Sunday, August 13, 2006

Drink This Instead of Soda Pop


Okay, yes, I used to drink pop all the time. Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Root Beer, Ginger Ale - you name it. I like the taste of pop. I like the sweetness. The fizziness is okay, but I could do without that aspect.

Over the past few years, however, I've found out a lot that's bad about soda. The high fructose corn syrup does a tap dance on my blood sugar levels. The phosphoric acid is a harmful chemical. The sodium levels are high, adding to water retention, etc.

So I quit drinking soda. Totally. If I have 3 sodas a year, that's a lot.

What to substitute though? Soda does taste really good, so what is a sweet drink without all the sugar, sodium, etc. Basically, I want a sweetened, no calorie water.

Forget about the high priced "flavored waters."

Here is my solution.

I buy Sweet Leaf liquids in various flavors. I add a few drops to a big glass of water. And I have it! No calories. No sodium. Just water.

Sweet Leaf liquids contain stevia. Stevia is a plant that grows in South America (but actually can thrive here in the U.S. too) that has very sweet leaves. Incredibly sweet. So, if you take an extract from those leaves, put it in a liquid, you have a sweetener that makes a lot of sense.

No sugar. No calories. Zero aftertaste. (If your stevia has aftertaste, you're using the wrong stevia.) Nothing bad at all.

But there's more to stevia.

It is actually anti-viral and anti-bacterial. If you have a cut, you can put stevia concentrate (not the same as the sweetener liquid) on the cut and it will not get infected and will heal more quickly. Likewise, you can take stevia concentrate (again, this is not the sweetener liquid that I use) and spray it on your throat to inhibit a sore throat.

Sound good? It does to me too. The little bottles are very expensive - about $18 for a 2 ounce bottle. But, you have to take into consideration that you use about 15-20 drops in a big glass of water, so that costs you about a total of 40-50 cents per drink. Very comparable to soda costs (if you buy in bulk) and yet much, much better for your health.

Learn more about stevia at the Sweet Leaf Website. And you can buy the stuff online here.

(I'm not being paid by Sweet Leaf or anyone else to say all this.)

For some "not so good" studies on the manmade chemical sweetener Splenda, click here.

7 comments:

SteviaInfo.com said...

Hey,
Thanks for helping to spread the word about stevia. For readers looking to learn more about the herbal sweetener, check out SteviaInfo.com, a non-commercial resource with tons of news articles, stevia recipes, research studies and more.


Ryan

Holistic Economy said...

Ryan,

Thanks! That's a cool site. I'll take a closer look at it and then review it on this blog.

I appreciate you contacting me.

I've noticed that when people are searching for "instead of soda" on Google, I'm the first site listed! How cool is that??

To me, stevia is the ultimate solution for the "instead of soda" question.

If you want me to write any articles for your site, let me know.

Derek Newman said...

Daryl, please try ZEVIA carbonated stevia supplement, the first all natural sugar free alternative to diet soda. It contains stevia along with other all-natural ingredients, and comes in cola, orange, and twist (lemon-lime) flavors. ZEVIA tastes better than any diet soda and has all the benefits you described. I must disclose I am the president of the company, but ZEVIA really is a remarkable product you should try.

ADD US TO YOUR FAVORITES PAGE said...

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Never heard of the stuff. Thanks. I had to give up caffiene for how it wrecked my insides. Now I'd like to give up even caffeine free soda too. This might be the ticket.

Jessica L said...

I was very skeptical about using Stevia. I refuse to use artificial sweeteners and was searching for a healthier, natural alternative to sugar. I have researched Stevia and apparently Stevia-based sweeteners have been used in Japan since the 1970s – ever since that country banned artificial sweeteners. To this date, after being used by tens of millions of people for more than 40 years, there has not been a single consumer complaint about Stevia.

I have been using the Sweetleaf brand for several months now and absolutely love it! You can now purchase it at any Whole Foods store.

SweetLeaf can be used in hot drinks, cold drinks, is great on cereal, brings out the delicious flavors in fruits, can be used in cooking and baking, makes great-tasting desserts and is incredible in smoothies and blended drinks.

Daryl Kulak said...

Jessica,

You're right, stevia is one of the most studied sweeteners on the planet. Plus it has a long, long track record in Asia and Latin America.

Jon Barron has some good info on the background of Stevia here:

http://www.jonbarron.org/audio/radio.php

He says that the soda industry actually lobbied against having aspartame legalized in the 1980s because they were concerned about lawsuits. There were already studies back then showing harmful effects from aspartame. At the same time, the FDA was trying to make stevia illegal, although no studies showed any issues.

Daryl Kulak said...

Derek,

I missed your comment for some reason. Yes, I have tried Zevia! I love it. Especially the cola.

Unfortunately, it is not available in Columbus, Ohio where I live, but since I travel with business so often I am able to pick it up in Charlotte NC and other areas.

Thanks! Best of luck with your company Derek.