Okay, I have a feeling this is not going to be something many people want to hear. Folks love their soda. I have a cola lover on one hand and orange pop lover on the other. Trust me, my son and daughter are getting the soda pop lecture, too. I am not a soda drinker so this will be no problem for me. (Now tell me all the reasons for giving up chocolate and I’ll nod my head in agreement while putting another chocolate kiss in my mouth. I guess we all have vices.)
We have been told that drinking soda pop, the non – diet varieties can cause cavities and unwanted weight gain. In California there was a campaign targeting parents educating them on the dental and weight problems that children can experience from soda drinking. Non – calorie soda pop may not cause weight gain and dental caries, but like its sugar loaded cousin, there are other possible non-healthy things to think about.
The average can of soda pop has 150 calories and 40 grams of sugar per 12 ounce can. What’s in a soft drink? Try some phosphoric acid and caffeine. These two chemicals can drain your body’s calcium stores and natural fluids. Calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth and caffeine is a diuretic. So while drinking soda you may be losing essential fluid, possibly getting dehydrated. Soft drinks also contain sodium which in addition to what you take in from your food, may tip you over the recommended 2500 mgs. Of sodium per day. And, chances are you might even skip on water, milk, or fruit and vegetable juices because soda takes the place of you daily intake.
Last but not least, studies have shown that due to our nation’s high soda pop intake, including diet versions, more and more people are developing “metabolic syndrome.” What’s that, you say? It is a condition that increases a person’s risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Other research shows that soda pop contributes to kidney problems, dental decay, osteoporosis, and even cancer.
So what can be done to “kick the can”? Try these ideas:
Water. Good old fashioned water. The average person needs to drink 8 to 10 – 8 oz. glass a day. Water intake does not have any negative side effects. Water is boring, you say? Try jazzing it up with a squeeze of lemon and a hint of honey. I work with people who put fresh fruit in their water to flavor it without a ton of extra calories.
Fruit spritzers. If you are in the mood for something fizzy, mix 100% fruit juice with club soda.
Wean off soda step by step. Eliminate a can of pop out of your daily intake for a week or two. Then drop down 1 more can until you are off the soda habit.
You will be glad you did “kick the can”. You’ll feel better and your body will thank you.