We have grown into the habit of always ordering or buying soda – whether diet or regular. We guzzle those drinks down with almost every meal and sometimes in the middle of the day as “refreshers”. They taste great and give us a surge of energy; but how could they possibly affect our health?
First of all, each soda, whether diet or regular, contains insane amounts of sugar – usually written as the ingredient “high fructose corn syrup” or “aspartame” in diet sodas. When we drink this often, it not only increases our body fat, but also our cholesterol level and triglycerides, which causes obesity. The sugar in sodas spike insulin levels that lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, and of course premature aging. The sugar content in each Coca Cola can that is 355ml equals to 10 cubes of sugar, which comes to around 3 tablespoons of sugar.
We then turn to diet soda thinking it might be “healthier” and that it contains “zero calories” and therefore there will be no harm to us. In diet soda, aspartame is used instead as the chemical substitute of sugar. It saves us the 140-plus calories we would find in a sugary soda while still satisfying our urge for something sweet with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose. But there’s more to this chemical cocktail than meets the eye. Diet soda commercials also claim that it may aid in our weight loss because of their “low sugar content” when in fact they might have a worse impact on our health than regular soda.
The chemicals in diet sodas are very addictive, which is why we get hooked on them and crave them more. Aspartame poses many serious health problems and side effects such as brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders, tooth and bone decay.. etc. Soft drinks also contain high levels of phosphoric acid, which may lead to the development of kidney stones and other renal problems. In general, caffeinated drinks cause jitters/shaking, insomnia, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and vitamin and mineral depletion. All these drinks have no nutritional value whatsoever.
Fear not if you think you cannot give up these drinks. There are many other alternatives that can actually be healthier for you. Try mixing it up a little with your water by adding in berries, cucumbers, mint leaves, lemons, and any other zesty flavors that you like. Let this sit in the fridge for about an hour to soak up the flavor and then sip on it before, during, or after your meals. You can even drink this throughout the day. This is what we usually call detox water. This drink helps eliminate any extra waste and will aid in your digestion.
Can’t give up your lust for the frizz? Drink sparkling water instead and you can also add fruits just like with detox water. If you want iced tea, make it at home. Just buy fresh tea leaves, boil it, and then let it cool down. You may then add ice cubes and fresh mint or lemons or even fruits for zest and freshness.
So, there you have it, all the harm that soft drinks cause and how you can switch up and quit this damaging habit for better and healthier options.