How Bad is Soda for Your Body

February 28, 2018

Ask Dr. Liliya

My dear friends and neighbors!

Last week I was asked the question How bad is soda for your body? This has not been my first time being asked this question.  One lady even said that she read somewhere that drinking one soda a day for 6 months increases your liver fat more than 140%. This sounds like overkill. We prefer to use facts, and not to scare people, and the fact is – soda has a lot of sugar and in no way can it be good for your body or your child’s body.

We named sugar “white death”, why is that?

Let’s do a little counting: 1 g of carbohydrate is 4 Cal, 1 g of protein is 4 Cal, 1 g of fat is 9 Cal.

A small can of Pepsi has 33 grams of sugar which equals 6.5 teaspoons of sugar, and that would be 132 Cal.

USDA counts RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) based on 2,000Cal/day

So, 1 small can of soda will increase your caloric intake: 2,000Cal+ 132 Cal (from soda) = 2,132 Cal;

What about 2 cans? 2,000Cal+132Calx2=2,264 Cal;

But let’s reverse it and say you want a glass of water or club soda instead of a can of soda:


2,000 Cal-264Cal=1,736Cal

Does this number look better for you?


Can we substitute a can of soda with diet coke?

It is sweetened with what we called with non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS): aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, Stevia, etc. and sugar alcohols: Xylitol, Sorbitol, Erythritol, etc.


Do NNS’s cause weight gain?

NO-American Heart Association/ American Diabetes Association.

YES- suggested by a ton of evidence.

This is not a simple topic: in recent years more and more publication, including a famous article in New York Times, and they blamed diet sodas for the increase of obesity and cardio-vascular diseases.

We want to use solid research, but we are lacking it. By far, no research has shown that artificial sweeteners are harmful. Some of them are better than others, but they do not have any calories.

There are different considerations, which include discussions about artificial sweeteners changing your microbiota (known before as intestinal microflora), also some psychological staff about people, who drink diet soda allowed themselves more “bad food” as a reward.

But we have already decided – we are going to stay with known facts and of cause of everything, including drinking diet soda, in moderation.


Yours in health,

Dr. Liliya, M.D.