4 Healthy Alternatives to Diet Sodas

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Sparkling Water with Lemon, Mint, Apple slices and and Ice

Did you know diet drinks may actually cause weight gain? Containing 5 calories or less per serving, many diet drinks lead us to believe we are choosing a healthy beverage. Wrong!

Diet soda contains artificial ingredients including sweeteners that appear to increase cravings in the human body for other sweet things, so in the end you consume more calories, sweeter foods and desserts. So what should we choose when looking for healthy alternatives to diet sodas or artificially added drinks?

Artificial Ingredients and Your Metabolism

Not only do artificially added drinks make you crave more sweets, but artificial sweeteners also contribute to weight gain by slowing your metabolism. Cutting out diet soda may actually cut calories from your daily intake in the long run, but you’ll probably miss that calorie-free fizz.  So to ease your pain, here are a few ideas to replace your diet soda favs with homemade alternatives that help you develop a taste for naturally sweet and healthy flavors.

All you need when breaking away from drinking diet soda is a little club soda, a few fruits and herbs to make your life a little sweeter, and still sparkling. Try these delicious, and healthy alternatives to diet or artificially sweetened drinks.  Combine the ingredients and serve.

Sparkling Pomegranate Tea

Sparkling Pomegranate Tea

  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup sparkling water
  • ½ cup cold organic green tea
  • 2 tbs organic honey

Citrus fruits contain soluble and insoluble fiber that can help you feel full, like an appetite suppressant. They also nourish the body with vitamins and minerals while helping the body detoxify. Citrus is great for cleansing the body of unwanted materials, including toxins, chemicals and preservatives found in common foods and drinks like soda. They taste great, with a sweet & sour flavor. Try a little cilantro with this to spice things up!

Citrusade

Citrusade

  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 tbs organic honey
  • ¾ cup fresh lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice (2 oranges)
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (2-3 limes)
  • 1 qt chilled club soda or ionized water

Want to get the party started? Frozen drinks make it cool to chill out.

Agua Fresca de Melon

Agua Fresca de Melon

  • 7 cups seeded watermelon chunks
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 12 oz sparkling water or ionized water
  • Natural sweetener (i.e organic honey) to taste
  • Sprig of mint

Rev-up your metabolism with green tea! For an added antioxidant boost add blueberries, or red grapes to this deliciously healthy, cold & bubbly drink! And if you can’t have carbonation, try ionized water in place of sparkling water.

Melon Lime Cooler

Melon Lime Cooler

  • 1 small honeydew melon
  • ½ cup seedless red grapes
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 cups sparkling water

 

References:

1. Fowler, S.P. 65th Annual Scientific Sessions, American Diabetes Association, San Diego, June 10-14, 2005; Abstract 1058-P. Sharon P. Fowler, MPH, University of Texas Health Science Center School of Medicine, San Antonio. Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, director, sports nutrition, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. WebMD News: “Artificial Sweeteners May Damage Diet Efforts.””Artificial Sweeteners May Damage Diet Efforts.” Davidson, T.L. International Journal of Obesity, July 2004; vol 28: pp 933-955.