why You Gain More Weight With “Diet” Soda
Research on artificial sweeteners has yielded some interesting findings that teach us a lot about how our bodies respond to food. Studies demonstrate that substituting artificial sweeteners in foods like yogurt leads to increased consumption of calories overall.
When you eat sugar, your body responds by increasing insulin levels. But in the absence of real sugar, the insulin levels may spike anyway leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Your body responds by craving more sugar so try to avoid choosing between regular and diet soda. The choice may be easier than you think if you are stuck deciding between regular soda or diet soda. You don’t have to drink either one!
So next time you reach for that can of soda, instead of drinking all those calories, try eating your calories in the form of food and see if you find it more satisfying.