In one 375ml soft drink, there is approximately 39g of sugar (almost 10 tsp). That is double your daily recommendation for sugar intake in ONE DRINK!
It’s not only sugars that are a problem with soft drink but the over consumption of them can lead to a number of other health problems.
Here is a plan of attack to help you reduce your soft drink consumption to zero, created by our resident nutritionist, Cheree Sheldon.
Most of us are fairly trusting consumers. We believe that if something is on our supermarket shelves, then it can’t be bad for us. Don’t always be so trusting – know exactly what you are consuming.
So, the very first step is to read the ingredients in your soft drinks and learn one by one what they are and what they do to us…
Food acid 338
This is phosphoric acid, a product that is also used in fertilisers and detergents. It can severely affect human health by attacking mucous membranes and can lead to breathing difficulties, abdominal issues, extreme thirst and weak rapid pulse.
The safe exposure to this is set at 1 milligram/m3, which in a drink falls within normal limits. But if we drink this on a regular basis, our exposure levels have risen and our risk also rises.
Another major concern with this additive is that it leads to lower bone mineral density and this affect is apparent in teenagers.
211 or sodium benzoate
A preservative that is linked to hyperactivity, and behaviour problems.
951 is aspartame
Linked to cancer, seizures, depression, nausea and asthma. So why is it used in our foods and drinks?
122 is a red colouring
It’s banned in several countries due to its association with cancer.
102 or tartrazine
Another colour banned in several countries due to its risk factors.
Now you know a little bit about some of the ingredients found in soft drinks, it’s easy to brainwash yourself into realising that reducing (or completely cutting out) soft drinks in your life is a great thing.
Open your eyes!
Take a look around when you go shopping or out to lunch.
Notice the difference between the fit, glamorous youths on the soft drink ads and compare them to the people in real life who are drinking them.
Notice how automatically they consume them and ask yourself how healthy do they look?
Can you see how as a society we have been made to think that drinking soft drinks is normal? How many cafes and restaurants have you been to where they DO NOT have soft drinks available?
The push from the money making soft drink companies has made this “treat” so readily accessible we can grab it at a petrol station, in bulk at the supermarket, when we are dining out, at the train station, on planes…
It is seriously ridiculous! We should not accept drinks that provide at least our daily recommendation for sugar in one serve as well as ingredients that haven’t been assessed for long-term safety, as commonplace.
So open your eyes and take responsibility for your soft drink consumption and ignore the massive marketing that is trying to convince us it’s OK to consume soft drinks all the time.
Once you are psychologically ready to reduce your soft drink consumptions, there is no stopping you!!
3 steps to cut out soft drinks from your life!
Reducing your soft drink intake can do amazing things for your health including:
- Reduce swelling and inflammation
- Help gout and arthritis symptoms
- Give you clearer skin
- Allow your body to absorb more nutrients so you will start to feel more vital
- Make your teeth stronger and less sensitive
- Reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes dramatically
- And another bonus: you will save so much money!
Step 1- reduce the amount of soft drinks you are drinking by a third
Seek out an organic soft drink alternative to your soft drink of choice. While the alternative soft drink will still contain sugar, it won’t contain the other highly concerning ingredients.
Continue this for a week, or earlier if you are ready to cut back more.
Step 2- reduce by another third
Make sure you are drinking lots of water to help reduce the symptoms you may be having by reducing sugar and caffeine.
Replace your soft drink with a super cold fizzy mineral water flavoured with fresh lemon or lime wedges.
Pat yourself on the back; you are doing an amazing thing for your health! After another few days to a week at this stage, you are ready to move on…
Step 3- let’s get rid of that remaining third!
If you really feel like a soft drink, then try infusing your own flavoured mineral waters by adding some whole pieces of fruit to the bottle and letting it mix for a while before drinking.
Flavours that work well are ginger and pear, pomegranate, mixed berries, lemon or lime, green tea and mint, or mango and orange.
Find out how drinking water with lemon can actually help you lose weight here!
Remember to give it time!
Your taste buds will adjust. Give them a chance and before you realise it, if you try to have a soft drink it will be absolutely disgusting!
If in the meantime you are struggling with cravings, go and visit your local health food store and get a supplement to help your body adjust to sugar cravings. There are quite a few good ones that can assist with that.