You run into soft drinks at parties, restaurants and when you are received by people at their homes. So much so that it is, in fact, rather tough to lose their trail.
To make matters worse soft drinks are highly addictive. And unhealthy. They contain lots and lots of sugar and caffeine. Even the diet ‘sugarless’ drinks contain artificial enhancers that wreak havoc on your health.
So, if you are looking for a starting point, to gain control of your health and lose weight, you might try skipping the sugar-laden soft drinks. Cutting back on soda could be particularly advantageous for people who are already struggling with managing their weight. Even for those of us who are emotional binge eaters, ditching the soda could be a great step in reducing the spikes in the blood sugar, moodiness and additional calorie intake. When you eliminate the soft drink from your diet, you also break the junk food habit!
Skip that soft drink
Beware: the much beloved and refreshing soda is laden with sugars! Which means it tracks extra calories without providing any nutrition or dietary goodness. It cannot make you feel satiated, nor can it keep you satiated for long.
The sugars in the soda are associated with enhancing the triglyceride levels and bad cholesterol in your body leading to chronic cardiovascular issues. The sugars are also associated with spikes in blood sugar levels and therefore developing insulin resistance and diabetes.
For weight watchers the soft drink is an especially poor choice of food. It has been known as a primary cause for obesity and other health disorders.
Ditch the ‘diet’ soda
The ‘diet’ or ‘sugarless’ sodas are a great lure among the health conscious. However, for considerations of health and wellness, the diet soda too will need ditching.
These products tend to have a ‘halo’ effect, often making us feel like we can have more as means of compensation (“I had a diet soda, so the cheese on the nachos won’t matter”) This leads to people eating larger portions or unhealthy foods.
The artificial sweeteners in the diet soda interfere with the bacteria in the gut. This has been known to impact gut health and immunity. Consuming zero-calorie sweeteners can have a reverse effect making people hungrier for complementing sugary junk foods.
Impacts to health
Consuming soft drinks regularly and often can have serious health ramifications. For example, on kidney function. The kidneys have to work extra hard in flushing out toxins from the body and balancing the skewed blood pressure. The pancreas too has to keep up and generate enough insulin to process the sugar.
Soft drinks have been known to cause fibroids and stones in the kidneys as well as the gallbladder. They trigger urinary tract infection and bladder inflammation.
The nerves and blood vessels that carry the sugar-spiked blood, are prone to getting worn-down, and lose their tenacity and strength. Bones have been known to become brittle, enhancing your risk of fractures. There is also yellowing of teeth when natural enamel is lost due to the acidity of the drink.
What to drink instead
The sound advice is to drink plentiful water. Yes, plain H2O is sufficient in keeping you hydrated and healthy. However, if it sounds a little boring on its own, be sure to mix it up a bit!
Seltzer and sparkling water are greatly refreshing for their bubbles. And they can be easily combined with fresh fruits, lime and juice for variety and taste. Green tea, herbal tea, unsweetened smoothie, fruit blends and coconut water are also great fluids to replace soft drinks.
DIY infused waters work great as instant hydration. Infuse lime, mint, cucumber, orange or any flavour of your choice into fresh water. Carry the concoction in a bottle as you go.