Welcome back to my ‘DO ONE THING’ series, where we’re taking a look at small changes we can make for great health! Today, we’re talking about one of the easiest but most impactful changes you can make for your health: cutting out soda.
Sodas are a staple of the Standard American Diet. Once considered a treat for a special occasion, it’s not uncommon for the average American to be sipping on a Coke from late morning until bedtime. Beverages, no matter what they are, are always a sneaky source of calories and ingredients that can ruin your health, and sodas are among the worst!
First of all, sodas are sweetened, most often, by high fructose corn syrup. This highly addictive substance has direct links to obesity and weight gain. If you’re diligent enough to find a soda that has been sweetened with real sugar, that is better- but the amount of sugar you’re consuming is astronomical and still linked to significant health problems!
So maybe the answer is diet soda? Not a chance. If you missed last week’s ‘DO ONE THING’ post on artificial sweeteners, you can read that HERE. Diet soda is just another alternative that is horrible for your health!
In addition to the issues with sweeteners in sodas, there’s also many artificial flavors and colors. Artificial flavor is a code word for chemical ingredient that tastes like something familiar. ‘Natural flavor’ is even more deceptive, referring to anything that could be natural, not necessarily the ingredient you assume it may be. My favorite example is natural raspberry flavor, taken from a beaver’s anal glands. See this hilarious video from FOOD BABE.
Artificial coloring may seem harmless, but more and more suspicion is being raised around food dyes. While you and I might think of those little droppers that our moms used to color frosting when we were kids, this is more like a toxic chemical- though used in small amounts, they can have big effects on our health. Many parents are now connecting ADD/ADHD symptoms in their children’s behavior with food dyes- red in particular.
So, what should we drink instead? Well, water is a great option. But if you’re still craving that fizzy flavor, here’s a few great things to switch to:
KOMBUCHA– This delicious fizzy concoction is basically fermented sweet tea,sometime with juices or other flavorings added. There are so many health benefits to kombucha that it’s almost hard to grasp… you can read all about kombucha here!
KEFIR– Similar to kombucha, kefir can come in “milk” form (almost like liquid yogurt) or “water” form (similar to kombucha- almost like a soda). The health benefits are similar as well!
TEA– Herbal teas can provide any number of flavors and an even wider variety of health benefits, depending on the herbs involved. Swapping out soda and replacing with tea is a great move for your health!