I drink soda, on rare occasions. With a slice of veggie or margherita pizza, I may get a Sprite or Sierra Mist. If I see Ting on the shelf at the grocery store, I might get it. It all depends on my mood. I tend to stick to clear soda instead of dark soda or the fruity versions. Definitely never really drank Coke or Pepsi and don’t really make a habit of drinking orange soda. It makes me wonder if all sodas are created equal; is my Ting or Sprite better than Coke or orange soda?
According to Soda King, the first naturally carbonated drink came on the scene in England around 1265. In the 18th century, manmade carbonated water was introduced to the world by Joseph Priestly’s method of infusing water with carbon dioxide. It was only a matter of time before flavors and other elements were added to create the sodas we all know today.
According to CNN, the biggest health risk for regular soda drinkers is the added calories which are devoid of any actual nutritional value. The calories in soda come from its sugar content and, as a result, habitual consumption of soda has been linked to health issues like obesity, tooth decay, bone thinning, and diabetes. Also, the diet version may be better calorie wise, but not health wise because diet versions carry many of the same health risks and have also been linked to depression in women.
So, the general idea is that sodas should only be consumed on rare occasions because they are not good for overall health. If you are ok with the rare occasion, which soda should you opt for – light, dark, or fruity? Eat This, Not That! analyzed 50+ sodas and selected the top 32. On the website, Sierra Mist was ranked #1 as the best soda out of the 32, Sprite was #6, Coca-Cola Classic was #8, Crush Grapefruit was #15, Fanta Orange was #19, and Fanta Grape was the worst at #32. In the end, it appears that the fruity sodas should be avoided, but, when it comes to light v. dark soda, you can go with personal preference. The main goal is that you drink soda on rare occasions because it is not good for your health. It’s difficult to quantify “rare occasions,” but it’s something that does not happen often which to me would fall into the realm of about once every two or more months.
If you want to get even healthier with your soda choices, Rodale’s Organic Life highlights these options: organic soda syrup, Steaz Sparkling Green Tea, Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew, Virgil’s Root Beer, Bionade, Oogavè, GT’s Enlightened Organic Raw Kombucha, HotLips Real Fruit Soda, and Fizzy Lizzy.
Of course, the healthiest soda may be the one that you make at home; you can find many homemade grapefruit soda recipes online. Search the THA Recipes page as well to see if a soda recipe is available.