Be Heart Healthy and Lose Weight!

Posts Tagged ‘soda’

Heart Health – The Dangers of Soda

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on March 20, 2009

My weakness is caffeine-free Diet Coke. For me, soda and popcorn go hand-in-hand. Well, even though I am drinking diet I have to remember I am not sitting pretty. Soda affects tooth decay, tooth discoloration, and for those that do not choose diet, weight gain.

Tooth Decay
Any drink that is carbonated has a low pH level. What you ask? Let me explain. The process of carbonation adds carbon dioxide and results in the formation of carbonic acid. This acid lowers the pH of a beverage. A pH of 1 is acidic and 7 is neutral. Battery acid has a pH of 1; water has a pH of 7. The pH of Pepsi is 2.49, Coke is 2.63, and Mountain Dew is 3.22. The acid in soda can damage tooth enamel in just 20 minutes. Think about how you usually drink your soda. Do you drink a 12 oz. can in 5-10 minutes or are you sipping on it over a period of an hour or so? You can help combat the effects of carbonic acid by drinking your soda in less than 20 minutes and rinsing your mouth with water after the fact. Saliva also helps neutralize the acid. Don’t forget to protect your children’s teeth! Children are even more susceptible to tooth erosion because their tooth enamel is not fully developed. 
Tooth discoloration
Habitual soda drinkers are adding layers of sugar, which turn to layers of plaque on their teeth. This plaque then absorbs stains from food products. This is how dark colored sodas lead to tooth discoloration. Bye, bye pearly whites!
Weight Gain
A 12 oz. can of regular soda contains about 150 calories. If you drink one can everyday you consume 4200 soda calories each month and 50,400 calories each year. This is equal to an extra 14 ½ pounds of body weight. Most people do not limit themselves to just 12 oz. a day. . . .one 20 oz bottle of regular soda daily would be an additional 26 pounds each year.
So, as you kick back and enjoy that acidic, staining, waist expanding can of soda, maybe you should think about splurging on a fancy bottle so you can switch it up and enjoy some refreshing water once in awhile instead!
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Be Heart Healthy – Switch to diet soda.

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on November 18, 2008

Do you drink a couple cans of regular soda each day? If so, make the switch to diet. Switching from 24 oz (two cans) of regular soda each day to diet soda will save you 280 calories/day and 78 grams of sugar! This change promotes weight loss (~1/2 pound/week) and triglyceride control.

I can “hear you” arguing with me that there’s no way you can tolerate the taste of diet soda. Well, there are now many products on the market comparable in taste to regular soda without the extra sugar and calories. Start experimenting until you find one you like. Or cut out soda all together and opt for water:)

Diet soda doesn’t eliminate the issue of carbonation and tooth decay or the possible link between caffeine and blood pressure. However, diet soda is the better choice in the long run for your heart health and weight loss goals.

All the best,
Lisa Nelson, RD

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