The One Grocery Store Item Dr. Weil Says To Avoid In 2022
The food product Dr. Weil suggests you avoid entirely this year (and every year) is soda. Whether regular or diet, it is essentially liquid candy, and studies indicate that drinking it can lead to:
- Obesity. Drinking a single sugar-containing soda per day is linked to weight gain. Drinking diet soda doesn’t seem to do your weight much good either – over the course of nine years, one study found a 70 percent greater increase in waist circumference among participants in a study who drank diet soda compared to those who didn’t.
- Diabetes. A daily sugar-containing soda habit increases a woman’s risk of developing diabetes by 83 percent compared to women who have less than one sweetened drink per month. And another study showed that artificial sweeteners altered the collection of bacteria (known as the microbiome) in the digestive tract in a way that caused blood glucose levels to rise higher than expected and to fall more slowly than they otherwise would. This suggests that the use of artificial sweeteners contributes directly to rising rates of type 2 diabetes.
- Heart disease. One study found a 43 percent increase in the risk of heart attackand stroke among individuals who habitually consumed a daily diet soda compared to those who do not.
- Kidney issues. Drinking two or more diet sodas daily is associated with a decline in a measure of kidney function in women.
- Premature birth. One study found that the risk of giving birth prematurely increased by 38 percent among women who drank diet soda daily and by 78 percent among those who drank four or more servings of diet soda per day. Also be aware that some fountain machine cups may contain four or more servings in one fill up!
Bottom line: Forget cutting back on soda (diet or regular) – this is one to eliminate altogether. Opt instead for filtered water, unsweetened tea (the sweetened version would be no better) or sparkling water mixed with a splash of natural fruit juice. After a week or two you will feel better and lighter, have less cravings for sweet and therefore may be less likely to go back.
Today’s Health Topics
Ask Dr. Weil's Q&A