184,000. The number of health related deaths that may be directly caused by soda and sugary drinks. Staggering right? Not only is soda wrecking your waistline… some experts believe it could be one of the biggest factors in causing obesity related deaths. A fast way to lose belly fat and avoid an early death might be to avoid these sugar sweetened beverages altogether.
Where did that number come from?
Now I know 184 thousand is a big number, but this is the figure that has been quoted in a recent study published in the journal Circulation. Lets drill down a bit further.
Specifically the researchers from Tufts University stated that these drinks, referred to as ‘Sugar Sweetened Beverages’ could be responsible for 133,000 deaths from diabetes, 45,000 from cardiovascular disease with a further 6,450 causing cancer.
The research analysed 62 dietary studies conducted over the last 30 years and concluded that “Many countries in the world have a significant number of deaths occurring from a single dietary factor, sugar-sweetened beverages.” Author Dariush Mozaffarian advised that reducing or eliminating these drinks from the diet should be a global priority.
The worst affected area was Mexico with a death rate of 450 deaths per million adults. The US was next with a much smaller but still significant 125 deaths per million. The report also found that the majority of deaths were focused on low and middle income countries.
OK, So why are sugary beverages so bad for you?
Good question. Here are a few of the key reasons when looking at how to lose belly fat you should ditch the sugary drinks and revert to good old healthy water for a healthy and fast way to lose belly fat.
You drink calories but remain hungry
One of the key ingredients in sugary drinks like soda is a simple sugar called Fructose. Now one off the key features of Fructose is that it doesn’t seem to stimulate satiety in the same way as other sugars such as Glucose. What does that mean? You guessed it… the feeling of hunger you have will not subside despite the volume of calories you have just consumed. The result? You end up adding a bunch of additional calories to your daily intake. What do you think happens to those extra calories?
Sugar ends up as fat in the liver
OK, we mentioned that fructose was prevalent in large quantities in sugary drinks. One of the other drawbacks of Fructose is that it can only be metabolised in the liver, unlike Glucose which can be assisted by every cell in the body. If we overdose own the soda then this can become too much for your poor old liver. If you liver is unable to keep up the excess calories from Fructose are converted into fat. Over a period of time, this trend can lead to non alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Soda increases dangerous visceral belly fat
Previous research into the impact of sugar consumption on belly fat have identified a key difference in the distribution of body fat from Fructose when compared to Glucose overconsumption. Fructose appears to leave you predisposed to the accumulation of visceral fat. This is the most dangerous type of belly fat and is located around your bodies vital organs. Excess glucose on the other hand tends to result in more subcutaneous fat which is not linked as strongly to metabolic disease.
Insulin resistance is a real possibility
Now most of you will have heard of insulin before. But to alleviate any doubt insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the amount of glucose in your blood (blood sugar levels).
The worrying thing about soda consumption is that it can cause your cells to become resistant to the effects of insulin meaning your body becomes less effective in controlling blood sugar. Many experts believe that insulin resistance is a key driver behind metabolic syndrome – a precursor to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
OK, hopefully the reasons above are enough to convince you to lay off the sweetened beverages. They are dangerous and can be extremely addictive. Glass of water please.