The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association have declared war on sodas and energy drinks.
The two organizations are calling for taxes on what experts say has become the leading source of sugar in the diets of children and teens.
Cheryl Sager says she has cut back on her soda intake, but admits to occasionally enjoying her favorite, RC Cola. But overall, she says she feels better after drinking water.
“Think about your diet, think about your teeth, a lot of that sugar is in there. And actually you feel more energetic if you drink the water rather than the soda,” Sager said.
Registered dietitian Lizzie Kasparek says when it comes to diet or regular pop, moderation is key.
“All soda should be drank in moderation but obviously if people are drinking a lot of regular soda they’re getting a lot of the calories without any of the nutrients,” Kasparek said.
She says most pop contains added sugars, meaning extra calories. Those calories could instead be consumed through nutritious foods, which is why she says diet pop is a better go-to than regular.
“Diet soda is probably better than regular soda. At the end of the day drinking water should be your main beverage of choice whether it’s sparkling water, regular tap water, drinking regular water that’s unsweetened should be your main beverage,” Kasparek said.
Diet soda is sweetened with artificial sweeteners instead of sugar, which the FDA considers safe.
For some trying to kick the soda habit altogether, some say carbonated water like this can do the trick.
“Do I miss Coke and Pepsi? Sometimes I do, but I know that the carbonated water is better for me than the soda,” Sager said.
Kasparek says beverages like carbonated water or diet soda may be good replacements for those trying to cut down on their regular pop consumption, but reminds that there’s only one drink that should be regularly consumed.
“I would say look at all the beverages that you’re drinking in a day and it should be mostly water,” Kasparek said.
For a list of soda substitutes, click here.