Monday, January 17, 2011


In the South, we call soda “Coke.” I once asked my brother in law to get me a coke. He came back with a Sprite. Here, a Coke is a coke and a Sprite is a coke. To this day, I truly believe there is nothing like a cold Coke on a hot day. A part of me is still sad that I have given up drinking soft drinks.

Here are some of the reasons our whole family has given up (or never been given) soft drinks. They have an alarming amount of sugar, calories, and harmful additives with virtually no nutritional value. Studies have shown an association to osteoporosis, obesity, tooth decay, and heart disease. Do you ever wonder why so many people can’t lose weight and have health problems? Well, soft drinks account for more than 1/4th of all drinks consumed in the United States!

Here is what is consumed in a soda:

Phosphoric acid: May interfere with the body’s ability to use calcium, which can lead to osteoporosis or softening of the teeth and bones. Phosphoric acid also neutralizes the hydrochloric acid in your stomach, which can interfere with digestion, making it difficult to utilize nutrients.

Sugar: Soft drink manufacturers are the largest single user of refined sugar in the United States. It is a proven fact that sugar increases insulin levels, which can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, weight gain, premature aging and many more negative side effects. Most sodas include over 100% of the RDA of sugar.

Aspartame: This chemical is used as a sugar substitute in diet soda. There are over 92 different health side effects associated with aspartame consumption including brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders, and epilepsy/seizures. Further, when aspartame is stored for long periods of time or kept in warm areas it changes to methanol, an alcohol that converts to formaldehyde and formic acid, which are known carcinogens.

Caffeine: Caffeinated drinks can cause jitters, insomnia, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, elevated blood cholesterol levels, vitamin and mineral depletion, and perhaps some form of cancer.

The average American drinks an estimated 56 gallons of soft drinks each year. One can of soda has about 7-10 teaspoons of sugar, 150 calories or more, 30-55 mg of caffeine, and is loaded with artificial food colors (Hello, Mountain Dew) and sulphites. In the past 10 years, soft drink consumption among children has almost doubled in the United States.

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I almost feel odd that my oldest is almost 3 years old and never had a sip of soda. I am proud, but left out in a good way. I eat lunch with several co-workers and 9 out of 10 times I am the only one in the group not drinking a soda. The others are eating yogurt (with 6 teaspoons of added sugar) and salads…with their coke zero. I understand the caffeine addiction (don’t talk to me about my coffee habit), but I can’t quite overlook all of the other additives. I have heard phenomenal stories of people losing pounds and pounds of weight and overcoming diseases and conditions just by cutting out soda. Next time you crave that “Coke” consider everything that you are getting. It’s not easy to let go of our favorite beverages, but I truly believe it is one of the worst culprits that I have cut out. Now if I drink half a cup of Coke, I will have a migraine for 3 days. Yes, honey, I really can make good decisions!! (My husband has been Coke-free for over 10 years and I have cut them out for over a year. Our children have yet to even see one).

Adapted from

1 comment:

  1. I love Dr. Pepper. I know I need to give it up though! I only have it a few times a week. I think I still need a little more ammo to completely cut it out :), but every little piece of information I get slowly pushes me in that direction!