We all know that soda isn't the healthiest thing to drink, but most of us are unaware of just how dangerous this beverage can be to our health. As it turns out, the dangers of drinking soda go way beyond damaging your teeth.

These dangers even go beyond the weight gain drinking too much soda is guaranteed to cause. Because as one unfortunate New Zealand mother of eight found out: drinking too much soda can literally be deadly.

I'm talking about Natasha Harris, a mother of eight who suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 31. But while it's sad, that's not the crazy part of this story...

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The crazy part is this quote that came from the coroner David Crerar:

"I find that, when all of the available evidence is considered, were it not for the consumption of very large quantities of Coke by Natasha Harris, it is unlikely that she would have died when she died and how she died."

You see, Natasha was addicted to this dangerous soft drink. She was estimated to drink around 2 gallons per day, which meant she consumed an incredible two pounds of sugar and 970 milligrams of caffeine. And this abuse certainly took its toll on her body. It caused her to develop cardiac arrhythmia. The excessive consumption of sugar also caused her to develop liver damage, with fatty deposits found in this important organ. And eventually, it killed her.

Now I admit, this was an extreme example. Most people with bad soda habits won't drink 2 gallons in a single day. And definitely not every day. So no, I'm not trying to scare you into thinking soda will actually kill you. But the reason I highlight this sad story is to show you the damage that drinking soda (and other sugary drinks) can cause.

Because even when you drink them in more realistic amounts, they do cause damage to your health. A study detailed in the May 2012 issue of the American Journal of Nutrition found that those who drink more than one soda per day are at a higher risk of suffering a stroke. This is in addition to the other conditions soda is linked to: diabetes, heart disease, obesity and high cholesterol.

Soda has been shown to damage your intestinal lining. And is a leading cause of gastro-esophageal reflux disease.

Plus ... not only is it bad for your health ... It's almost guaranteed to get you fat! Soda is high in calories. And these calories are the worst kind, as they come almost completely from sugar in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. This simple carbohydrate has no nutritional value and causes your body to release massive amounts of insulin, which send you spiraling into "fat storage mode."

So if you have any intention of living a long healthy life or just want to look good at the beach, the best decision you can make is to cut soda and other sugary drinks out of your diet.

Want even more weight loss tips? Check out the MamásLatinas Weight Loss Group!

Image via Getty Images

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About the author

Ingrid is a holistic health coach, personal trainer, fitness motivator, and wellness author. After finding the key to losing 50 pounds in 90 days, she wants to share how she did it with her free course 9 Simple Secrets I Used to Melt Away 50 Pounds

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