At this point, you’ve most likely heard about the dangers of drinking soda. There are quite a few, after all. And the most fascinating—yet rather shocking part of it—is that there is still new research being uncovered and shared about the beverage that keeps proving how awful it is for your health. In fact, a new study even revealed that there is a very real reason why those who drink soda often end up eating more, further linking the theory that soda can potentially be linked to obesity because of one key ingredient: Sugar.
According to recent findings published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, drinks that are packed with sucrose (table sugar) compared to glucose (the main type of sugar that circulates in the bloodstream) may interfere with a person’s appetite-regulating hormones, more specifically lowering them. This means that drinking sugary beverages like soda makes it much more difficult to determine if you’re full. So in turn, you eat more, and overeating can lead to weight gain.
Researchers studied 69 young adults between the ages of 18 and 35. The participants took part in two study visits where they consumed drinks containing either sucrose or glucose. (For reference, sucrose is actually a combination of glucose and fructose and comes from sugar cane or sugar beets. Glucose, on the other hand, is naturally found in honey, grapes, figs, and plums.)
The participants had to take blood samples 10, 35, and 120 minutes after drinking the sugary drinks. The researchers found that when the participants drank the sucrose beverages, they produced lower amounts of hormones that suppress hunger, compared to when they consumed drinks containing the same amount of glucose. The study did also take into account that individual characteristics—including body weight and sex—affected the hormone responses to the two different types of sugars.
“The majority of sucrose that people consume in the American diet comes from sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, whereas glucose is found naturally in most carbohydrate-containing foods, including fruits and whole-grain breads,” said study author Kathleen Page, an associate professor of medicine specializing in diabetes and childhood obesity at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “Our study found that when young adults consumed drinks containing sucrose, they produced lower levels of appetite-regulating hormones than when they consumed drinks containing glucose—the main type of sugar that circulates in the bloodstream.”
Don’t think that giving up consuming regular, sugary soda every day and opting for the diet versions is any better, either. Research recently published in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that consuming diet sodas is just as bad for your heart as drinking regular sodas.
Moral of the story here? Soda, along with other artificially-sweetened drinks are simply doing more harm to your waistline than good.
“I would advise reducing the consumption of sugar-sweetened foods and beverages and instead, trying to eat more whole foods, like fruits,” Page added.
If you’re looking for more helpful tips, be sure to stay away from any of the 108 Most Popular Sodas We Ranked by How Toxic They Are, and instead uncover how you can harness the power of tea to lose weight.