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Are You a Soda Addict?

Part of being conscious of your health is paying attention to what you put into your body! It’s no secret that soda and other sugary drinks are not good for you. But, the sale of these drinks – including juice and sports drinks – still remains somewhere around the 9 billion cases per year mark. That’s a lot of soda! So, even if you know it’s not good for you, why do you still do it?

The Facts

Sodas and other sweetened drinks are the largest source of added sugar in the diet of most Americans. In fact, over the last 50 years there’s been a 500% increase in amount of these beverages consumed by an average American. They are full of empty calories and have been linked to weight gain in children and adults. They also put people at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other ailments.

The real kicker is that fruit juice and sports drinks are marketed as “healthier” options to soda, but in reality they often contain more sugar and more calories than a can of soda does.

What about Sugar Free Options?

Artificial sweeteners are used in a variety of drinks on the market today. And while most of these drinks may be low calorie or calorie-free they have been found through research to have a negative impact on your health. In fact, studies have found that aspartame leads to increased intake of calories. This is thought to occur because your body is still stimulated to release insulin by the aspartame, and that makes you hungrier in the long run. So, a diet beverage may make you think you’re being healthier, but in reality it’s defeating your weight loss attempts.

Is Sugar Addictive?

Cavemen didn’t sit around in their caves drinking liquid sugar all day. In fact, our bodies aren’t really made to handle such large quantities of sugar at once. You can still find, however, that you crave a soda or other sweetened drink. Why? This is because once your body gets used to drinking sweetened drinks it will prefer them and make the other unsweetened options less palatable to you. So, in a way sugar is addictive to your taste buds and maybe even your brain. But, if you can make it through an initial withdrawal period then the cravings will eventually go away.

How to Quit

There are few steps you can take to cut out unhealthy sugary drinks from your diet. First, eat your fruit and don’t drink it! Also make a choice to stop drinking the sweetened drinks and stick with it through the cravings. They will get better and your body will be much better off without them!

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Pauline Kletti

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