Drinking a 12-ounce soda every day can increase your risk of having a heart attack by 20%. If you down two or three a day, you will damage your heart even more. Soda and other sweetened beverages have already been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other issues with the metabolism. The results of a recent study only add “further evidence that sugary beverages are detrimental to our health,” said one of the study’s authors, Frank Hu, M.D. During the study, researchers followed almost 43,000 men over a 22-year period. They took into account other factors, such as body mass index, exercise levels, diet, and family history of heart disease. Even men who weren’t obese showed an increased risk with daily—or almost daily—consumption of sugary beverages. The researchers suspect that other factors—or a combination of them—are behind the findings. Daily drinkers of soda and other sweetened beverages had elevated triglycerides, decreased HDL (“good” cholesterol), and higher levels of inflammation markers. All of these are linked to heart disease. The study doesn’t prove directly that sweetened beverages cause heart attacks, but it adds another black mark to soda’s already spotty record. “The first thing to do is to reduce the intake of sodas and then eventually eliminate them,” said another author on the study, Lawrence de Koning.
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