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Monday, May 08, 2006

*POP* Goes the Soda

Uh-oh! The major soft drink companies have agreed to stop selling their sugar-laden, empty-calorie-packed beverages to public schools.

It’s well known that soda causes gas. After all, all those little bubbles have to go somewhere.

But the soda ban deserves three hearty toots for a reason that isn’t just a load of air: The ban is a long-overdue step in the right direction to filter unhealthy foods out of our diet.

One can of soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar, 150 calories, 30 to 55 milligrams of caffeine, and is loaded with artificial food colors and sulphites.

Besides excess gas, drinking too much soda causes other detrimental side effects. Soft drinks contain more than 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowance of sugar.

High sugar consumption is linked to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and tooth decay. All that sugar racks up the calories and packs on the pounds.

And caffeine causes a mess of problems, including dehydration, stomach aches, headaches, sluggishness, jitters, insomnia, high blood pressure, and irregular heartbeat.

Aspartame, which is used as a sugar substitute in diet soda, is linked to dozens of dangerous side effects, including diabetes, brain tumors, and birth defects.

And then there are the sugar alcohols, which are also used to sweeten sugar-free sodas and other drinks. These are a huge cause of uncontrollable gas (see my recent detailed post on this topic).

And most sodas contain phosphoric acid as well. Phosphoric acid has been shown to interfere with calcium absorption, which can weaken bones over time.

So if you’re a soda junkie, here are two ways to fizzle the habit:

(1) Try mixing orange juice (or another fruit juice) with club soda. This will satisfy your sweet tooth, and provide a good vitamin C boost. Cut the club soda part until you’re drinking nothing but fruit juice.

(2) If it’s pure carbonation you crave, drink sparkling mineral water instead.

Encourage your kids to adopt these habits too.


  • ~ Anonymous Anonymous said …

    Bill, I cannot drink coffee or soda at all because of the side effects from it. I've asked a number of my friends and relatives, but they don't have any problems when they drink soda or coffee. I'm mostly a water drinker for this reason. I never knew what the primary cause was for these beverages. Thank you for sharing, this is great to know.


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