Light Drinks Can Increase Belly Fat

· January 18, 2016
Regular or “light” drink? There are many people who prefer the last option in order to “not gain weight” and, by choosing it, they think they're going with the best option.

Despite knowing that soft “light” drinks are not very healthy, we consume them frequently because we love their taste and also believe that just having one every once in a while won’t do us excessive damage.

But is important that we keep in mind a number of aspects. If you really don’t want to gain weight, it’s best not to consume any type of soft drink, especially soft “light” drinks, because instead of helping us avoid storing body fat, just the opposite happens: they increase the size of our waistline. We’ll give you all the details below.

“Light” soft drinks: the hidden dangers

Cola glass

A recent study by the University of Texas revealed information that, to a certain degree, we already knew: light soft drinks are not much different from regular drinks. In fact they, pose a greater risk for our health since they cause an increase in abdominal fat, which in turn increases the size of our waistline as well.

The study took place over a period of nine years. Scientists analyzed the consumption habits of about 900 people from the United States, Mexico, and Europe for the research. To accomplish this they divided the test subjects into three groups:

  • Occasional drinkers of light soft drinks (between 1 and 3 glasses a week).
  • Regular drinkers of light soft drinks (5 or more each week).
  • People that have never drank any type of soft drink.

And what were the results? The facts are surprising.

For example, the people that consume between two and three glasses of light soft drinks each week showed an increase between 1 and 2 inches (2.54 and 5 centimeters) in their waistline.

Those that consumed these drinks regularly had an increase on average of 3 inches (7.62 centimeters) or more.

Those that never consumed soft drinks did not have any increase because, in general, they strove to live a healthy life which doesn’t include sugars or soft drinks; not even those considered light drinks.

Read also:

Health Benefits of Consuming Less Sugar

To what conclusion do these facts lead us?

  • Light soft drinks still have a lot of calories.
  • Sharon Fowler, the director of this study, revealed that light soft drinks (carbonated sodas) are directly linked with serious illnesses such as diabetes, myocardial infarction and, of course, obesity.
  • Obviously, a person’s lifestyle will make these facts more or less relevant. If someone drinks light soft drinks only once in a while (2 cans per month), nothing will probably happen. Even less if they have an active lifestyle and don’t regularly consume fats or sugars.
  • However, the risk is for those who drink a minimum of 4 cans each week (or more), have a sedentary lifestyle and don’t have a balanced diet. As the years go by, they’ll suffer an increase of abdominal fat. As you already know, this is a direct risk to our health.

Other risks of light soft drinks

Sweeteners

Energy drink

Light drinks contain a very high dose of sweeteners. If you consume them regularly, your sense of taste will gradually become unable to perceive the natural sweeteners in many fruits for example.

Increased risk of type 2 diabetes

If you usually drink one can of light soft drink each day, you’ll have a 36% greater probability of suffering Type 2 diabetes.

According to a study carried out by the University of Minnesota (United States), this type of drink elevates even more our blood pressure, our bad cholesterol and the fat that accumulates in our waist line.

They have no nutritional value

Soft drinks have a very enjoyable taste, we know that. They’re wonderful in the summer and for those family lunches or enjoying with friends on the weekend.

However, they provide no nutrition for our body, no vitamins, no minerals. They’re stimulants that alter many of our basic functions and instead of quenching our thirst, actually make us more thirsty.

And remember replacing regular soft drinks with “light” drinks doesn’t make it any better.

They can give us a headache

If you’re someone that often suffers from migraines or headaches, it’s best to avoid all carbonated drinks, whether they’re regular or light.

They can damage our teeth

Woman with beautiful teeth

This fact is very important. According to a study published in the magazine “General Dentistry,” soft drinks accelerate dental erosion and weaken the teeth enamel. This is all due to the citric acid they contain. If you start to avoid this type of drinks today, your smile will thank you.

They can damage our bones

If you’re a woman and you have begun to have problems with your bones, you should stop drinking carbonated drinks immediately. Light soft drinks are also linked to the wear down of bone mass and the loss of bone density, mostly in the hips.

Read also:

Treatment to Strengthen Bones and Joints

They can damage our heart

Someone with chest pains

How can light soft drinks damage our heart? The risk of heart problems is evident from the moment this type of drink increases our bad cholesterol level and causes hypertension.

Thus, remember, soft drinks are not good for your health. Never let yourself be deceived for the supposed benefits of light soft drinks. Far from being helpful, they continue to be a risk.