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8 Reasons to Avoid Soda—That Means Diet Too

It might be refreshing but soda doesn't benefit your health.

You may be depriving yourself of essential nutrients

People who drink soda may be less likely to get vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium than people who drink other beverages like low-fat milk or pure fruit juice. What's more, soda contains phosphoric acid, which may deplete calcium and magnesium—two nutrients help keep your immunity operating at peak efficiency. (Dark sodas are higher in phosphoric acid than light sodas.) Make sure you don't skip out on these essential nutrients. Even nutritionists don't get enough of them!

Woman measuring glucose level with digital glucometer on color background. Diabetes controlAquarius Studio/Shutterstock

It's associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes

Some sodas contain high-fructose corn syrup, which can also lead to higher production of free radicals.  These free radicals have been linked to tissue damage, the development of type 2 diabetes, and diabetic complications. (These are the best foods for a diabetic diet.)

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They often contain too much sugar

One can of regular soda can contain 10 teaspoons of added sugar. That's a lot of sugar! When you feed your body that amount of sugar in liquid form, it can make your blood sugar rise and cause your body to produce more insulin to process it. Drinking soda or other sweetened beverages regularly is associated with a higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and other health problems. Watch out for these other foods you may not have realized have high levels of sugar.

Calcium supplements.GracePhotos/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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Caffeine may lead to dehydration

Drinking soda can lead to dehydration because it can contain high levels of 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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Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners

Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners instead of sugar, which, at extremely high intakes may be harmful, according to studies in animals. However, the research in people has been mixed, although the low-calorie sweeteners approved for use in food are considered to be safe when consumed within "an acceptable daily intake," according to a 2011 review in the Journal of Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics.  A 2017 review in the Canadian Medical Association Journal noted that artificial sweetener use was not linked to weight loss and may even be associated with obesity, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease, although the findings have not been confirmed. Staying within an adequate intake is not linked with health issues.

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It contains absolutely zero nutrients

As if you need another reason to bypass soda, it has 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 if you want to live a long life.

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It may be 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.

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Medically reviewed by Elisabetta Politi, CDE, MPH, RD, on September 01, 2019