Fizzy drinks – we know they’re not the healthy choice – but for many of us they’re a refreshing way to quench the thirst. There’s nothing quite like a drink with little bubbles in it.
Originally, the health message was to keep consumption of these drinks to a minimum simply on account of the amount of sugar they hold. I don’t know if it was an accurate count, but I remember being shocked watching television as a child and seeing a consumer/ health programme feature about fizzy drinks, and the presenter said that a can of pop has 7 spoonfuls of sugar in it.
I immediately thought of how a mug of tea would taste with 7 sugars in it. It would be sickeningly sweet – and I can imagine that not all the sugar would even dissolve, leaving a grainy, sugary paste at the bottom of the mug.
That was my first insight into the fizzy drink as perhaps not being the most healthy choice – from a nutrition point of view as well as a dental health viewpoint too.
I imagine most of us who still enjoy the odd fizzy drink do so far less than in the days before we knew about healthy eating. Myself, I have about 1 can a week and that’s enough for me.
But what about for those whom fizzy drink consumption is a bigger habit? Well, for those drinking the sugar-laden varieties there’s obviously the extra calories made up almost entirely of sugar – and if rehydrating with water instead there would of course not be a calorie intake there. So if someone’s trying to lose weight, cutting the fizz wouldn’t be a bad place to start.
For people who drink the diet version though it doesn’t necessarily amount to a healthy choice. As is pointed out in this Huffington Post article (written by a new York dentist) diet fizzy drinks aren’t a healthy tooth choice due to their acidity.
On top of this, there’s a current school of thought that diet drinks may actually not help people stay away from sugar – by tricking your body into tasting the sweetness it thinks is sugar, diet drink could be making people compensate by eating more sugary foods to sate a sweetness craving.
The NY soda ban clearly was proposed as a way of helping people stay healthy, but the court who have stopped it describe the measure as “arbitrary and capricious”. The mayor’s office will appeal, and we’ll see what happens.
Regardless of whether you can buy a 500ml serving of soft drinks, it’s beyond doubt that we should – for out teeth’s sake at the very least, be looking for alternative, healthy ways to hydrate. The humble bottle of water – just like nature made it – has no ill effect on teeth, no sweetness and no calories. What a great way to quench the thirst!