I’ll admit it. It’s a dilemma for me too. Growing up, I had coke – in the Atlanta area, we called everything coke – not every day, but frequently. The fizzy carbonation mixed with the sweet yummy taste was, and still is, so good to me. Here’s the dilemma: it’s just not good for you. Whether you call it soda, coke, soda-pop, soft drink, etc., it all has either high-fructose corn syrup, massive amounts of other types of sugar, and/or artificial sweeteners.
All of that sugar bombards your bloodstream, raising your blood sugar levels drastically. This rise triggers an insulin response as an effort to restore balance. The roller-coaster effects are detrimental to your body, leading to major problems such as diabetes.
If you drink sugar-free soda, your problems are just as weighty. Sugar-free soda contains artificial sweeteners that can be even worse for you than the sugar. Sweeteners like aspartame elicit a hunger response which tricks you into eating more than your body actually needs. Artificial sugar continues to be blamed for many health concerns, but none have been 100% substantiated so I will not list them here.
Here are my suggestions for moving away from soda:
1. If you love the fizzy, try soda water. Or try beer (but not too often obviously).
2. If you love the sweet, try a small glass of juice.
3. If you love fizzy and sweet, try the combining soda water and a bit of juice.
4. If none of the above work, try a natural, lower-sugar soda.
5. If none of the above work, try to wean yourself off soda slowly. Cut your intake by one third, and once you’ve adjusted cut it by one third again, until you’re having soda as an indulgence once a week/month instead of every day!
Good luck! Even knowing all I know, avoiding soda completely is a challenge I still face. But, I have about one soda per month by employing these ideas, and hopefully you can do the same!