Soda is making headlines and causing controversy with the continuous studies announcing links to major health issues and debates of how or whether government should get involve or regulate soda consumption.
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Last week Sarah Palin made headlines for taking a shot at Bloomberg’s ban on large sodas at CPAC. The *NY Post quoted her as saying “Oh, Bloomberg’s not around, our Big Gulp’s safe. Shoot, it’s just pop, with low-cal ice cubes in it. I hope that’s OK.” (Side note, thank you Sarah, for giving Tina Fey more material.) On The Dr. Oz show today, Dr. Oz will sit down with Mayor Bloomberg and talk about the controversy and the dangers of drinking soda.

For me, the soda war has nothing to do with politics, I had my own battle with soda.  For about 20 years, I had an obscene addiction to Diet Coke. I couldn’t start my morning without sipping on a Diet Coke over ice, or eat lunch without a diet coke, or drive in a car without one.  I would drive 20 miles to get a fountain soda; it was my crack. Sounds familiar? Even if you are not at that extreme, many people can relate to loving a soda, though we all know it’s bad for us.
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So, how bad is it?  The latest studies show that soda has also been linked to kidney damage, diabetes, accelerated tooth decay, and certain cancers. Regular soda can elevate blood pressure. Diet soda increases stroke risk and causes metabolic syndrome (combined symptoms that lead to diabetes and heart disease).  According to *Kick The Can, a CA health advocacy project, even one can per day increases your *risk of stoke by 16% and increases your likelihood of being overweight by 27 %. For each additional soda a kid drinks, his or her risk of obesity goes up by 60%.

Some sodas and sports drinks (Gatorade and Mountain Dew) contain flame retarding chemicals to keep the artificial flavoring from separating from the rest of the liquid. BVO, Brominated Vegetable Oil, which in high doses can cause memory loss and nerve disorders.

Are you ready to quit yet?  If you want to win your battle with soda, try using these steps to break the habit.
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  1. Start taking SAM-e a few days before you get started. SAM-e is a natural supplement with dozens of benefits but in this case it will boost your mood and help with the cravings.
  2. For one week. Reduce your soda intake to 1 can or 12 oz. per day. Choose when you will drink it and finish it within 20-30 minutes. No spreading it out throughout the day.
  3. Find a replacement drink and add it in before you quit. Water, unsweetened tea, iced coffee or fruit infused seltzer water. Don’t trade crap for crap and reach for junky energy waters, juices or other fake drinks that claim to be natural or good for you.

  • Think about why and when you want your soda. Similar to people that are addicted to nicotine or food, we all have our triggers. I had a hard time driving, I felt like I was missing something. I kept bottles of water in my car and brought tea with me.
  1. After 7 days of 12 oz per day, GO COLD TURKEY. At least for the next 3 months, it has to be zero. Use your replacement drinks instead.
  2. Throw away all your soda.
  3. Change your routine. If you used to grab a diet coke on your way to work, drive a different route. If you always have a soda with your burger, have a salad; a healthier choice will help you make other healthy choices.
  4. Celebrate!

A few additional tips:
  • Tell everyone, it will help keep you accountable
  • Grab a buddy, it’s great support
  • Calculate how much money you will save by quitting.
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It’s been six months since I quit Diet Coke and I can honestly say, I don’t miss it at all anymore. I wish you the best of luck.

For more information on Kick The Can and how you can help with cause, go to www.kickthecan.info

Resources & References:

*NY Post, Palin lampoons Bloomberg's large-soda ban at CPAC, by Michael Gartland, March 17, 2013

*Kick the Can, www.kickthecaninfo.com

 


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