It’s hot outside and many of us reach for a cold soft drink. But can soft drinks quench thirst? Yes and no, and there’s probably a better way to satisfy that need.
Soft drinks go down so fast that there is little time for your brain to alert you that you’re consuming calories. How many? One can of soda a day can lead to a fifteen-pound weight gain in one year. And if you drink multiple soft drinks in one day, think how many pounds you’re adding each year!
Not too long ago, an interesting study was done illustrating how unaware we are of soft drink calories. Young adults were given an extra 450 calories a day for four weeks. In one group these calories came from soft drinks. In another group the calories came from jellybeans. Study participants eating the jellybeans unconsciously cut calories from other sources in their diet and generally managed to maintain their weight. When the extra calories came from soft drinks, the participants continued their normal calorie intake and, of course, they gained weight.
Calories from beverages on average account for 1 of every 5 calories in the American diet, and soft drinks alone are the source of 33 percent of all added sugars. Sugar-sweetened soft drinks contribute 7.1% of the total calories and represent the largest single food source of calories in the U.S. diet.
It’s even worse with teenagers — more than 12% of their total calories come from soft drinks.
Have you ever looked at the ingredients in a typical soft drink? There are no vitamins, fiber, beta or alpha carotene and no lutein. In fact, the crucial nutrients that we’re always talking about, nutrients found in SuperFoods, are hard to find in any of the most popular soft drinks. In other words, soft drinks contain a lot of calories with little or no nutrition! Remember the SuperFoodsRx mantra: Low calorie but nutrient dense. That’s one of the keys to a healthy life. Most soft drinks are high calorie and nutrient deficient!
If you’re craving a refreshing and sweet bubbly drink, try mixing sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice. You’ll probably find this drink to be even more refreshing, not to mention healthier, on a hot summer day.