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Can Heart Disease Be Prevented and Reversed?

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What Can Fizzy Drinks Contribute To Heart Disease?

Children and teenagers like soft drinks, and so do adults. British drink more than 5 billion liters each year while American consumes more than a quarter of all drinks. Carbonated soft drinks, or fizzy drinks as what they are commonly called, are loaded with sugar and caffeine. They are so popular yet they have very little nutritional value.

Very few of us will consider these drinks to be healthy. But, how bad they are? Why are they bad for our health? Not too many of us can answer such questions.

The most important harm they will bring to us is tendency of obesity. A can of sugary soft drink can contain about 135 calories. If we consume a can per day, each month there is about 4,000 calories, which is equivalent to half a kilo of body fat, accumulated in our body.

A British study indicated that if children who were encouraged to cut back on sugary soft drinks were found to be much less likely to become fat than those who were not. People, especially teenagers tend to drink them in such a large quantity and end up forming a significant part of the total calories they consume. Obesity has been proven to be one of the risk factors for heart disease, and there is no reason why we should make ourselves obese simply by drinking high quantity of these unhealthy drinks.

Carbonated soft drinks are also bad for our teeth because plaque bacteria act upon the sugars in the drinks, leading to tooth decay. Moreover, regular drinking of carbonated soft drinks, even the sugar-free varieties, can add considerably to the amount of dental erosion because these drinks are just a solution of carbonic acid.

These acidic drinks tend to affect our body's pH level. The body will need to neutralize this effect using its stores of calcium. So if we are not getting enough calcium in our diet, osteoporosis may develop. This is a particular problem for teenage girls.

Many of these drinks contain caffeine that is a stimulant. Too much of it can make us jumpy and nervous, and prevent us from sleeping properly. Some people can even suffer withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches or irritability, when forced to go without their daily fix. There is reasonably strong evidence that very large quantities of caffeine taken over a period of many years can harm the cardiovascular system though moderate amounts of caffeine intake do not seem to be harmful.

If carbonated drinks are bad for us, then what are the alternatives? Tap water is good, milk is good, and unsweetened fruit juice is also fine. However, switching drastically from fizzy drinks to healthy can never be an easy job. Fizzy drink addicts may initially limit their consumption to about a single serving a day and gradually increase their intake of healthy drinks.



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