Monday, June 27, 2011

Soda or Pop?

I think it is important to be educated on what we put in our bodies. This education might not lead us to completely change our diet, which is fine. But it should lead us to think things through a bit more and really analyze what is going in. So, today I will hit on some main points from this article on soda and how it can create some major health problems. 

Depending on where you are from, some call it soda, others call it pop. Whatever you do call it, you should know what you are drinking before naming it. This fizzy drink lacks nutritional value, but what you will get are caffeine, carbonation, simple sugars, fructose or, even worse, sugar substitutes along with food additives such as artificial coloring, flavoring and preservatives.

The problem is, what once used to be a "treat" or a "once in a while" drink, is now consumed everyday all day. This isn't good. An abundance of research is attributing this increase in soft drink consumption to numerous health problems including nutritional depletion, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, the formation of kidney stones and more. Fruit juice is also being implicated in weight gain and other health issues, and some believe it should be eliminated from your diet right along with soda.

 At the top of the list of harmful ingredients is sugar...and plenty of it! To give you an idea of how much, consider this: the recommendation from the USDA for sugar consumption for a 2,000-calorie diet is 10 teaspoons of added sugars a day. Many 12-ounce soft drinks contain nearly 10 teaspoons of sugar alone, which is the maximum allotment for your entire day in just one can!  

Here is the thing...our bodies can only handle so much sugar. 
"After your body receives a large amount of sugar at once, your pancreas goes to work producing and releasing insulin. In time, however, your body may be unable to keep up with the demands for excess insulin, and your cells can also become increasingly resistant to it, putting you at risk of diabetes.
This sugar overindulgence can also end up being stored as fat in your body, resulting in increased risk for obesity, heart disease and cancer."

A study found that women who drank three or more regular cola-based drinks a day experienced almost four percent loss of mineral bone density in the hip, compared to women who drank non-cola drinks that didn't show any bone density loss.
It just so happens that those harmless looking, tingly bubbles on the surface of soft drinks contain phosphoric acid, the culprit to severely depleting blood calcium levels, the essential component that makes up the bone structure. As these calcium levels become depleted over the years they can eventually drop to the point of irreversible damage to your overall bone mass and density.

According to a major study of 51,603 women over a four-year period, those who drank one serving of soda or fruit punch a day tended to gain much more weight and had an over 80 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who drank less than one serving of soda a month.
The average weight gain of women who drank a sweet drink a day was over 10 pounds compared to those who consumed less than one a month that gained under three pounds.

 Also, beware of that juice you are handing your kiddos. According to research, grabbing that gallon of juice to fill your child's sippy cup may not be much healthier than giving them a cup of soda. "All of these beverages are largely the same. They are 100 percent sugar," Dr. David Ludwig, an expert on pediatric obesity at Children's Hospital Boston, told CBS News. "Juice is only minimally better than soda," he added. Fruit juice also elevates your blood sugar level faster than whole fruit, which may contribute to insulin resistance and even diabetes.

Even though the American Academy of Pediatrics issued guidelines stating that fruit juice shouldn't be given to children under six months of age and to limit juice to 4 to 6 ounces a day for children up to 6 years old, the USDA revealed that 60 percent of 1-year-olds are way past that limit and are drinking 11.5 ounces of juice as part of their daily diet.

Wait...before you go and grab that diet soda, check this out:

Justifying drinking soda by opting for diet or sugar-free versions as the better alternative is not the answer, as one study showed that drinking any kind of soda, whether it was diet or regular, resulted in a 30 percent increased likelihood of gaining weight around the midsection.
In both drinks, caffeine is also a troubling culprit because of its ability to deplete your body of calcium and act as a stimulant to the central nervous system increasing stress levels and cases of insomnia. As mentioned earlier, there is also a risk of osteoporosis due to the bubbles containing phosphoric acid that severely decrease blood calcium levels, a structural component of bones and teeth.

And before you reach for your next can of diet soda consider this:
  • Studies found that drinking diet soda stimulates the brain, increases sugar cravings and encourages poor food choices
  • Diet soda is filled with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose or saccharin that have been linked to harmful side effects and actually activate sugar cravings by disrupting your body's ability to accurately assess the amount of calories being consumed -- thus putting cravings into overdrive
  So let's all be a little more aware of our bodies and what they need. An occasional drink won't kill you, that is for sure. But there are so many better options for our every day health needs!

 ~Do you call it Pop or Soda?
~Check out this inspirational runner's story!



  1. I was raised on diet soda and was so sad to hear that it might not be helping matters any more than a regular soda ... I am addicted after all :) I live in Atlanta. We call it Coke. No matter what it is (sprite, fanta orange, dr. pepper), it is "coke".

  2. Utah = pop. I justify by drinking diet although I know it's no better for me (and possibly worse). Woops.

  3. I definitely call it soda - I'm an east coast girl through and through ;)

  4. I've always called it pop but we don't drink it. I never really did as a kid either...once in a blue moon. We are water drinkers around here. :) My kids have had pop once or twice though.

  5. It's all called coke here in Atlanta where Coke is located. LOL Even a Dr. Pepper will be called a coke. I don't get it really either.

    And I will NOT give M soda. She gets juice like once in a blue moon at parties where they serve it to the kids. I just don't get why people can't focus on water and milk? They're plenty for kids! I also have cut down on my soda consumption plenty over the years. It never was more than one can of diet a day...but now its maybe a glass with dinner when we're out to eat once a month.


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