Kicking the soda can

 
By Mina Radman • Published: October 18th, 2017
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
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Do you frequently crave the sweet taste and carbonation of soda? Sugary drinks like soda can be enticing at times, but stop and think before you pop the top on your next can.

Research shows consuming too much soda can lead to higher rates of tooth decay, obesity and cardiovascular disease. And don’t look to diet soda as a healthy alternative. A recent study found people who drank artificially sweetened beverages such as diet soda were at a higher risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke and dementia than people who rarely consume these drinks.

How do you kick the habit? First, wean off slowly. Soda can be addictive because of its sugar and caffeine content. If you’re someone who drinks multiple cans per day, first limit yourself to one. Aim to gradually reduce your consumption to once per week. By giving your body time to wean off, you’ll want soda less.

Second, try an alternative. When you crave a fizzy drink, grab a sparkling water. To add flavor, infuse the water with berries or citrus.

Finally, think about how much exercise you’ll need to do to work off that can of soda. Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University recently put signs in stores stating it takes five miles of walking to burn off a 20-ounce bottle of soda. They found teenagers who saw the signs were discouraged and more likely to buy a smaller size of soda or a bottle of water.

Once you kick the habit, you can enjoy a glass of soda in moderation. Save the bubbles for a special occasion or visit to a restaurant. Your waistline will thank you for nixing the sugary drink from your everyday diet.