Sugary drinks, or diet drinks. What’s the best choice?
With hydration on the minds of many during this summer of record breaking heat, it’s a good time to consider the health consequences of popular beverage choices.
Soft drinks are the drink of choice for millions of Americans. Soft drink makers produce enough sugary soda pop each year to serve every American a 12-ounce can every day, 365 days a year. The average can of sugar-sweetened pop or fruit punch has the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar. Those people who prefer a 20 ounce bottle are drinking 17 teaspoons of sugar — almost 1⁄3 cup!
If you were to drink one 20-ounce bottle of soft drink every day and not cut back on calories elsewhere, you could gain 23 pounds in one year. Why is it so easy to drink calories? Some researchers conclude that the body doesn’t seem to register fluid calories as carefully as it does those from solid food. This would mean that they are added on top of calories from the rest of your diet. (This theory also explains why most health care professionals recommend eating whole fruit instead of drinking fruit juice.)
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