Monday, February 14, 2011

a query from the clueless

Sometimes I think it's a wonder I get by. How do I know so little? Today, and for the last several days, I've been wondering about soda.

I stopped drinking soda in high school and then drank it for a few months when I was twenty-one and for about a month when I was pregnant (ginger ale...didn't work for the nausea). I haven't had it since then. I stopped drinking it as a reaction to a seemingly inconsequential remark from the person performing my physical to ensure I wouldn't die playing tennis or swimming in high school (or something). The person wasn't remarking on my body, wasn't telling me to lose weight, wasn't even telling me to change my diet*. She just said something about soda, something I can't even remember now, and I stopped drinking it. (I've never done this with any other consumable. Usually, when I tell myself I can't have something, five minutes later I'm craving it and ten minutes later I'm consuming it.)

So, my questions about soda. What's so bad about it? I think there's something about unnatural amounts of sugar (especially in the form of various corn syrups) and empty calories. But are all sodas considered equal? Are all sodas equally bad? What is the difference between soda and those fruit-juice-and-sparkling-water-combinations I keep seeing suggested for those trying to get away from soda?

This past weekend, we bought some Hansen's soda for a gathering and I compared the ingredients of one of those to a cola. The former seemed positively benign compared to the latter. I was tempted, but why even start? Why spend the money and calories on soda when there's ice cream?

Any answers for me?


* I use the term "diet" as in the variety of foods/foodstuffs I consume. I don't mean it as in "lemonade diet" or some such thing. Also, I swear, I once worked with someone who was on some kind of lemonade diet. It was something like water, lemon juice, paprika or pepper flakes or some red spice, and sugar? It didn't sound good (or healthy).