Why Do We Drink Soda Pop?
Americans, in general, are very trusting of the big companies that manufacture most of our food products. We eat and drink products whose ingredients are very foreign to us. Maybe we’ll see two or three items that we can identify on the ingredients list, but what about the other ten additives?
How did soda pop come about?
Got a sour, gassy stomach, need to belch but can’t … try our sweet carbonated tonic; it is guaranteed to soothe your sour stomach. In fact, the soda pop we know today is the grandchild of stomach tonic. Do we go around chugging Alka-Seltzer® or Pepto-Bismol®? Most of us do not. Why do we drink soda pop when we do not need a stomach tonic? The Soda industry’s marketing plan has succeeded in changing this stomach tonic into the beverage of choice in America. It’s all about making money. From a financial standpoint, more people will buy a fun beverage that will buy a stomach tonic on a daily basis.
How is soda pop affecting our health?
The news is not good. Research links soda pop consumption to weight gain, obesity, increased risk for developing Diabetes, and increased risk for men to develop gout. Diet soda is not much better. Research links diet soda consumption with developing high blood pressure, kidney disease, stroke, heart attacks, and metabolic syndrome.
What are we drinking?
Public enemy number one, the most addictive sugar known to man–high fructose corn syrup–is in most of the regular soda pops that we drink. Research shows that this sugar source causes a spike and a crash in our blood sugar which makes us crave and eat more sugar. This sugar is not natural; food scientists have taken natural corn syrup and super-concentrated it for maximum sweetness.
Soda was once sweetened with cane sugar, but corn is cheaper to grow than sugar cane thanks to US government subsidies of corn, wheat, and soybeans that began in the 1970’s. Our diet sodas are sweetened with Aspartame also known as Nutra-sweet®, another un-natural ingredient. Food scientists have altered protein to create a sweet taste without adding calories.
Colas (brown sodas) contain Phosphorus. People with kidney disease should not drink colas to avoid the extra phosphorus. If you are one of the millions drinking several soda pop beverages a day, please consider reducing your daily consumption to 12 ounces or less. Your body will thank you.
These blogs are written by members of the CHI Health Nutrition Services team.