We spent last week talking about HBO's series "Weight of the Nation" which really got me thinking about my own consumption and that of those around me. According to Margo Wootan, sugary drinks our the #1 source of calories in our diet today.
"There is nothing in a soft drink that is good for you. A Twinkie or a potato chip or a candy bar has at least a little nutrition. These sugared beverages have none at all." - Kelly Brownell
I had never really thought about the calories I consume in my drinks. Admittedly, I've been a diet soda drinker since the early '90s so the calories on the bottle always read 0, but what I'm putting into my body is more than just calories. It's chemicals that I don't need or want. When I heard the above quote, my first thought was, "I really have to cut this stuff out. No more soda. Only water and juice." Then came the next truth bomb.
"Juice is just like soda...there is no difference. The juice is nature's way of getting you to eat your fiber." - Robert Lustig
D'uh. Not that I'm equating fresh orange juice to the chemical-ridden dregs of a cola, but there's no nutritional benefit to either of these drinks. They're empty calories and sugar spikes.
Lord knows I won't make it through my life with drinking only water. Whatever would I do on Wino Wednesday? But it is important to be mindful of how many carbohydrates and how many calories you do consume, in whatever form they take. A dieter from Part 2 of the series compared being on a diet to being on a budget and I think that's a good way to see things. You want to get the most out of what little you can have, so why splurge on something like a drink when that won't even contribute to your satiety?
I didn't know before writing this post, but there is a cause called "Kick the Can," which focuses on spreading awareness of sugar consumption in soft drinks. Check them out!