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Dietitian can't find anything nice to say about soda
Diet drinks may be better than sugary, high-calorie regular sodas, but water and tea are still healthier choices.
BOB FILA /CHICAGO TRIBUNE
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Every can of regular soda we drink is linked to a 60 percent higher risk of obesity and 67 percent higher rate of diabetes.
Stats like these, from the Journal of the American Medical Association and Diabetes Care, have sparked debate about sugary beverages.
Some people consider soda their one indulgence, drinking a can
But at least chocolate has some antioxidants. And ice cream, while fatty and sugary, has a little bit of protein and
But lots of convenience stores sell 32-ounce servings of sweetened drinks, such as soda, lemonade, punch or energy drinks. And most of these sweetened drinks have few vitamins, minerals or fiber.
On the whole, I pride myself on being relaxed as dietitians go. I encourage people to take a moderate approach and to enjoy all kinds of foods. And it's true that a little soda won't kill you. It's not toxic.
But it's hard to defend sweetened beverages, at least in modern super-size portions. A 24-ounce soda has about 300 calories from liquid sugar and about 80 grams of carbohydrate, or as much as five slices
But while eating that much white bread might make you feel stuffed, the average person is still hungry after guzzling a 24-ounce beverage. That's where a problem can come in--when a person keeps eating too many calories.
The beverage industry disagrees: "There is little evidence from epidemiological studies that sugar-sweetened drinks are more likely than any other source of calories to lead to obesity," according to the American Beverage Association's Web site.
Translation: Too much of anything can make you fat. While I agree that excess calories from any food or drink can cause weight gain, as a dietitian I have known many people who go overboard more with sweetened beverages than with solid foods.
LOSE WEIGHT, HURT LESS