Abom-Edible #3: Soda

Published on: 05/12/2015

One 20-ounce Coke contains 16 teaspoons of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup

Do I even need to write this post? By this point, unless you are living in a cave up in the Himalayas (if you are we may be neighbors one day) you have heard of the health issues surrounding soda. One 12-ounce can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar. If this fact doesn’t shock you, please go out to your kitchen and measure it. I’ll wait. In fact, measure all 10 teaspoons into a glass, add some water and then try to drink it. Not so appetizing without the added colors and flavors, huh?

But it’s not just the amount of sugar, it’s the type – high fructose corn syrup or HFCS for short. Manufactured from corn, this type of sweetener contains large amounts of a sugar called fructose, which nature put in fruit bundled with a substance called dietary fiber. Fiber brilliantly slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream, so the body can handle fructose gradually. It’s like nature knew exactly what was best for us and made it that way…

Then we come along and decide we can do nature one better. Problem is, the large amount of fructose in HFCS, with no dietary fiber to help buffer it, rushes into our bloodstream and well, creates a great big mess. That’s the scientific terminology, you can check. Fructose has to be processed by the liver, and since the liver can only handle a certain amount at a time, the excess gets turned into fat, depositing itself into the liver (i.e. “fatty liver”), or gets circulated in the bloodstream causing insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.

In fact, in a study of healthy college students, just 2 sodas a day for 2 weeks were enough to trigger signs of insulin resistance. In another study, drinking one 12-ounce soda daily correlated with a 22% increased risk in diabetes.

The soda aisle seems to stretch on forever

If all of this information, your glass of sugar water, and the multitude of anti-sugar documentaries out there aren’t enough to dissuade you from picking up that can of soda, then I give up. I’ve played all my cards. But you know what? It’s ok. You won’t be the first person to tell me that they can’t or won’t give up soda (at least completely).  But that’s what Good Food Karma is all about – making choices with eyes wide open, so that in the end, you create a lifestyle you can live with.


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