Drinking Soda and Juice

The average can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar (one teaspoon = one packet = one sugar cube).

Drinking soda and juice are probably not your best health options for a number of reasons.  While soda is clearly the least healthy beverage due to sugar or artificial sweetener content, as well as the preservatives and other chemicals and the acidity,  juice is also very high in sugar, both natural and added.  Both soda and juice can eventually contribute to obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, fatty liver, heart disease, and even cancer.  The  best beverage to drink is water, by far.  Add some lemon juice or some chlorophyl or some mint to give it some flavor without sugar.   Plain green iced tea is also a good alternative.

Several recent studies highlight some of the negative effects of juice and soda.  One recent study, “Orange juice limits postprandial fat oxidation after breakfast in normal-weight adolexcents and adults”, published in Advances in Nutrition, found that drinking a glass of orange juice with breakfast reduces the amount of fat burned.  Not only does the orange juice contribute an extra 200 calories or so, but it reduced fat oxidation (fat burning) and other studies have shown that fat oxidation rates predict weight gain.  This may be due to elevated insulin levels after drinking the juice.  Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas when the blood sugar  is high.  Insulin tends to make your body store fat.  Managing your blood sugar  and maintaining insulin sensitivity in the cells keeps insulin levels low.  This is why I advocate eating small, frequent meals and a low glycemic meal plan that doesn’t cause spikes in the blood sugar.

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