Recently, a friend posted on Facebook that she was cutting back on her soft drink intake because it was affecting her teeth. The acid was causing her teeth to hurt. That is just one of many reasons to avoid soda, pop, coke or whatever you call it on your neck of the woods, both regular or diet. Some of the other reasons include: no nutritional value to sodas, sugary ones encourage diabetes and weight gain, weakened bones, kidney damage, and concerns about artificial sweeteners, HFCS, and artificial colors.
Soft drinks mostly consist of filtered water, refined sugar, and artificial colors/flavors. Yet the average American drinks about 57 gallons of soft drinks each year.
We mostly gave up soda over a year ago. My husband does still have one at work every so often and I have about one a month at a party or event, but we don’t drink them at home anymore. We both used to drink lots of diet coke and the like. No, really a LOT, more than the 57 gallons a year stat given above.
Luckily, we never let our kids have soda even before we stopped drinking them. The girls’ drink choices have always been just non-flavored milk, water, or 100% juice. They always get milk for at least two meals each day and then either water or juice for the other meal and snack. And we do limit the juice to at most once a day and in the 4 oz. serving size preferably. One of their treats is carrot juice from Bolthouse Farms. For more on why, read this article “Fruit Juice Intake Predicts Increased Adiposity Gain in Children From Low-Income Families” or watch this “Sugar: The Bitter Truth“.
Currently, my husband and I drink unsweetened brewed iced tea, coffee, and water. Occasionally, I will have a glass of milk or juice perhaps once a week or so for each. We only drink coffee at breakfast, so the rest of the day is either iced tea or water. I usually make the tea at home using half green tea and half black tea and then just bring it with me wherever I go.
The “100 Days of Real Food” blog recently had one of the 1-week mini-pledges related to beverages here. “Beverages will be limited to coffee, tea, water, and milk (only naturally sweetened with a little honey or 100% pure maple syrup). One cup of juice will be allowed throughout the week, and wine (preferably red) will be allowed in moderation (an average of one drink per day).”
What beverages do you drink and in what quantities? Why? What do you give your kids? Do you think those are healthy choices for them and for yourself?