Good health and wellness are what all guys strive for, right? If you are nodding your head in agreement, you may want to make sure there isn’t a sweetened soda beverage in your hand. Research published this week in the British medical journal Heart, found that drinking sweetened soda may increase your risk for heart failure by 23 percent.
The study examined the dietary habits of 42,000 Swedish men between the ages of 45 and 79 over a period of 12 years. The study concluded that two servings of a 200-milliliter sweetened beverage per week will put you at risk, in comparison to those who abstain from these types of beverages.
“The takeaway message is that people who regularly consume sweetened beverages should consider limiting their consumption to reduce their risk of heart failure,” Dr. Susanna Larsson of the Stockholm Karolinska Institutet and co-author of the study commented in news reports.
Heart failure is extremely serious and affects daily life on almost every level — if you live through the life-threatening event. Nearly six million Americans are living with heart failure, with approximately 870,000 new cases diagnosed every year, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
Those who live with heart failure often experience a diminished quality of life. “It’s a very miserable life,” Dr. Roberto Bolli, the chief of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, told The Huffington Post UK. “Patients with heart failure are severely limited in their ability to perform daily tasks, they get short of breath for even small efforts like walking one block, or sometimes even walking inside their house.”
In fact, heart failure is so serious that approximately 50 percent of people suffering with the disease rarely live five years after their diagnosis. Twenty-five percent will most likely die within 10 years of diagnosis, as well. Risk factors for heart disease include obesity, diabetes and sleep apnea, according to the AHA.
What more can be said about drinking sweetened beverages like soda? As obesity continues to rise, cutting out soda and other unhealthy choices seems to be common sense. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition (2014) examined sweetened beverages and their link to other cardiovascular events, like stroke. The research concluded, “These findings suggest that sweetened beverage consumption is positively associated with the risk of stroke.” In fact, the data from the study uncovered a possible 20 percent increase for stroke among the participants who consumed sweetened beverages.
Is soda or any sweetened beverage necessary? There are plenty of delicious alternatives to sweetened beverages. You can get your fill of sweet-tasting nectar from a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, which are easily found at your local farmers’ market.
Water is still the best option for hydration. Approach your beverage choices with a “two birds, one stone” attitude: eliminate sweetened beverages from your life while getting the hydration your body needs to perform effectively. There are extra benefits if you add a bit of lime or lemon to your water, too!
What is your go-to drink in lieu of soda or other sweetened beverages?
Stephen Seifert is a writer, professor, adventurer and a health & fitness guru. His flair for travel and outdoor adventure allows him to enjoy culture and traditions different than his own. A healthy diet, routine fitness and constant mental development is the cornerstone to Stephen’s life.