Soda—it’s so sweet, it’s so tasty . . . it’s such a controversial subject. Ask your dentist and they’ll tell you it will rot your teeth. Ask a nutritional expert and they will warn you that your soda-drinking habit may cause you to put on weight. A single can of soda can contain around 8 to 10 teaspoons of sugar so it isn’t surprising that dentists and nutritionists give it such a bad rep. But you still luuurve your soda, so what’s the answer? Diet soda of course . . . or is it?
Diet Sodas are sugar free. Some of them are even calorie free, so they are the obvious choice for any soda-junkie who wishes to have their coke and drink it without having to sacrifice their smile or prize themselves into a larger pair of jeans.
Unfortunately life is not that simple. Even diet sodas can contain phosphoric acid and some studies indicate it may damage your bones. Some of the artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes may also be damaging to the health. Aspartame, for instance, has been linked to over 100 health problems including brain tumors, multiple sclerosis and diabetes. Many other sweeteners can be just as problematic and let’s not forget all that caffeine that’s so good for perking you up, keeping you up (at night), and has been linked to high blood pressure, breast lumps and certain forms of cancer.
So which is the best diet soda or regular soda? Or should that be, which is the worst?
Without delving too deeply, let’s take a look at a few pros and cons.
Pros and Cons of Regular Soda
|The Pros of Regular Soda||The Cons of Regular Soda|
|No dodgy sugar alternatives required||May contain around 10 teaspoons of sugar|
|Provides Energy||Contributes to weight gain and damages the teeth|
|May contain caffeine to perk you up (then make you crash!)||May contain other substances that are bad for the health|
|Tastes great||Could result in Diabetes|
Pros and Cons of Diet Soda
|The Pros of Diet Soda||The Cons of Diet Soda|
|Sugar free||Contains sugar substitutes that may damage the health|
|Less likely to contribute to weight gain or damage the teeth||Many people complain the flavour is not as pleasant as regular soda|
|May contain caffeine to perk you up||May contain other substances that are bad for the health|
Hmmm . . . somewhat of a double-edged sword perhaps.
So what’s the answer? It’s probably a case of you pays or money and you makes your choice.
One possible alternative is to save your money, buy a sodastream [wouldn’t this be a great place for an affiliate link :~)?] and make your own soda.
Soda that’s tasty and healthy as well and if you don’t want to buy a soda stream just buy some soda water instead.
How to Get Busy with the Fizzy and Make your own (Healthy) Sodas
Raspberry and Orange Fruit Burst (Serves 6)
- 2 cups raspberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 Tbsps. fresh orange juice
- 4 Tbsps. maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp agave nectar
- Chilled soda water
Place the raspberries into a saucepan; add the ½ cup water, the orange juice, maple syrup, and agave nectar. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to cool for 20 minutes, and then strain into a suitable container. Keep refrigerated until required (for up to 7 days).
Pour 1/4 cup of the syrup into a suitable glass and add around 8 ounces of chilled soda water. Give it a stir, relax and enjoy.
Mouth Watering Minty Melon (Serves 6)
- 1 cup of fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 Tbsps. minced ginger
- 4 Tbsps. Maple Syrup
- 1/2 tsp dried chill flakes
- 4 cups diced watermelon
- Chilled soda water
Place the mint, the water, maple syrup, minced ginger, and chili flakes into a saucepan. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid into a suitable container and place inside the refrigerator (for up to 7 days).
Place ½ cup of syrup into a suitable glass and add 8 ounces of water chilled soda water. Stir, sip, dream of tropical islands.
With a little imagination it is easy to come up with any number of healthy, tasty, sodas like the two shown above, and when you make it yourself you know what you are drinking and there will be no hidden nasties to foul up your waistline or turn your sweet tooth into a rotten tooth. Best of all though, you get to decide. Love blueberries? Make a blueberry soda. Think lime tastes divine? Go for it—choose lime. Try apples, blueberries and apple, strawberries, Mango or pineapple. Choose what you want when you want and giver your sodas the personal touch.
Conclusion and Further Recommendations
It seems you we can’t do anything right, whatever type of soda we purchase from the shelves and fridges. First, too much sugar is bad, then too much aspartame in diet soda is just as bad, or gives you cancer or something. And the zero calorie stuff tastes so different to the full sugar version it should be called something else entirely.
In truth, there’s nothing positive that can come from brand sodas. In the very least, you can stave off the threat of diabetes and several gazillion other health issues by avoiding them completely. We’ve got enough health risks against us without guzzling them down in liquid form.
Just make your own, you know, healthier soda.
…and while you’re at it, you can wash down some fat-burners with your healthy soda to get on that weight loss resolution you made at the beginning of January!!