Why you should ditch soda

Nearly half of all Americans drink soda daily, according to a Gallup poll held a few months ago. Not only is this sugary beverage terrible for your teeth, but several studies indicate that soda can contribute to a multitude of health problems.

Soda is a high calorie beverage lacking any health benefits. The carbonated water is bad for your digestion and the excessive carbon dioxide can extract calcium from your bones. Many sodas substitute sugar with high fructose corn syrup.

Several studies have linked high fructose corn syrup to weight gain, increased risk of high blood pressure and stomach discomfort.

Is this addictive, drug like drink part of your life? Graphic by Haylie Wise.
Is this addictive, drug like drink part of your life? Graphic by Haylie Wise.

If you think by drinking diet soda you’ll avoid most of the negative health effects, think again. Aspartame, the artificial sweetener used in diet sodas, has been linked to cause brain tumors and lymphoma. Although the FDA claims this sweetener is safe, its reported side effects include headaches, diarrhea, memory loss, dizziness and mood swings.

So how do you replace addictive soft drinks and ease them out of your diet? What can you drink instead?

Juices are relatively healthy beverages that provide an assortment of health benefits and they’re just as delicious as soda. Apple juice, grape juice, orange juice, pear juice, cranberry juice, mango juice and pineapple juice possess nutritional benefits while also tasting delicious. Just be sure to read the ingredients list and avoid juices with high fructose corn syrup.

Of course, substituting water for soft drinks is beneficial no matter what. Water is essential to our diet and many people fail to consume enough water throughout the day. Drinking more water promotes weight loss, flushes out toxins, is a natural headache remedy and contributes to an overall positive healthy outlook.

So, ditch the soda! Substitute it with more juices and water. Overtime you will undoubtedly see an improvement in your health and overall well-being.