Even if you're not trying to lose weight, it may not be a good idea to drink too many sugary beverages.
A new study has found that two or more sugar-sweetened beverages a day may boost a woman's risk for developing heart disease and diabetes.
Middle-aged women who drank two or more sugary drinks a day compared to just one were almost four times as likely to have high levels of dangerous blood fats called triglycerides and impaired blood sugar levels — often referred to as prediabetes.
Researchers also found women who specifically drank two or more sodas a day had more belly fat, but didn't necessarily weigh more.
Still, belly fat can pose as a greater health risk than fat in other areas of the body by producing hormones and other substances that affect blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin production.
Medical experts agree that limiting or eliminating sugary drinks like soda from our diet is one of the easiest ways to improve our health, as one cardiologist explained:
"Our soda habit is something we have total control over. There are a lot of things that keep us healthy that are hard work and difficult, but cutting back on sweetened drinks isn't one of them. We are not talking about doing an hour of exercise or buying expensive organic foods. Simple dietary choices can have a critical role in determining risk for cardiovascular disease."
Innerestingly enough, men seem to excluded from this risk category. Nobody seems to completely agree why, but it could have something to do with body mass and caloric intake.
Since women's bodies typically do not require as many calories as men's to run efficiently, researchers suggest a 130-calorie soda accounts for a bigger chunk of a woman's daily energy.
Tags: belly fat, beverages, calories, cardiology, diabetes, drinks, heart disease, research, soda, study, sugar, weight