Is it time to dump the soft drinks?

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katereidLast week it was announced that the UK will bring in a tax on soft drinks in a bid to lower sugar consumption and curb the rise in obesity rates.

Now celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who has been one of the most prominent lobbyists for the sugar tax, is encouraging Australia to follow suit.

Regardless of where your views lie in the discussion about a potential sugar tax, it is clear that we as a population over consume these types of high sugar, nutrient lacking products.

A can of soft drink can include as much as 10 teaspoons of sugar, and besides adding to your energy consumption for the day, they provide nothing of nutritional value.

While this is true I think it’s important that we understand that soft drinks don’t work in isolation.

Yes, nutrition wise soft drinks are a poor beverage choice, but if you have a balanced, nutritious diet there’s no harm in enjoying a soft drink every now and then.

Unfortunately for some of us it’s the ‘every now and then’ part that we struggle with.

If you fall into this category and are looking to cut back on your soft drink intake there’s a few things you can do.

The best change you can make is to replace soft drink with water.

Now I know for some people water isn’t the most appealing option. If this is the case for you, try having soda water with a squeeze of lime, lemon or orange.

This is a great way to up your water intake while still enjoying a carbonated beverage with a little taste to it.

Another option that I recommend is to mix fruit juice with water.

While fruit juice is also high in sugar it does have the benefit of being high in vitamin C and by watering it down your sugar intake will be less.

Of course milk, tea or coffee are other good alternatives if you’re looking for a more nutritious beverage.

So once again the take home message is simple; moderation.

A healthy diet can include the occasional soft drink, just don’t over do it.

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