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The Verdict on the Worst Sodas You Can Drink, Straight From Dietitians

While none of them are good for you, these are the worst of the bunch.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

There's little debate over whether or not soda is good for you. Doctors, dietitians, nutritionists, and even your dentist will tell you the same thing: it simply isn't. Drinking soda has been linked to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and even cognitive decline.

However, not all sodas are created equal when it comes to your health. Read on to discover which ones are the worst of the bunch, according to dietitians. And if you want to make better dietary choices, check out Eating Habits to Lose Abdominal Fat As You Age, Say Dietitian.

Mountain Dew

mountain dew bottle

It's not just the highlighter color that should tip you off to the fact that drinking Mountain Dew is doing no favors for your health.

"The worst soda for your health is likely Mountain Dew since it contains even more added sugar than many other sodas on the market," says Claudia Hleap, MS, RD, founder, and owner of Hleap Nutrition. "The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to 25 grams per day for women and 36 grams per day for men. A single 12-oz. can of Mountain Dew contains 46 grams of added sugar," Hleap adds.

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Grape Fanta

fanta grape
Courtesy of Fanta

Just because it has fruit in its name doesn't mean Grape Fanta is a healthy choice.

"A 12-oz. serving contains 170 calories and 44 grams of sugar. This sugar is all added sugar and meets 88% of the daily value. 44 grams of sugar equals 11 teaspoons!" says Becky Kerkenbush, MS, RD-AP, CSG, CD, FAND, an advanced practice dietitian and president of the Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Regular Coke

bottle of coca-cola

Coke may be a classic, but experts say it's as bad as any soda when it comes to your health.

"Coca-Cola can increase one's risk for osteoporosis," says Michelle Rauch, MS, RDN.

"Many of these soft drinks contain phosphorus (often listed as 'phosphoric acid' or 'phosphate') which increase the calcium excretion in your urine," Rauch explains. "If one's calcium intake is low, and there is a high intake of phosphorus-laden beverages, it puts someone at high risk for low bone density, increased risk of fractures, and osteoporosis."

Turns Out, Soda is Even Worse For You Than We Thought

Pepsi Zero Sugar

pepsi zero sugar
Courtesy of Pepsi

It's not just sugary sodas you have to watch out for. Rauch says that Pepsi Zero Sugar is a particularly bad choice for your health, too.

"Pepsi Zero Sugar has one of the highest amounts of caffeine at 69 mg. in a 12-oz. serving," says Rauch. "The caffeine in soda can interfere with calcium absorption and lead to bone loss when consumed frequently therefore it is important to ensure your diet includes an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D to mitigate the risk."

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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more about Sarah
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