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(reply to Anonymous)

I tend to agree with you, Anon. I think that the "bad" stuff in soda is really the sugar. Here's what MayoClinic.com has to say about diet sodas:

Drinking a reasonable amount of diet soda a day, such as a can or two, isn't likely to hurt you. The artificial sweeteners and other chemicals used in diet soda are safe for most people, and there's no evidence that these ingredients cause cancer. Some types of diet soda are even fortified with vitamins and minerals. But diet soda isn't a health drink or a cure for weight loss. Although switching from regular soda to diet soda will save you calories, some studies suggest that drinking soda of any type leads to obesity and other health problems. And healthier choices abound. Start your day with a small glass of 100-percent fruit juice. Drink skim milk with meals. Sip water throughout the day. For variety, try sparkling water or enjoy a squirt of lemon or cranberry juice in your water. Save diet soda for an occasional treat.

Source: Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D

I personally like tonic water, sometimes even club soda. As a distance runner, I drink a lot of electrolyte fluids - those contain essential minerals and sodium to help replace what's lost during hard workouts, and I even drink them in preparation for a distance event. If the argument against sodium was true, then electrolyte fluids would have to be included in the "bad for you" category.

All in all, while I agree that sodas, diet or otherwise, might not be the healthiest of fluid choices if consumed in great quantity and on a regular daily basis, and I rarely allowed sodas in my house when my kids were young (still don't), I wouldn't be one to start throwing red flags all around me about this.

People just have to learn to make good choices, that's all. We like our sweet, carbonated stuff, after all. Even I do - especially in a mojito, LOL!

June 11, 2009 - 4:26pm


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