Cutting Out the Soda

Depending on where you live in the country, you might call it pop, Coke, soda or a soft drink. Whatever you call it, we universally know two things about it: it’s not healthy and it’s everywhere. Soda can dramatically impact your blood sugar causing spikes and then lows. But many of us love the taste. So what are we to do?

In 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, people consumed around 94 grams of added sugar a day — roughly two and a half cans of Coke. That exceeds the recommended limit of around 30 grams. That sugar contributes to possible obesity and organ damage. And, almost fifty percent of American adults drink one can of soda a day. Cutting out that can of soda could help people come closer to getting under that limit. Check out the breakdown of sugar by brand. Brace yourself, the comparison of Sprite to Coke might surprise you.

The good news is, soda is on the decline, people are making a change. Many people are switching to bottled water. But, bottled water — while definitely a healthy alternative — may end up costing you unnecessarily in the grocery store. In 2017, the sales of Pepsi went down by four point five percent but sales of Pepsi’s Aquafina brand went up by two point six percent. Investing in a water filter and a reusable bottle might be a better investment. Take a look at the numbers.

Cutting out soda can make a huge difference in both your health and your cost of living, not just for the savings of quitting soda but for your health care costs. Thirty to forty percent of the healthcare costs in the U.S. are paid toward issues linked to the consumption of sugar, according to a Credit Suisse report. Getting the soda out of your pantry can make a big difference to your bottom line as well as your weight.  

But, for those of us who like it, cutting out soda can be hard to do. We might look for a healthy alternative and feel foolish or duped when it turns out they are almost as bad. At this point, most people know that sweet coffee drinks, energy drinks and sugar-loaded teas aren’t great alternatives. However, some secretly unhealthy drinks may surprise you. The breakdown in this article about one of our favorite cocktails is disheartening.

Don’t lose heart just yet, or think that your quest for a healthier drink means never getting any sweet drink again. You still have options. You can make sodas at home and control exactly what goes into it, using either a dash of natural sugars or low/no calorie substitutes. This recipe can use store-bought carbonated water or you can make your own!

When craving something delicious that isn’t soda, you might not be interested in working for it! You want something that’s as easy as soda. Those options sometimes cost money, but, if it’s an occasional treat, that might be acceptable to you. Here are some healthy alternatives. Some, you make at home but they’re so easy it’s a snap. Of course, always take a look at the label to make sure a brand you think is healthy isn’t actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing!

Finally, remember, reducing is a good step. If you aren’t quite ready to give up the Coke, cutting back makes a difference. If you drink a can of Coke a day, and you cut three out per week, that’s one hundred and seventeen grams of sugar you didn’t drink. And that’s a pretty great change!

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