Unless you have been living under a rock, you know soda has no nutritional value and is bad for you. Both of the hosts of Earrings Off know this. Only one host has effectively eliminated soda from her everyday life. Ok, why is everyone glaring at me?! I have already professed to knowingly eating and drinking stuff that I know is bad for me. An article I recently read confirmed the bad stuff (https://www.beaumont.org/health-wellness/blogs/6-reasons-to-stop-drinking-soda):
· Increased weight gain due to sugar
· Acid in soda can irritate your stomach lining’ causing heartburn and acid reflux
· Acid in soda can erode tooth enamel and encourage decay
· Acid may make it more difficult absorb calcium which may cause osteoporosis
· Caffeine in soda acts as diuretic and can cause dehydration
When I read the article, the information was not new to me. Again, I am married to health nut Nashid and I work with health nut Teresa: blah, blah, blah. However, while I still make some bad choices about what I eat and drink, I do take steps to improve my health by making changes that minimize the negative impact of those choices. For years, I routinely drank most of my daily calories by consuming soda, sweet tea or lemonade. I wish I was exaggerating, but sadly I am not. Back then, I typically drank three glasses of sugary, calorie-laden drinks at both lunch and dinner.
In the last two years I have made a real effort to drink them less. I still drink cola, sweet tea and lemonade. The small changes I made may help you better control your liquid caloric intake and keep some of the negative impact of those drinks at bay. Those changes are:
· I decided that I would not switch to diet drinks after learning about the harmful ingredients in diet sodas and how they can increase your craving for sweets. Research shows that consuming diet drinks has been linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia and stroke (www.insider.com). While I could adjust to the taste of diet drinks I decided that I wouldn’t knowingly “adjust” to anything that I had determined was bad for me. It would be like me trading one bad habit for another.
· I gave myself permission to drink soda, tea or lemonade so long as before lunch or dinner, I drank water first.
· If I eat at a restaurant I order my drink after my entree arrives. Before I made these changes I would drink at least one full glass (sometimes two) before my food arrived. I would then have at least one or two more glasses with my meal.
· Since the drink only arrives after I start eating my meal, I am feeling pretty satiated by then and usually just want one glass. On the occasions when I want another glass, I give myself permission to have another glass, after I drink some water. I find that many times, I no longer want another drink after drinking the water.
While these steps may seem like they are small, believe me: they are. That’s why they work. Making small changes can add up to improved health overall. Give them a try!