The Health Effects of Soda Can Be Counteracting By Walking...A Lot

We all know soda is bad for you — not to mention addicting. But it turns out that people who want to stay healthy can still drink soda as long as they are also highly active. So does this mean we can all uncap that can of soda and chug away? Well...sort of. But you have to be willing to walk 12,000 steps every day.

The original problem with most soda is that it's sweetened with lots of high fructose corn syrup (unless, of course, you're buying one of those weird brands you can find in Whole Foods). Fructose, unlike plain sugar, is metabolized in the liver, resulting in a lot of fatty acid, which sometimes stays in your liver and can cause major liver problems. And the fatty acid that goes into the blood stream can wreak havoc on a person's metabolism, resulting in a higher risk of diabetes.

In other words, soda's calories aren't really what make it unhealthy because — surprise — health is about more than calories.

Still, this new study from Syracuse University suggests that staying active can cancel out not only the calories in soda, but also the effects of high fructose corn syrup on the body by changing the way your body processes fructose. But to see those results, you have to be really active. Based on the research, if you want to counteract the effects of two servings of fructose via soda every day (the amount consumed by an average American), you have to also walk about 12,000 steps every day. To put that into context, 12,000 steps is about six miles. The average American walks only 5,117 steps in a day. Meaning that in order to counteract the effects of our soda intake, Americans would have to more than double the amount we walk.

Obviously, it's best of all to just eat foods that, unlike soda, are high in nutrients and don't have tons of negative consequences you need to counteract in the first place. But hey, soda is yummy. And if you're like me and happen to love it, it's nice to know that there are things you can do to keep yourself healthy without giving up one of your favorite beverages. By staying active, you can change the way your body processes the ingredients found in soda, side stepping some of the nastier effects of long-term soda consumption without having to switch to any of those weird tasting Whole Foods brands.

So drink up, fellow soda fiends! And keep walking.