It can bump up bad cholesterol.
Clogged blood vessels may be another reason to avoid soda, as a 2015 study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that subjects consuming drinks with low, medium, and high amounts of high-fructose corn syrup for just two weeks had increased levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides circulating through their bloodstream. This shows a direct link between added sugars in beverages and the risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease.
It can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Soft drinks have been linked to an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer, says a study from Singapore in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. The scientists attributed the uptick in cancer cases to the high levels of sugar, which bumps up insulin and encourages cancer cell growth.
It can make you age faster.
If you’re downing soft drinks on the regular, that indulgence affects your health as well as your appearance. Studies have shown that a diet high in sugar could be the blame for breakouts, wrinkles, and other signs of aging skin.
It can harm your kidneys.
Your kidneys are important for filtering out all of the toxins that accumulate in your body every day, but if you’re drinking soda on the regular, their functioning could be compromised, according to a 2011 study from Harvard Medical School. They looked at data on more than 3,000 women over the course of 11 years and found that a high-sodium diet, which is usually associated with drinking artificially sweetened drinks, like diet soda, can lead to a reduction in kidney functioning.
It can make you dependent on sugar.
When you’re stressed and tired, you tend to reach for sugary, high-fat foods, which is why many people go for a glass of the bubbly drink. According to research in The Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, drinking sugar-laden beverages, such as soda, can help relieve stress by blunting cortisol, the stress hormone. Because of the emotional response that sugar gives you, it leads you to consume even more of the sweet stuff.