If you like to stop in for a cheap, cold soda at a national food chain (or virtually any restaurant), think about more than just the price and the temperature.
Think about how that cup is holding far more than a safe amount of sugar. Even if it is a small size.
According to researchers for the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CPSI), a small-sized fountain soda contains 65 grams of sugar – 15 grams more than the recommended daily limit of 50 grams (or 12 teaspoons), based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
A medium soda featured one and a half times the amount, while large drinks contained two days’ worth of added sugar.
This can pose a serious risk to your blood sugar levels and heart health. Regular consumption may lead to a higher likelihood of type-2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
Of course, there are diet and sugar-free options. And although they don’t feature a known toxic ingredient like sugar, they do have non-nutritive sweeteners that may not exactly leave you out of the woods.
More research needs to be done on the effects of these problems, but there is some research suggesting these products may have negative effects on bacterial populations in the gut.
They may also increase the strength of cravings for sweet things, ultimately boosting sugar intake.
Sodas got people stuck between a rock and a hard place. After all, the stuff is addictive.
But there are some safe alternatives. And trust me, you want to use them if you’re committed to healthy blood sugars and reducing the risk for type-2 diabetes.
Sparkling waters can offer the fizzy, carbonated texture that soda offers without the sugar. Some of them, with added flavors, can help you make the transition. But you’ll want to get to a place where you are infusing them with fruit or a twist of lime.
Soda can be a comforting and nostalgic way to quench your thirst on a hot day. But make no mistake: it is highly dangerous at virtually any serving size. The effects might not be immediate, but they will take hold over time.