You can blame your inner chimpanzee for those cola cravings.
Our ancestors thrived on sugar-rich fruit, studies show, and evolved to favour riper, sweeter fruit because it has a higher sugar content than unripe fruit. That extra sugar kick came in handy back in the day, but today, a lot of people are drinking soda instead of eating fruit. So, you’re probably wondering how soda pop really could be the new cigarette.
How to cut back on soda pop
As it turns out, drinking just one can of pop accounts for nearly all of your recommended daily intake of sugar. Just like cigarettes, sugar can be addictive and unhealthy. Excessive sugar intake could make you gain weight and increase your blood pressure levels, among other risks. Just like smoking, there’s no benefit to too much sugar!
So how can you dial back your sugar intake without losing the enjoyment of a fizzy beverage? It turns out you can have your fizz and drink it, too. Here’s how:
Sparkling or carbonated water
Buy it at the supermarket, or make it yourself with one of those inexpensive home-carbonation machines. They’re quick, convenient and easy to use. Plus, If you’re paying for water, why not get something that is more enjoyable to drink for your money?
Flavoured carbonated water
To add a squirt of flavour to your bubbly H2O, try one of the many natural, healthy, low-sugar additives out there. Squeeze in lemon, lime or juice from an orange, or get creative by stirring in some fresh mint, cinnamon, sliced cucumber, strawberries or a few drops of maple syrup. Fizz + flavour = delicious!
Just add ice
Squirt your favorite flavour into your ice cube tray for a soda water booster that’s ready when you are. And if you’re craving a sweet drink, blend a few blueberries up and pour them straight into the ice tray for a healthy flavor kick.
Need more proof of the benefits to cutting out pop? Check out Jamie, who lost 30 pounds after ditching pop for just one month!
Do you have a nifty trick for jazzing up water? Please share it in the comments below.
Are you trying to snack healthier? If so, we’ve got your back!
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Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader’s Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN, MSN Canada, and DontChangeMuch.ca. Visit Adam’s website for more details on his award winning work.