Why Can’t I Drink Soda Every Day? - Part One

Let’s face it.  Some of us have a sweet tooth.  It is just a fact.  Sometimes that sweet tooth leads to drinking soda.  Sometimes it leads to drinking a LOT of soda.  Is this really a problem?  How much damage can a soda really do to your body?  Well, one soda probably won’t damage your body, but a habit of drinking them is definitely unhealthy, so let’s explore why that it is.

Soda's Ingredients

Different sodas have different ingredients.  Obviously, a clear soda, a dark brown soda, and an orange colored soda are not going to have exactly the same ingredients.  Some sodas have caffeine; others do not.  But, what most sodas DO have in common is SUGAR!  Some sodas are now using stevia as a sweetener, such as Zevia. Others are using a combination of sugar and stevia, such as Sprite Green and Pepsi True.  Stevia is not an artificial sweetener.  It is derived from the stevia plant.  This is a natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweetener.  Still, other sodas use artificial sweeteners like aspartame, such as Diet Coke.  Oops...we might be stepping on some toes now!

Sugar in Soda

So, sugar is bad for you if consumed in excess.  As mentioned in previous blogs, men should not consume more than 36 grams of sugar per day, and women should not consume more than 25 grams of sugar per day.  Artificial sweeteners may be bad for you as the verdict is still out on whether or not they have possible links to cancer.  That leaves us with natural sweeteners other than sugar like stevia.  Are those acceptable for us to consume?

In researching, we found that stevia does not contain calories or carbohydrates, so it’s off to a good start when we are asking if it is an acceptable form of sweetener to use.  Stevia does not raise blood sugar levels like sugar and artificial sweeteners, so...ta-da!...it is a pretty good alternative to sugar and sweeteners!  As it is fairly new to the U.S. market, it is still advised that a person does not consume more than two to four milligrams per pound of body weight per day.  So, for example, a 150-pound person should not have more than 300 - 600 milligrams of stevia per day.

How Much Sweetener is in Sodas?

How much sugar, aspartame, or stevia do most sodas contain?  Let’s take a quick look.  One can of Coke contains 39 grams of sugar.  This is more sugar than any adult should consume in an entire day!  To put it in perspective, that’s equal to about 9 1/3 teaspoons of sugar.  Yuck!  Suddenly, that Coke seems a little less appealing.  The labels don’t tell you how much aspartame is used to sweeten the drink that contains it.  The sugar level on such drinks is zero which often makes people think it’s acceptable to drink them.  However, anything not found in nature is just not something that we should really be putting in our bodies.  A can of Zevia soda contains 158 mg of stevia extract.  You can drink a can of it without exceeding the recommended daily limit.

We hope that this brings some clarity to the question of why you should not drink soda on a daily basis.  This blog simply covered the aspect of what types of sweeteners sodas contain which add far too much sugar to your daily diet.  If you really want to have a soda, then we recommend choosing one sweetened only with stevia which is a natural, plant-based sweetener.  If you can avoid soda completely, that is an even better idea!

Some of you may have struggled with your sugar intake and soda may have played a big part in that struggle.  You may just be learning, for the first time, that one soda is surpassing your daily limit of sugar.  It’s time for a change!  If you have a large amount of weight to lose, then we would like to encourage you to give us a call at Advanced Surgical and Weight Loss Institute.  With a variety of bariatric surgeries available in the Melbourne and Merritt Island areas, such as lap band surgery, gastric balloon, and gastric bypass, Dr. Velarde can help you choose the weight loss route that is best for you.  It’s time to put down that soda, pick up the phone, and give us a call right now!