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Is Soda Reeeaaaalllly that bad for you?

Okay in a short answer, heck yes it is horrible for you, but it's easier said that done when it comes to not drinking it. I have had the perception for years that if I drink a diet coke then I'm not really doing anything bad to myself because it has no calories and is not loaded with sugar. WRONG - O! Oh, how upsetting it was to find out that the artificial sweeteners are just as bad (okay, worse) than regular sugar. I can remember growing up when Mama would do weight watchers and a diet coke was a "freebie" because it had no calories. Sadly enough, the artificial factors in diet soda can make you feel even more hungry than you were! NOOOOOO! If you are like me and trying to be healthy and cut calories, the diet soda should NOT be a part of your diet. If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, stop it now!

*Queue the sad music as you empty your cans, pop the tops off for the Ronald McDonald House, and throw the lonely remains in the recycle bin.*

I found a great article on MSN Lifestyle this morning that gives you 5 things your body will do once you finally stop drinking soda. It is interesting that once stopping sodas you can not only lose weight but improve your bone and kidney health! For women, osteoporosis is already a known factor in our bones, so why drink sodas and make our bone density worse! I don't know about you but I'd like to continue my 34 year streak of no broken bones (knock on wood!) to continue as long as possible and I don't need brittle bones thanks to a diet coke working against me!

Here's your article on what happens when you stop!

So what about carbonated water? Ahh, I love some sparkling water. It has a little flavor and those bubbly yummies that I long for in the afternoon. Some people speculate that the carbonation is the key factor in bone loss but according to it is not the carbonation but the phosphorus in sodas that cause the bone density loss. If you get the flavored ones that have added acids and sugars then your risk of tooth decay goes way up. Bummer. So how do you pick a good one? Read the nutrition facts on the back! Look for cans that have little to no sodium (seltzer water has no sodium but club soda does), look for ones that do not have added sweeteners, flavors, and/or caffeine. Here's more on this article!

I went on to do a little more research on some of the most popular sparkling waters to see who gets a thumbs up and who gets a thumbs down. Many of you may give a sigh of relief as LaCroix and Perrier are both a thumbs up! Below is the full list. Remember, there a few thumbs down on here so stay away from those added sugar ones!

Last one, I wanted to find out how "good" the Dasini Sparkling Water I have sitting in my fridge was for me so I did a little digging. According to cooking light subscribers, it's their favorite! But is it good for me? Well, it's full of natural flavors, no added sugar, no artificial sweeteners, and no caffeine! It does have 29MG of sodium, which is 1% of your daily recommended value, though. Overall, I would say pick up a yummy sparkle over a soda any day, just watch the nutrition facts and look them up before indulging! And if you are a Dasini fan like me (Coca-Cola product, made in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, Yes!) then you are getting a black and white checkered flag to cross the finish line! Happy bubbles to you!

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