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Seldom do I ever drink a soda.  I count it as a luxury.  A rare pleasure that I give myself if there’s reason to celebrate or give myself a reward for a job well done.  But overall I can honestly say that in any given week  I usually have no more a glass or two.  Much like a social drinker who may drink a single mixed drink or beer if it is offered to them.

Generally I’m a big fan of drinking water, as that gets the job done as far as quenching my thirst without doing things to my body that I would rather it not do.  And it isn’t just the sugar content, as I am perfectly fine drinking sweetened tea or various juices that have a reasonable amount of sugar added.  Or the level of caffeine as I can drink coffee with the best of them.

But soda is something that I have noticed just doesn’t agree with my body.  In fact the other day I did a bit of splurging and got myself a full 16 .oz soda and drank it with my lunch.  Not surprisingly the next day I just didn’t feel like quite like myself.

And after reading Rodale.com writer Leah Zerbe’s report on on three shocking soda facts it seems obvious to me that it isn’t just tobacco companies that are selling a product that’s significantly adding to the rising costs of healthcare.  Although the contribution may not be as extreme, make no mistake that it is most definitely substantial.  And yet the only real argument as to why this is not an issue is that someone drinking isn’t seen as potentially harming others, and the act of enjoying a soda isn’t seen as an offensive act in modern day society.

Shocking Soda Fact #1: Soda fattens up your organs:

A recent Danish study revealed that drinking non-diet soda leads to dramatic increases in dangerous hard-to-detect fats. Researchers asked participants to drink either regular soda, milk containing the same amount of calories as regular soda, diet cola, or water every day for six months. The results? Total fat mass remained the same across all beverage-consuming groups, but regular-soda drinkers experienced dramatic increases in harmful hidden fats, including liver fat and skeletal fat. The regular-soda group also experienced an 11 percent increase in cholesterol compared to the other groups! And don’t think switching to diet varieties will save you from harm: Artificial sweeteners and food dyes have been linked to brain cell damage and hyperactivity, and research has shown that people who drink diet soda have a higher risk of developing diabetes.

Shocking Soda Fact #2: Soda contains flame retardants:

Some popular soda brands, including Mountain Dew, use brominated vegetable oil—a toxic flame retardant—to keep the artificial flavoring from separating from the rest of the liquid. This hazardous ingredient—sometimes listed as BVO on soda and sports drinks—can cause bromide poisoning symptoms like skin lesions and memory loss, as well as nerve disorders

Shocking Soda Fact #3: Drinking soda makes you a lab rat:

Many American soda brands are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, a heart-harming man-made compound derived mainly from genetically engineered corn. The problem? Genetically engineered ingredients have only been in our food chain since the 1990s, and we don’t know their long-term health impacts because the corporations that developed the crops never had to test them for long-term safety. Case in point: Some recent findings suggest that genetically engineered crops are linked to digestive tract damage, accelerated aging, and even infertility!

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