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Metabolic Syndrome and Soft Drinks

Regular soft drinks have sugar, which adds calories to your diet. Sugary drinks also raise insulin levels. This causes you to put on more visceral fat. This is fat that is deep inside, around the stomach and other organs. Too much visceral fat can raise certain blood proteins, including triglycerides. That can lead to inflammation and metabolic syndrome. Fat also builds up in the liver. This buildup can lead to cirrhosis and even liver cancer.

When insulin is high after a sugary drink, it may increase your hunger. That hunger may lead to overeating. You might even reach for another soda.

Even diet soda can be a problem. Studies have shown that drinking diet soda on a regular basis can actually lead to weight gain. The exact reason is still unknown. It might be that diet soda triggers the insulin response. Or it might be that people often drink diet soda along with sugary foods that have this effect.

Try to stop drinking or drink less of both regular and diet soft drinks. If you drink either regular or diet soda, have it with raw fruits and vegetables or nuts. The fiber in these foods can help control the insulin response. Plain coffee or tea should be a healthy choice. But don't add any cream or syrups that have sugar.

Read the new food labels that show grams of added sugar in drinks and other foods. This will help you to make healthier choices. 

Medical Reviewers:

  • Marianne Fraser MSN RN
  • Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
  • Robert Hurd MD