Today I attended (and was a co-hostess) of a baby shower. Of course we had the classic 7-Up and sherbet beverage. With some soda left over after the get-together I was offered a 2-liter bottle. I initially accepted then recoiled when I realized I was about to take “regular” soda. “No thank you, it’s regular.” In exchange I was offered the diet 2-liter instead and gladly accepted.
I’m not a big soda drinker, in fact, I often joke that I really only drink soda with alcohol. It just isn’t my thing. But when I do drink it, I personally choose to have “diet” since I would rather not have the calories that come with it. However, I know many people are fearful or don’t want “all the chemicals” of the non-nutritive sweeteners that are found in soda.
“Regular” soda is about 150 calories in a 12 ounce can, or 250 calories in a 20 ounce bottle. It is all sugar. No fat. No protein. In some cases it is high fructose corn syrup, in other cases is it “pure cane sugar” but it really doesn’t matter, it is still sugar. No better, no worse. And if you are drinking more than one a day, you need to stop doing that. In fact, the Coca-Cola Company has 7.5 ounce cans, which are nice, smaller servings, but you still need to have no more than one per day. Less is better, none is best. If you are drinking a 20 ounce soda each day and stop, changing nothing else you could lose about ½ pound per week.
“Diet” soda is zero calories. Traditionally called diet, the Coca-Cola Company has the “Zero” line and Pepsi has “Max” as well as their “diet” versions, these are calorie free. But I tell people, while these don’t have calories this does not mean that you can or should drink these in unlimited quantities thinking it is okay. I’ve had clients who drink 4-8 of these things a day, and ask if that is okay. My response: you shouldn’t drink that much of anything unless it is water. So, even though it is “diet” and no calories, I don’t agree that it is a “free”-for-all.
If you are a soda drinker, enjoy the soda of your choice, regular or diet. However, consume NO MORE than one soda per day, preferably no more than 12 ounces, and less is better. If you can consume 48-64 ounces (or more) of fluid, then you should have no problem drinking more water. C’mon, you can do it.
Do you drink regular, diet, or no soda?