Any time I use the words "soda" and "study" in the same sentence, it's never good news for soda. I can't recall a single study that shows soda benefits anything other than the bank accounts of the people who sell it.
And the latest research is no exception.
A new look at data on 42,883 men between the ages of 40 and 75 finds that those who drank the most sugary drinks had a 20 percent higher risk of a heart attack during the 22-year study -- a link that held even after adjusting for risk factors such as smoking, activity levels and a family history of heart problems.
What's more, the researchers found that for each serving of a sugary drink you down in a day -- like one 12-ounce cola -- your risk of cardiovascular disease is boosted by 19 percent.
In addition, the men who drank the most sugary drinks also had lower levels of HDL cholesterol -- that's the good stuff -- and higher levels of deadly triglycerides.
Think that's bad? Hold on -- because the study in Circulation gets even worse: Men who drank the most soda had the highest levels of C-reactive protein, or CRP. That's an inflammation marker that can mean anything from heart disease to cancer to an autoimmune disorder.
But none of this should be surprising, since all of these problems have been linked to sugar before -- and drinks are one of the biggest sources of sugar in the modern diet.
A single can of soda, for example, has roughly 40 grams of the sweet stuff. That's like going to Starbucks and ordering a "tall" (or what the rest of us call a "small") 12-ounce coffee... and putting 10 sugars into it.
It's an insane amount of sugar.
For some incredible visuals on just how much of it is in each can, bottle, and Big Gulp, check out the images on the "Sugar Stacks" website.
All that sweet stuff is bound to play havoc with your body. Along with all the risks I mentioned earlier, even a moderate soda habit can cause your blood sugar levels to spike -- eventually leading to metabolic syndrome and even diabetes.
Don't fall into the trap of thinking you'll be any safer switching to diet either. Other studies have found that diet soda drinkers actually gain weight -- and at least one study linked diet soft drinks to an increased heart risk of its own, along with an increased risk of stroke.
I'm not done with soda yet -- keep reading for more.