Why should I cut down on sugary fizzy drinks?
The problem with most fizzy drinks is that they are very high in sugar, which has serious implications for our health. Did you know a single 330ml can of original Coca-Cola contains a whopping 35g of sugar? For perspective, the NHS recommends that anyone aged 11 or over should consume no more than 7 teaspoons of added sugar a day, which is roughly 35g, equivalent to a single can of Coca-Cola. The dubious honour of the UK’s most sugary fizzy drink went to Old Jamaica Ginger Beer, Extra Fiery, which tipped the scales at almost 52g of sugar per 330ml can!
With such high-sugar drinks available on the shelves of UK supermarkets, you need to be aware of the potential risks associated with a high sugar diet:
You only get one set of adult teeth, so it’s really important to take care of them! Tooth decay is a growing issue in the UK, even in young children. In 2018, it was reported that there were 42,911 hospital procedures to remove multiple teeth from those aged 18 and under, a record amount for the country. This worrying trend is in no small part due to the damage that a high sugar diet can have on your teeth.
Sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth and helps them to produce acid which can break down your teeth. As a result, cutting down on sugar can significantly reduce the risk of tooth decay and help keep a smile on your face!
Sugar can have a big impact on our waistlines. A reasonably small amount of sugary drink contains a lot more calories than the equivalent size portion of water, for example. This is because sugar is very calorie-dense, meaning it has a high number of calories in a small portion. As a result, a single 330ml can of Coca-Cola contains 139 calories, or 7% of the total amount of calories an adult should have in a day!
Obesity can significantly increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, if you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, sugar can represent a significant risk to your health. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body has difficulty producing and using insulin, a protein which helps to break down sugars in the bloodstream. Without being able to break down sugars correctly, the amount increases in the bloodstream which can cause serious health difficulties.
What should I have instead?
There are many alternatives you could try instead of your daily fizzy drinks, so pop your can down, and crack open some healthy, tasty alternatives!
Water may not be the most appetizing drink, but it’s really good for you! There are ways you can add to the taste of water to make it as delicious as it is healthy. You can cheaply and easily buy fruit infusers now, where you can add your favourite fruits to a central capsule. When left, the fruit infuses with the water adding a flavour to it. If you want to have a little fizz in your life still, why not try using sparkling water with your infused fruit?
Reducing the amount of additional sugar we consume on a daily basis is one of the main ways we can keep healthy and, supported by other healthy lifestyle choices, we can ensure that our health is made the priority in our lives that it should be. With an awareness of how much excess sugar there is in each product we consume, we can make significant changes to our lifestyle, and to our health in general.