It’s not enough that soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages have been linked to cavities and weight gain, among other negative health consequences. Now comes a study that suggests high daily intake of soft drinks can elevate your risk of developing heart disease.
According to the study, published in the research journal Circulation, a publication of the American Heart Association, study participants who drank the most sugar-sweetened beverages daily had a 20 percent higher risk of coronary heart disease compared to participants who drank the least. Coronary heart disease, also called coronary artery disease, is characterized by a narrowing of the small blood vessels that lead to the heart. The result: diminished blood and oxygen supply to the heart, which can cause chest pain, shortness of breath and even a heart attack.
By the way, if you think drinking diet soft drinks will get you out of the woods when it comes to health risks, think again: A recent study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine suggests that consuming diet soft drinks daily (versus none) increases your risk of suffering a vascular event, such as a stroke, heart attack or even vascular-related death, by a whopping 43 percent. So ditch the sodas and other sugary drinks and think natural and sugar-free: tea or the age-old standby, water.