Dr. Ryan Shelton Shares 7 Tips For Kicking Your Soda Habit

Soda may taste delicious, but it's not doing your body any favors.

In fact, research into soda's effects on health is pretty scary.

Soda is packed with sugar - both high fructose corn syrup and cane juice can be found in popular brands of soda, including Coca-Cola®, Pepsi®, Mountain Dew®, Sprite®, Dr. Pepper® and more.

Products labeled "light" or "diet" aren't necessarily any better - they still have sugar substitutes like aspartame, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium.

And one grande-sized can of Coke contains 39 grams of sugar - more than double the recommended daily intake.

Read on to find out how you can kick the soda habit for good with these tips from Dr. Ryan Shelton.

1. Drink more water instead of soda

Put down the soda and pick up a bottle of water next time you get thirsty. According to the Mayo Clinic, drinking lots of water will help reduce your desire for sugary drinks.

Tips for drinking more water:

-Keep reusable bottles of water in the fridge

-Store lemon, lime, cucumber, or mint to flavor your water

-Add fruit like strawberries or oranges to natural seltzer for flavorful fizz

2. Don't drink your calories - replace soda with sparkling water or seltzer to get that fizz without the sugar

This is a great way to cut down on empty calories and still satisfy your craving for bubbles! Wisconsin milk producers even partnered with Bimbo Bakeries USA—the makers of Arnold Bread, Thomas English Muffins, and Sara Lee Bakery—to introduce Bubly, a new line of 100 percent natural sparkling water that's made with milk.

3. Sugar is sneaky - read the ingredients list and avoid foods with added sugars, like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, cane juice, evaporated cane juice

Many brands are now becoming more transparent by including the actual sugar count right on the front of their beverage.

When grocery shopping, be sure to read the labels on everything you buy, and if sugar is high up in the ingredients list, put it back on the shelf.

4. Replace sugary drinks in your home with healthier ones - switch out sodas for flavored seltzers

Seltzer water is a great alternative to soda or other high-calorie beverages. You can also try sparkling mineral water, which has natural ingredients and minerals that can help boost your health.

5. Switch from diet sodas to natural sweeteners like honey or agave nectar

Honey is a great source of antioxidants, which have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease by stopping plaque buildup in blood vessels. You can also try swapping out your ketchup for hot sauce or salsa, which contains natural ingredients to help you cut back on sugar and sodium.

Plus, natural sweeteners taste great, so you don't need to use nearly as much.

6. Keep a drinking log of what you drink each day

This will allow you to keep track of how much soda or other sugary drinks you're putting into your body over time. It's also a great way to make sure that you stick to your healthy drink goals.

There are apps like Habit Bull and My Water Balance that can help you keep track of how much water you drink each day.

Alternatively, if you're using a fitness app, such as MyFitnessPal, you may be able to track your beverage intake that way too.

7. Exercise more

To burn off the 150 calories found in a typical 12-ounce soda, you'd need to walk briskly for about 50 minutes or jog nonstop for 15 minutes! So be sure to incorporate exercise into your healthy living routine.

Experts recommend exercising at least 150 minutes per week, or at a minimum, 30 minutes on most days of the week.

Conclusion

Soda can be a delicious treat on hot summer days, but you should avoid it as much as possible. If you are addicted to soda, try out these tips from Dr Ryan Shelton to gradually decrease your intake of sugary drinks.

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