JUST WATER, PLEASE

America has a drinking problem.  The average soda drinking American consumes 44.7 gallons of soft drinks every year.  And it does not matter what soft drink you choose.  So, how much is 44.7 gallons?  It is about how much water it would take to fill a small kiddie pool and Americans drink that every year!

Now we all have read that drinking too much soda is not good for you and can lead to America’s growing problem with obesity.  But there are a few shocking facts that might just have you drinking more water.

Fact #1   Soda can fatten your organs.  A recent Danish study revealed that drinking soda leads to a dramatic increase in dangerous hard-to-detect fats.  The study included participants drinking equal amounts of soda, milk, diet soda and water every day for six months.  Total fat intake was equal for all those drinking the beverages but the regular soda drinkers experienced a dramatic increase in harmful fats including liver fat and skeletal fat.  And there was an 11% increase in cholesterol for those drinking soda compared to those drinking milk or water.  And those drinking diet soda were at additional risks as artificial sweeteners have been linked to brain cell damage,  hyperactivity and diabetes.  And you thought you were being smart by choosing diet sodas!

Fact #2   Soda contains flame retardants.  Some of the most popular soda brands, especially Mountain Dew, contain brominated vegetable oil which is a toxic flame retardant that is used to keep the artificial flavoring from separating from the rest of the liquid.  This ingredient is often listed as BVO and can cause skin lesions, memory loss and nerve disorders. 

Fact #3  Drinking soda makes you a test subject.  Many sodas contain man-made ingredients like high fructose corn syrup.  These ingredients come from a genetically or artifically engineered food source.  So what’s wrong with that?  Genetically engineered foods have only been in our foods since the 1990s so we don’t know the possible long term health impacts yet.  But ask yourself this, and be honest,  does it sound like Americans are getting healthier or not healthier since 1990?  What has changed in our diets since 1990?

There are no health benefits to drinking any soda…..diet, caffeine-free or regular.  Soda can add to tooth decay, obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

So, what is the best alternative to quench your thirst for something sweet?  Try natural tea sweetened with a little mint or honey.  Or fruit juice is a good choice.  Fruit juice does have added sweeteners but far less then soda.

Or, just ask for water, please.