Soda is the guilty pleasure of many Americans, both young and old. Aside from water, soda is the most consumed beverage, beating out milk, coffee, tea, and beer. According to the CDC, 49% of adults and 64% of youth consume a sugar-sweetened beverage on a given day. Whether it’s cola or uncola, regular or diet, caffeinated or caffeine-free, soda is damaging our health and our wallet.
Gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients are also strongly advised not to consume soda (even diet soda) or any type of carbonated beverages. If you take a sip of a drink and realize it has carbonation, stop drinking it and switch to something noncarbonated.
We will highlight 5 reasons to ditch soda forever.
- Soda can contribute to heartburn.
The carbonation of soda can contribute to distending the stomach and putting pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter. In addition to the carbonation, the acidity of soda is also associated with heartburn. For those who have had gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, or lap band surgery, consuming a beverage that contributes to stretching the stomach is something that should be avoided.
- Soda increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes
Metabolic syndrome is a collection of three risk factors (high cholesterol, high fasting glucose, high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, or abdominal obesity) that leaves sufferers twice as likely to develop heart disease and five times as likely to develop diabetes as those without metabolic syndrome. According to a study by the American Diabetes Association, “at least daily consumption of diet soda was associated with a 36% greater relative risk of incident metabolic syndrome and a 67% greater relative risk of incident type 2 diabetes compared with nonconsumption.”
- Soda wreaks havoc on your teeth
Between the sugar and the acidity of soda, your teeth can pay the price. The bacteria in our mouths feed on the sugar in soda, they then produce an acid that weakens the enamel on teeth leading to tooth decay. Even switching to diet soda does not prevent the problem, as soda itself is highly acidic and can damage tooth enamel. Your teeth are very important for chewing your food adequately, especially after gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band surgery, so cavities and tooth loss could be detrimental to your post-bariatric surgery diet.
- Soda may be associated with increased risk of osteoporosis
Although the research is not complete on the subject, there seems to be a link between people with high soda consumption and lower bone mineral density. Research seems to point to more complex reasons than just people consumed soda in place of calcium-containing drinks, such as milk. The phosphoric acid and caffeine in cola have been noted to interfere with calcium absorption.
- It contributes to your weight
Although the number seems to be steadily decreasing, Americans still drink gallons of soft drinks each year. In 2018, we drank an average of nearly 39 gallons per capita.On average, that could contribute nearly 60,000 calories to your diet. Of course, you can exercise to work off those 60,000 calories per year (like running about 600 miles). Switching to diet soda may not solve the problem. Studies do not show a direct link between switching to diet soda and weight loss.
Dr. Shillingford encourages his weight loss surgery patients to wean off of soda, diet soda, and carbonated beverages prior to their bariatric surgery. But reducing your intake or quitting soda altogether is good advice for anyone whether or not they are preparing for weight loss surgery or if they have already had gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap band surgery. You may feel some withdrawal symptoms from either the sugar or the caffeine, but the temporary discomfort will be well worth the health benefits in the long term. Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA is a board-certified surgeon specializing in advanced laparoscopic and weight loss surgery. His bariatric weight loss practice is located in Boca Raton, Florida and serves patients from all over South Florida including Coral Springs, Delray Beach, Miami, Wellington, Naples, Port Ste Lucie, and Fort Lauderdale. Call Dr. Shillingford today at (561) 483-8840 to schedule your appointment for a bariatric surgery consultation.