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10 Reasons to Avoid All Soda—That Means Diet Too

It might be refreshing but soda can seriously damage your health.

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Woman drinking beverageAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

You’re depriving yourself of essential nutrients

People who drink sodas instead of healthy beverages (think low-fat milk and pure fruit juice) are less likely to get adequate vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium. What’s more, soda contains phosphoric acid, which depletes calcium and magnesium—two nutrients help keep your immunity operating at peak efficiency. Make sure you don’t skip out on these essential nutrients. Even nutritionists don’t get enough of them!

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You’re more likely to develop diabetes

Sodas containing high-fructose corn syrup can also lead to a higher production of free radicals, which have been linked to tissue damage, the development of diabetes, and diabetic complications. These are some diabetic-friendly recipes for a healthy diet.

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Plastic bottlesShutterstock / Teerasak Ladnongkhun

The bottles are damaging

Plastic soda (and water) bottles contain a toxic chemical called bisphenol A (BPA) that can leach from bottles into soda and into you. Emerging evidence links BPA to myriad maladies, including immune system depression. Public health experts recommend that we protect children from exposure to products containing BPA—especially products they consume or use every day. Here’s why you should never leave a water bottle in a hot car.

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Person zipping up tight jeansShutterstock / Monkey Business Images

It makes you gain weight

Diet soda actually contributes to weight gain. A study of 1,550 people concluded that people who drink diet soda have a 41 percent increased risk of being overweight or obese for every can or bottle they drink per day. Turns out, any sweet taste signals body cells to store fat and carbohydrates, which makes you hungrier. Sweet tastes also promote insulin release, which blocks your body’s ability to burn fat. The hard truth: No published study has ever proven that drinking diet soda will help you lose weight. Try these surprising ways you can lose weight.

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Woman holding sugar cubesRostislav Sedlacek/Shutterstock

There is way too much sugar

One can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar. That’s a lot of sugar! When you feed your body that amount of sugar in liquid form, it makes your blood sugar spike and causes an insulin reaction in your body. Drinking soda regularly can eventually lead to weight gain, diabetes, insulin resistance and other health problems. Watch out for these other foods you may not have realized have high levels of sugar.

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Pills pouring out of bottleGracePhotos/Shutterstock

It contains phosphoric acid

Phosphoric acid hinders the body’s ability to absorb calcium naturally. Not getting enough calcium can lead to bone softening, osteoporosis, and dental cavities. It also messes with your stomach acid, blocking nutrient absorption and slowing digestion.

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Sweaty thirsty manMaridav/Shutterstock

It can lead to dehydration

Drinking soda can lead to dehydration because of its high levels of sugar, sodium and caffeine. Many people will drink soda with a meal instead of water and forget to get their necessary daily intake of water. Try these genius tricks to drink more water.

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Artificial sweetener Shutterstock / Tobik

Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners

Diet soda contains aspartame instead of sugar, and it can actually be more harmful for your body. Reports show that aspartame may be associated with seizures, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, emotional disorders, as well as other health problems.

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Pouring out orange sodasuccesso images/Shutterstock

It contains absolutely zero nutrients

As if you need another reason to bypass soda, it has absolutely zero nutritional value. There are no positive effects to drinking soda expect that it might taste good. Don’t miss these other foods you should avoid when eating out.

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Dentist checking out teethShutterstock / Pop Paul Catalin

It’s damaging to your teeth

Drinking soda regularly can cause plaque to build up on your teeth, which can lead to cavities and gum disease. Also, when natural bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar from the soda, it forms acid. Acid can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Try these tips to keep your pearly whites healthy.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest