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Should You Drink Less Soda?

Wednesday, March 7 2012 4:16 AM

Is soda your drink of choice? It tastes good and delivers a quick jolt of caffeine and/or sugar to help you through the day. But as with many things that are quick and easy, there are downsides.

As a dietitian, I recommend that if you do drink soda, you do it very moderately. There’s nothing wrong with an occasional soda, but it contributes more to your state of mind than to your physical health, especially if it’s a habit you’ve come to rely on. The American Heart Association recommends that you drink no more than 36 ounces of soda or other sugary drinks per week.

Drinking large quantities of soda can reduce the likelihood that you will include more nutritious drinks in your diet. And 10 teaspoons of sugar, per can, can make you feel less hungry, so you might eat less nutritious foods because of it. Soda can promote tooth decay and caffeine dependency and can be hard on your stomach lining.

This information is not new. Most people understand there are better choices to make from a health perspective. So here are a few recommendations to consider, especially if you think soda consumption is having a negative affect on your health:

  • Don’t drink soda at meal times and snack times except on occasion. Instead, drink water, milk, fruit juice, vegetable juice or tea.
  • Consider drinking caffeine-free and/or diet soda, but do that in moderation as well.
  • Limit the amount of soda you drink per week (36 ounces or less).
  • If you are consuming large quantities of soda and want to cut back, taper off gradually and set a daily or weekly goal that works for you.

When you have soda, enjoy it! But as with any beverage or food with ingredients that are unhealthy in high concentrations, it’s best done in moderation.

By Paula Bohlen, MS, RD, LDN, LNHA
Dietary Consultant
Source: www.good-sam.com

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