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Sugar Vs Artificially Sweetened Soft Drink

Soft Drinks

Soft drink is carbonated water, flavoured and sweetened with a meager 8-10 teaspoons of sugar. This is before ‘secret’ syrups, which have been shown to decay an entire tooth within a matter of hours, are added for further ‘flavour’

These sugary drinks are undoubtedly one of the worst choices for us to put into our bodies due to an association between the consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks and obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dental cavities, and low nutrient levels.


  • Fluids are not as satiating as solid foods. This means they don't provide the same feeling of fullness or satisfaction that solid foods do, which might prompt you to keep eating.

  • The body finds it hard to "register" fluid calories. Each 375ml can of soft drink contains approximately 650-700kj (155-165kcal, or 8-10% of the recommended daily intake).

  • Gulping the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar over the course of a few minutes gives the body's blood sugar controls a run for their money. Most people handle a blast of blood sugar just fine. Over time, though, a diet rich in easily digested carbohydrates may lead to type 2 diabetes.

  • Soft drinks are generally lacking in beneficial nutrients and the addition of caffeine to soft drinks further limits the absorption of nutrients such as Iron and B-group vitamins responsible of adequate energy levels.

  • Teeth and gums are harmed due to the sugar content and carbonation of these drinks.

Diet Soft Drinks

Diet sodas and other diet drinks are sweetened with calorie-free artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (Equal®, NutraSweet®), saccharin (Sweet'N Low®, Necta Sweet®), or sucralose (Splenda®); a new addition to the market are drinks sweetened with Stevia, a calorie-free sweetener made from the leaves of a South and Central American shrub.

These diet drinks are a better choice than sugar-sweetened soft drinks because they are lower in calories and over the short term, switching from sugar-sweetened soft drinks to diet drinks cuts calories and has been shown to benefit weight loss.

However, the possibility that these sugar-free substitutes may contribute to weight gain in the long term suggests that they aren't as innocuous as once thought


  • Tooth Decay still a real risk with increased consumption of ‘diet’ soft drinks

  • It may be possible that sweet-tasting soft drinks, regardless of whether they are sweetened with sugar or a calorie-free sugar substitute, stimulate the appetite for other sweet, high-carbohydrate foods ultimately leading to weight gain.

  • Certain studies have found a combination of artificial sweeteners with caffeine and other additives may have effects on hormone levels in the body, making weight loss more difficult.

  • Although the scientific findings are mixed and inconclusive, there is worrisome evidence that regular use of artificial sweeteners may promote weight gain and progression of some cancers.

  • A recent study out of Israel has also found that people who were given artificial sweeteners had higher fasting blood sugar (a precursor to type 2 diabetes) and altered gut bacteria

Winner – Water.

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