Thursday, May 24, 2012

If It Is Thursday It's Going Green - Stop Drinking Sodas

America’s first sodas were made by pharmacists for curative purposes and were flavored with ingredients like birch bark and dandelions. Today’s soft drinks are full of artificial ingredients and are proven to increase health risks.

Children in school are faced with vending machines containing sodas. But studies show that consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks not only increases weight but also increases the risk of other health issues.

Besides the sugar content which adds to tooth decay, most soft drinks are also acidic—frequent sipping of these low-pH drinks can have adverse effects on tooth enamel, namely in the form of erosion.

Recent studies show that pre-schoolers are now beginning to show up with soda in their lunchboxes.

Here are six suggestions to change your drinking habits.

1. The best alternative is water, water and water. At school, make sure your kids know where the drinking fountains are! And fill a reusable, inert water bottle with filtered water from your tap.

2. Fruit juice mixed with sparkling water. Juice is packed with vitamins, but is also high in natural sugars so consumption of straight juice should be limited to 6 ounces per day.

3. Organic milk or milk alternatives (rice milk, almond milk, goat milk)

4. Flavored milk (or milk alternative). If you absolutely can’t get your child to drink plain milk, keep this in mind: The Adolescent Health journal found that even dairy products with added sugar are significantly better than soda in the development of children and adolescents. Consider making your own with organic milk and vanilla extract or organic chocolate: This way you can control the amount of sugar.

5. All-natural, low-sugar soft drinks. These are better than conventional sodas, but they still create a “taste” for soda. It is better to get out of the soda mind-set altogether.

6. Drink lots of plain water and eat whole fruit. Also, drink chamomile tea.

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