Most Americans love their sugar, and they get most of it through guzzling sugary drinks like soda. Did you know there were 38 grams of sugar in a single can of coke? Heck, a one-liter bottle contains 108 grams!
With numbers like these, it’s no wonder soda consumption has been linked to an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes, as well as to rising rates of obesity. A 2011 study published by the University of Bangor and Bristol suggests that drinking soda can actually trigger sugar cravings by dulling your sensitivity to sweet tastes. This, in turn, creates a vicious cycle of eating sweet foods and drinks.
And HOLD ON all you diet soda drinkers. You don’t get off the hook that easily!
Research published by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that diet soda consumption was directly linked to abdominal fat obesity in older adults. In fact, the increased waist circumference among diet soda drinkers was THREE TIMES the amount of non-drinkers.
What is the moral of the story?
Soda, no matter if it’s regular or diet, is simply not good for you and should be avoided at all costs!
If you are someone who drinks soda on a regular basis, it is time to kick the habit. But don’t worry, cutting soda out of your diet may be easier than you think. That’s because there are plenty of healthier beverage alternatives available. That’s right, you will not be forced to drink only water for the rest of your life. While hydration is important, let’s face it, water can get a little… boring.
The following low-calorie thirst-quenchers are sure to still satisfy your taste buds.
1. Tumeric Lattes
Those are two words you never thought you’d hear together. But rejoice in hearing them, because turmeric lattes are not only unbelievably delicious, they also happen to be super good for you.
Besides its anti-inflammatory benefits, turmeric is also a potent antioxidant. You can make your latte at home using this simple and delicious recipe, or try a store-bought brand.
Numi Organic Teas offer golden lattes that feature turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and nutmeg in the chai, and cocoa powder and vanilla bean in the cocoa variety. You can add these to your warm water, milk, or soy/almond milk and enjoy.
2. You’ve Met Your Matcha
Matcha, which has long been touted for its health benefits, is the powdered form of green tea leaves. Studies have shown that this form of green tea contains even more powerful antioxidants, called catechins, than regular steeped green tea. Also, Matcha is known to improve mood and cognition.
There are many flavorful matcha teas on the market. You can also buy powdered matcha and throw some into your morning smoothies.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) offers numerous health benefits, the biggest being better gut health and the lessening of blood sugar spikes. As good as it is for you though, many people have a hard time getting past the sour taste. There is a simple fix to this “problem,” and that is to add some organic raw honey to your warm water and ACV cocktail. There are also ACV beverages on the market, like Suja Juice drinking vinegars that come in flavors like strawberry balsamic and cucumber ginger.
4. Flavored Waters
Okay, so sometimes it is good to drink some water. But how do you make water more exciting? By adding delicious flavors. But before you add sugary powders to your water, try adding slices of your favorite fruits, veggies and herbs like lemons, oranges, watermelon, cucumber and mint. Another cool thing to try is to put chopped pieces of fruit in an ice cube tray, add water and freeze. These colorful fruit cubes will keep your water cold and delicious!
5. Lemon-Lime Soda
There’s no denying that citrus-flavored sodas are incredibly refreshing. But you can make your own version that is far healthier. Simply add a few slices of lemon or lime – or both! – to a glass of sparkling or seltzer water and a little stevia-based sweetener. Watch it, a little goes a long way!
6. Red Wine
If you’re someone who prefers your soda mixed with spirits, you’d be much better off having a glass of red wine. Red wine, when consumed in moderation, has been shown to reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. But the benefits don’t stop there. Red wine has also been shown to lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and even cancer. The National Institutes of Health recommends that women limit consumption to one drink per day (4 ounces of wine), and men to two drinks per day, in order to reap the benefits.
7. Drink Your Veggies
Want to know one of the best ways you can get all of the vitamins and minerals you need? Juice or blend your veggies for a delicious and healthy drink! The best part is, you don’t even have to chop or slice and dice your veggies. Just toss them in and juice or blend. Just be sure to buy organic and give them a good rinse first.
8. Indulge Your Coffee Passion
Studies are finding that coffee, in moderation, may be part of a healthy diet. If you can’t live without a cup of java in the morning, rejoice, your favorite brew may lower your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and certain types of cancer. Plus, that caffeine, as you may well know, can help you be more alert. Just don’t overdo it as too much caffeine can make you jittery and anxious. Also, do not spoon copious amounts of sugar into your coffee, or you’re kind of defeating the point. Stick with stevia if you need your coffee sweet.
Hopefully after reading this article you feel inspired to make healthier choices.
But we’ll let you in on a little secret… it’s okay to cheat once in a while. Though you should never make a habit of it, there are those times in life when you simply have to cheat and have that slice of carrot cake or ice cream sundae… or soda with that hamburger and fries!
Well here’s some good news.
Now you can enjoy your favorite forbidden foods without packing on the pounds or spiking your blood sugar.
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