It is no secret that Americans consume more sugary soda, sweetened iced tea, and other high-sugar beverages than water, daily. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sugary drink consumption is associated with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems. Here's why this is important to you. Your weight loss is at stake, and nixing sugary beverages from your diet can be a huge boon to your success. By eliminating sugary beverages, the average American could lose about 15 pounds in a year without making any other changes.
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Do yourself a favor and stop drinking liquid sugar. And remember, this includes sweet tea (whadup, Alabama and Georgia!), which is loaded with sugar and calories. Try making your iced tea without sugar, flavor- ing it with fresh mint, ginger, or a splash of lemon, lime, orange, peach, mango, even cucumber, instead (the citrus and cucumber are alkaline in nature and reduce inflammation in the body). It may take some getting used to, but before you know it, you'll love it--and when you take a sip of sweet tea, you'll wonder how you could stand that overly sweet taste!
More: 7 Surprising Reasons to Give Up Sugar
Switching to diet sodas may not be the solution, even though they contain many fewer calories than sugar-sweetened drinks. The same study, as well as others, found that people who drink diet sodas have a higher risk of diabetes than those who don't. This is referred to as the diet-soda paradox.