With the exception of a food and beverage executive whose annual bonus depends on it, I don’t think anyone would argue that drinking soda is anything but bad for you from a nutrition perspective. Most know that the average sugar intake from drinking soda and the weight gain associated within the US is astounding and more than a bit frightening. The consumption of carbonated beverages equates to the highest proportion of calories in the average American Diet (“Liquid Candy” – Center for Science in the Public Interest). There’s also been a lot written about health risks associated with drinking diet sodas. I must admit that I allow myself a Diet Coke from time to time as one of my “health vices.” However, I’ve recently heard a lot of experts talking about what we should be drinking, and it seems that most would agree that water should be the beverage of choice 95%+ of the time. Some would add up to 2 glasses of red wine/day, many would advocate green tea, and others would even support up to two cups of coffee a day. Most experts don’t even support drinking fruit juices, because of the high sugar content and reduced health benefits (because tmuch of the ‘good stuff’ needs to be chewed) and would say “eat your fruit”, don’t drink it.
I’m trying to drink a lot more water, and do enjoy 1 to 2 cups of coffee per day. Recently, I have reduced my intake of Diet Coke, although I must admit I still have one from time to time. What may be the tipping point to dramatically reduce my diet soda intake (or eliminate it), is an article that I just read an article from Men’s Health (posted on Yahoo!Health) titled “3 Surprising Reasons to Give Up Soda.”
In addition, I found a great blog post from Jonah Lehrer that made some very strong points. Lehrer points to facts supporting the notion that drinking diet soda actually tends to increase the number of calories one consumes (in an ironic, potentially weight gaining twist). These are provocative and compelling reasons for anyone to consider giving up soda, and my Diet Coke indulgence may become a very rare experience indeed.
Some water sounds pretty good right now.
Small steps add up!