Healthy Soft Drinks?

Healthy Soft Drinks?

Sound a little oxymoronic to you?  Soft drink companies are doing whatever they can to keep your business amongst the bombarding of natural juice and energy drink companies, even down to making soft drinks sound like part of a balanced diet.  According to the marketing messages, added vitamins and minerals make the carbonated beverages more functional.  But do they?  Read on to learn more:

1.  Keeping in mind that beverages are one of the causes of overweight and obese problems in most kids and adults, sodas claiming to be loaded with extra vitamins and minerals still fall into that category.  While we can certainly balance our calorie intake by cutting back on deserts and foods with added sugars in order to counter-balance for drinking the soda, most of us don\’t which is why we pack on the pounds.  In fact most Americans get 22% of their calories from beverages which is far more than recommended since we should be drinking water with our meals and making a sweetened beverage an occasional treat.

2.  Many consumers are turning away from regular sodas and choosing diet sodas, but there is very little evidence that diet sodas help people lose weight.  Studies suggest that people use diet drinks to justify eating more calories, making the effort completely pointless.  However, experts do agree that low- or no-calorie soft drinks are better than sugary regular sodas as long as the diet version is not a license to add more calories from other foods.  On the other hand, diet soft drinks are helpful for you if you are hooked on regular sodas and trying to wean yourself off the sugary beverages.

3.  The additives in some of the new sodas (even if they sound extra healthy) are either unnecessary or are added in such small quantities that they don\’t do anything for your health.

You should choose beverages with nothing artificial added, such as real fruit juice, tea sweetened with honey, or a glass of sparkling water sweetened with real fruit juice. Gain your nutrients from real foods and drinks with few preservatives or added ingredients.

Always read the label if you are unsure of the nutritional content of any food or drink.  According the the American Heart Association (AHA), the recommended daily sugar intake that is not harmful for the body, are 36 grams or 9 teaspoons for men, 20 grams or 5 teaspoons for women, and 12 grams or 3 teaspoons for children. Of course soft drinks have no place in the diets of children 11 and under; they need so many important nutrients for growth and development, there is little room for soft drinks unless they are extremely active — and even then it should only be an occasional treat.

Have a healthy week!

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