Do you know what you are drinking? Do you know the reason why you drink it? Is it because you prefer a taste, or the calorie content? Do you believe that one drink is better than the other? But is what you believe to be true, the reality? In this blog, I am not trying to persuade you to drink one over the other, I believe everything in moderation, but I hope it gives you a little insight into the way big companies market their products to make them seem the healthier option, and to give you a little better understanding so you know what you are buying the next time you are at the supermarket.
Regular, non-diet, “full fat” drinks.
Let’s start with the saying “full fat”. This is just slang that people use, because there is no fat in these drinks, however they are highly calorific and jam packed with sugar. According to Dr. Ochner, New York, if a person’s diet is equal and balanced, by then drinking just one can of coke per day, that person would gain 14.5 pounds of body fat within a year. The extra calories and sugar would equate to 14.5 pounds of fat storage. It equates to ‘fat storage’ because this is how our bodies store excess calories and sugar. That’s immense, just over one stone of unwanted body fat in a year from a drink! And it’s not just weight gain that is to be affected by drinking non-diet drinks. They are laced with sugar, which is the only cause of tooth decay. Having this much sugar attack your teeth daily is not good for cavities and it also makes your body become dependent on the sugar intake and start to crave it. According to a 2012 study by Dr. Zumin Shi, drinking non-diet soda regularly increased your risk of developing Heart Disease, Asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
It sounds pretty bad right? But it’s not all bad! Even though they are high in sugar, they will decay your teeth, they can increase your risk of developing major health problems and they are addictive, if only drank ‘occasionally’ within a healthy balanced diet, and at meal times there is no problem. As I said before, everything in moderation. Sugar is within the food we eat, so each meal time our teeth become under attack from sugar. With teeth in mind, it’s not the amount of sugar our teeth are exposed too, but rather the amounts of time our teeth are exposed. For example; if we were to drink a sugary drink, eat a chocolate bar and a packet of sweets at the same time, one after the other, this is one attack on our teeth. If we were to consume the exact same thing, but we had the drink at 10am, then the chocolate at 1:30pm and the sweets ay 8pm then this is three attacks of sugar to our teeth. With this in mind, I do not recommend drinking these drinks at every meal time as this is far too regular, rather drink them occasionally at meal times.
The ‘good’ drink, right? The one with zero calories. (and we all know calories are those evil things that tighten our clothes when we sleep so we can’t fit in them anymore!) Unfortunately, calorie-free isn’t exactly as awesome as it sounds. Rather than it contributing to weight loss as many believe, according to dietitian Marissa Puleo, these drinks can actually contribute to weight gain. Because diet sodas are laced with artificial chemicals, it can often leave the body unsatisfied, resulting in a desire to eat and drink more to fulfill those cravings. And although diet soda doesn’t contain ‘natural sugar’, the artificial sweeteners used to give the drink its sweetness does contain acid which will strip the enamel off your teeth, that then leaves your teeth more vulnerable to sugar attacks when sugar is consumed in the foods we eat. Studies have also shown links to drinking these drinks and developing health problems such as heart disease.
I personally don’t think there is a good version of soda, full fat is as bad as diet and vice versa. I believe in everything in moderation. If you want to enjoy a cool soda occasionally, I would drink the one you prefer the taste of, rather than it being ‘good’ for you, because I don’t believe either are.