Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Soda addiction? Four reasons to cut back or cut it out of your diet!

Four years ago I went cold turkey.  I decided that drinking three or four Diet Cokes a day was not a very healthy thing to be doing.  Do you realize what sodas are doing to your body?

Whether you call it a soft drink, soda, pop, soda pop or simply a coke, here are just four reasons to consider removing sodas from your diet or at the very least- cut back.

Tooth Enamel Damage - Aside from the obvious reasons why regular, sugary sodas damage the enamel on your teeth, consider that sodas are very acidic.  That acid wears down tooth enamel which is so very important in protecting our teeth from plaque and cavities.

Bone Loss
Sodas in general have no calcium nor any healthful nutrients.  By substituting milk with just one serving of your daily liquid intake, it can increase your calcium intake which protects your bones.  And if you're a regular soda drinker, they create even more concern for healthy bones because regular sodas contain high levels of phosphate.  At first blush, it would seem that lots of phosphates would be good for our bones since healthy bone growth requires both calcium and phosphate, but in reality too much phosphate and little calcium is detrimental to bone growth.

Kidney Damage
A 2009 study on the effects of diet cola on kidneys in women reported that  the consumption of two or more daily servings of artificially sweetened soda increases a woman's odds two-fold for a decline in kidney function. 

Weight Gain/Weight Loss 
I throw these two in together because we likely know that regular soda is sugary, empty calories that can cause weight gain, but drinking Diet sodas doesn't help you lose weight either.  Many scientists believe that diet sodas not only don't help with weight loss but, quite possibly, have the opposite effect.  While your body is expecting that sugar content from the sugary diet soda taste, it actually gets none and a liquid with little to no nutritional value which leaves you still hungry or thirsty.  Many scientists also have reported that those who drink Diet sodas tend to over-eat because they feel like they've "saved" calories by drinking a diet soda and can, therefore, splurge - eating more calories during meals or snacks.

Other factors to consider and explore are: What is all that carbonation doing to your body?  Have you looked at the label on that soda?  What ingredients does it contain?  Are they all chemical in nature?  What impact do those ingredients have on your body?  And how many empty soda calories are you consuming a day?

I think we all are well aware that water is the BEST option.  If you work at home, fellow blogger Jan Udlock's post, can give you an idea to ensure you're drinking water all day while you're working as well as some key reminders about the importance role water plays in our body.

I realize that by suggesting you ditch the soda, that I'm quite possibly proposing a complete lifestyle change.  But even if you're like me and you "kick the soda habit" but fall off the wagon a  few times a year, you're at least making a significant impact on making your body a little healthier. And it's all about baby steps!

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