The aim of this blog is to provide you with things you can do to (hopefully) help in this ever increasingly, confusing world of what is ‘healthy’ and what is not. We fully believe that it is more beneficial to suggest things we can do rather things to not do, however sometimes we will advise on things that we don’t think people should be doing, starting with this post.
Our tip today is a very simple one……..stop drinking fizzy drinks that are laced with sugar or artificial sweeteners. These are often referred to as pop, soda, or sugary drinks (which says it all!).
Too much sugar can have adverse effects on health, having been linked with obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease to name but a few. Unfortunately it is added to many foods and drinks you will find in the supermarket, often cleverly disguised on labels under a different name (such as high fructose corn syrup). We will no doubt go in to this in more detail in a later blog post and include some helpful resources where you can learn more, but for now, our advice would be to replace any pop/soda you drink with water.
A lot of people drink diet versions of these fizzy drinks but these may not be much better as they contain artificial sweeteners. Some artificial sweeteners have almost as many calories as sugar and can also be found in things such as toothpaste and chewing gum. As these sweeteners are not ‘natural’ they can wreak havoc with our body’s ability to control metabolism, as a study carried out by Susan E. Swithers – a Purdue professor of psychological sciences – found out. Our body generally knows when we have eaten enough food (although we don’t often listen and keep on eating, myself included!). One of the ways it does this is based on how sweet a food is. The sweeter it is, the higher in calories it contains so our body will tell us when to stop. When we consume too many artificial sweeteners they will generally have lower calories in them, however, our body can’t recognise this thus retraining it to no longer associate sweetness with high calories. This means when we do consume sugar, we no longer receive the signals telling us to stop eating/drinking, meaning we are taking in more calories.
Giving up fizzy drinks in favour of water may not sound very exciting; you may find water bland, tasteless or boring. If this is the case then try gradually reducing your fizzy drink intake while gradually upping your water intake.
So, to go back to the theme of something we CAN do each day, today CAN be the day you give up fizzy sugary drinks.
Please refer to our earlier #36alive 2 post for more information on why we should drink water, and how much of it we should drink a day.