Fizzy, sparkling, fun and light, everyone loves a soda – or as we call them in Australia “soft drinks” – I know, it sounds weird doesn’t it? However, they have a bad reputation for having lots of sugar and generally being bad for you. But how bad are they really? Is there a way to enjoy sodas and still lose weight, feel healthy and keep the calories under control? Let’s look at 10 of the best sodas you can include in your diet – guilt free!
The amount of sugar in a Coke
There are many reports online that say that Coke has 12 teaspoons of sugar. According to the Daily Mail, the World Health Organization has said that if you drink one Coke a day, then that’s too much. “Under the 5 percent guideline, a person who takes in 2000 calories a day would limit sugar to 25 grams. A 12-ounce (350mL) can of Coca-Cola has 35 grams of sugar, which is 10 grams over the allowance.”
Is “sugar free” NutraSweet safe?
There was a period of my life where I was really, really into NutraSweet. I had a colleague tell me that it was super-bad for my brain. NutraSweet contains Aspartame, is an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some foods and beverages.
In 2007, the Indonesian government considered banning aspartame, and there are many controversies surrounding its widespread use. You can read about the controversies here if you are interested. Personally I think it was all a bit of a storm in a teacup.
Can children consume soda safely?
Well, we all pretty much know they can. When I was a kid in the 80s we could eat all sorts of crap without worry – chemicals, mass-produced food, sugary treats, MSG – now kids are riddled with allergies and have to worry about gluten. I feel sorry for them, really.
According to Healthy Child, there are many reasons to “get your kids off soda”. One of the reasons is that sugary sodas can lead to blood sugar disorders, including diabetes. Another reason is that soda “contains zero nutrients, and is high in calories and sugar, showing a link between soda and childhood obesity.”
Ten of the best sodas for health
The Boyf and I often have this in the fridge, for those nights when we want to feel refreshed. According to the site, this “stunning range of exotic flavours includes distinctive citrus.”
Again, sugar free, this one has preservatives and some sodium, but all in all it would be a much healthier choice if you are watching your weight.
- Tonic water + squeeze of lime
Tonic water is not calorie free, in fact it has about 125 calories for a 350mL or 12 OZ can. But it’s lovely and it tastes nice with gin. Skip the gin if you want to be healthy and use lime instead!
- Waterfords natural mineral waters
I have loved these for a long time but I’m not sure if you can get them outside of Australia. They taste a little like sherbet and have lots of preservatives but are calorie free (well, almost!)
Bionade is manufactured in the Bavarian town Ostheim vor der Rhön (Germany) by the Peter beer brewery. It’s brewed with the same purity methods used to brew beer!
Coco Rico, translates to “delicious coconut” from Spanish. According to its website, it has “a unique, light formula that embodies all the mystique and warmth of the Caribbean.” What could be better?
This drink was really popular when I was a teen. It comes in very small bottles and it contains a bunch of really cool herbs and spices, including a “youth tonic” called Fo-ti. Try it if you can!
This is what the cowboys used to drink. According to Wikipedia, it was very popular in the US in the 19th century. “According to advertisements for patent medicines of the period, it was a remedy for skin and blood problems.”
- Natural mineral water
Yes, we all know that this is exactly what we should all be drinking. IT has no calories, but some sodium and no preservatives. Add a tablespoon of fruit juice or a squeeze of lime or lemon.
According to the manufactures, Hansen, “Our Cane Sugar Soda is derived from fruits and spices grown around the world. Exotic, spicy, tangy, tart–you name it, if it´s full of flavour, we like it.”
Aim for everything in moderation!
So, there you have it. Just because you like to drink soda or soft drink, it doesn’t mean that it has to be unhealthy. Try all of these if you can and let me know your favourites.
Have I missed any healthy sodas that you like? Let me know in the comments below!