Drink soda and get fat and old… fast!

If you’ve read health magazines and websites for any length of time, you’ve read a litany of reasons why soda is bad for you. It’s nothing but sugar water. It’s devoid of any nutritional value. In addition to obesity and diabetes, it leads to accelerated aging!

Diet or regular, all colas contain phosphates, or phosphoric acid, a weak acid that gives colas their tangy flavor and improves their shelf life. Although it exists in other foods, like meat and dairy, too much phosphoric acid can lead to heart and kidney problems, muscle loss, and osteoporosis, and one study suggests it could trigger accelerated aging. The study, published in a 2010 issue of the FASEB Journal, found that the excessive phosphate levels found in sodas caused lab rats to die a full five weeks earlier than the rats whose diets had more normal phosphate levels—a disturbing trend considering that soda manufacturers have increased the levels of phosphoric acid in their products over the past few decades.

Additionally, Danish researchers discovered that drinking non-diet soda leads to dramatic increases in fat buildup around your liver and your skeletal muscles, both of which can contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes. It’s not surprising that drinking all the sugar in sodas would cause weight gain, but what is surprising is that even diet soda will pack on the pounds: Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center monitored 475 adults for 10 years, and found that those who drank diet soda had a 70 percent increase in waist circumference over the 10-year study, compared with those who didn’t drink any soda. Those who drank more than two diet sodas per day saw a 500 percent waist expansion!

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