Third Pillar of Health- Do Not Drink Soda Pop
Stop drinking soda, they are loaded with sugar. Few people know that one 12 oz. can (330 ml) of cola has between 7 to 10 teaspoons (32-50 grams) of sugar and contains about 100-150 calories. A 32 ounce (946 ml) soft drink, like those from a fast food restaurant, has up to 400 calories and 18-30 (90-150 grams) teaspoons of sugar.
To put this in perspective, if we were to measure all the sugar present in a person’s blood, about 5.5 liters to be exact, there would be around 2 teaspoons of sugar present, total. In other words, one soda contains 4 to 5 times more sugar than is circulating in one’s blood. The body has to work hard to eliminate all the extra sugar. Most of it will be stored as fat, with the assistance of insulin.
What about no calorie soda (i.e Diet Coke, Coca Cola Light, Pepsi Light)?
Most diet soda has aspartame (NutraSweet), an artificial sweetener that increases one’s appetite and ultimately results in weight gain. Some studies show this artificial sweetener increases high blood pressure, risk for kidney disease, heart disease and may increase systemic inflammation. In addition, when consumed by young girls, may lead to an early period, a term doctors call menarche.
Be cautious with energy drinks (Red Bull, Hi Tiger, Monster, Rockstar) as the caffeine levels can be dangerous, especially for children. They can also negatively affect their brains. In adults, the high levels of caffeine can elevate blood pressure.
Drink more water, either filtered or distilled. If you like the bubbles, naturally flavored carbonated water is a great option.
Also, consider black coffee, herbal tea, unsweetened ice tea or kombucha tea. (Kombucha was named after a Korean doctor named Kombu around 415 AD, who treated an ill Japanese Emperor with a fermented tea or cha).
There are also some colas which use stevia as a sweetener. Stevia is an artificial sweetener option that appears to have a good safety profile. If you do consume a cola, do so vary rarely or on special occasions.