Soda and Health
With obesity rates rising in North America and other parts of the world, good nutrition is becoming a hotter topic than ever.
At the center of the debates about good health and nutrition is one long-time culprit – soda pop.
Despite the insanely high levels of sugar in the original brands, the recent advent of “diet” and “zero calorie” soda options has kept the debate about soda alive and well.
So what’s the truth about soda and health? Should you be concerned? And if so, how concerned should you be?
The Bottom Line on Soda and Health
When it comes down to it, there’s no doubt about it that the original soda options on the market are inconsistent with a healthy lifestyle.
And the reason for this is sugar. In one can (12 oz / 355 mL) of Coca Cola, for example, there are a whopping 39 grams of sugar. Grab one of those 590 mL (20 oz) bottles instead, and you’re looking at 65 grams of sugar. Like Mountain Dew? Well, you’re looking at about double this amount of sugar. And here’s the real killer people – there are 4 calories in 1 gram of sugar!
I’m not going to beat around the issue – this is a staggering amount of sugar for such a small part of your daily intake. Think about it. Combine this amount of sugar with the rest of your meal (or whatever you’re drinking your soda with), and you’re up to a crazy amount of calories. The problem is that most of these sugar calories, in such a large quantity, are just going to be converted to fat.
Government health departments are finally catching on to this problem. A number of public health campaigns have been launched all over Canada and the United States, aimed at exposing the high-calorie and high-sugar counts in soda, many juices, and even sports drinks. Although the beverage companies are obviously ticked off, experts note that some age groups (like teenagers) get up to 20% of their daily calories from soft drinks and soda alone!