Happy New Years! I am officially starting my journey tomorrow and will make a new change starting each Monday throughout 2011, starting with soda. This is a no-brainer for most healthy people, but I've been clinging to my soda addiction for a long time. I have definitely cut back in the past year. But, even as recently as 6 months ago, I was still drinking 2-3 cans per day. Last month I had cut that back to a glass every few days, and thought I had my habit licked. I found out this weekend, when I spent Christmas at my parents' house, that I drank soda on a regular basis. I've probably consumed a 2 liter bottle over the past couple of days. It's obvious to me that my habit is still just that, a habit-one that I need to break. I don't think I am going to be one of those people that can have one here and there. I am going to have to quit cold turkey and stick to it!
Most of us know the reasons that drinking soda is not a healthy choice, but while I was researching, I found a couple things I didn't know. Obviously, soda is full of empty calories. I once had a friend tell me that if I quit eating Tootsie Rolls and drinking Dr. Pepper that I would lose 25 pounds. She was probably on to something. A 12 ounce can of Dr. Pepper (my drink of choice) contains 150 calories, and 40.5 grams of sugar. That's over 9.5 teaspoons of sugar! And, in the past, I would regularly drink 4 cans a day. Hello... 38 teaspoons of sugar. Just for the record, that's a little more than 3/4 of a cup. Multiply that by 365 days in a year, and it ends up being just shy of 290 cups of sugar. Wow! If that alone isn't enough to make a person quit, I don't know what is! But wait, here's more.
This is the ingredient list as listed on the Dr. Pepper website.
CARBONATED WATER, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CARAMEL COLOR, PHOSPHORIC ACID, ARTIFICIAL AND NATURAL FLAVORS, SODIUM BENZOATE (PRESERVATIVE), CAFFEINE.
High fructose corn syrup (which I will go into later)
Phosphoric acid (it's acid-can that be good for you?)
Artifical flavor (ie. chemicals)
Sodium Benzoate (it even says it is a preservative-do you seriously need to preserve your drink?)
Caffeine (I don't have a problem with caffeine itself, but at my 4 cans a day rate, I don't think that is necessary.)
I've also read other articles regarding decay of tooth enamel and osteoporosis linked to soda.
Soda should not be the go-to drink in a healthy lifestyle. I am sure that there are many people out there who could have a glass here and there and be just fine, and if I could do it, I would. It has become obvious to me that I am not one of those people. From here on out, I'm choosing to say NO to soda. Someone might want to check on me in a few days to make sure that I haven't gone into severe withdrawl! :)
Have you given up soda for good? Was it difficult?