b1615763322789d25473f6ad865d197f90644115_fotolia_64953747_subscription_monthly_mSoda continues to be a source of extra calories for millions of Americans.

Don’t drink away your daily allotted calories; there are healthier alternatives to help ease your cravings for the bubbly stuff.

Research from a 2011 study conducted by the University of Bangor and Bristol suggests that soda consumption can trigger sweet cravings by dulling your sensitivity to sweets, “As taste satisfaction levels drop, the more sweet foods are consumed,” says Dr. Hans-Peter Kubis from Bangor University’s School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences, who led the study.

Replacing soda with diet soda isn’t the best solution according to recent research from the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study found that diet soda consumption is directly related to abdominal obesity in adults over 65.

Next time you’re thirsty or sitting down to enjoy a meal try these soda alternatives and get on a path to better health:

1. Naturally Flavor Your Water

Adding fruit to water isn’t a new concept, but it’s an easy way to flavor water with little cost. You can sweeten up your water by adding strawberries or blueberries. Give your water some zest by making a pitcher of lemon or raspberry water. Cucumber water is refreshing, flavorful and extremely low calorie.

2. Go Green

Green tea may be mild in flavor, but it’s full of health benefits. Studies show that green tea can help reduce the risk of many types of cancer, hypertension, heart disease and kidney stones. Green tea is also calorie free and high in antioxidants. If you’re looking for a little more flavor, avoid adding sugar to your green tea by choosing from one of the many flavored options or add a few drops of honey.

3. Add Seltzer to Your Juice

Ditch the sugary soda for fresh juice and seltzer. Pick your favorite 100% juice and mix it with seltzer, it’s that simple. It’s also more affordable than soda. Pick a juice high in vitamins for extra health benefits like cranberry or pomegranate juice. Studies show cranberry juice can protect against urinary tract infections and kidney stones, while pomegranate juice is high in vitamin C and B. Try one part juice and three parts seltzer to create a tasty low calorie drink.

4. Spice things up with Veggie Juice

Vegetable juice is low in calories and sugar. It’s also a great way to get your daily dose of vegetables. Vegetable juice can be high in sodium, so opt for a low sodium option. You can also make your own vegetable juice at home with a juicer. Add your favorite vegetables and some fruit for sweetening. Prefer to spice things up, add black pepper or your favorite hot sauce.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or decrease your sugar intake, you can achieve a great deal by eliminating soda from your diet. Next time you want to reach for a can of soda try flavored water or vegetable juice instead.

Dayton Dandes Medical Center we’re here to help you reach optimal health. Call us to schedule an appointment with a nutritionist today, or browse our services page to review all our integrative therapies.

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Bristol.ac.uk: “Over Consumption of Sugary Drinks Dulls Taste Buds.”

The articles on this website are not to be construed as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.