Sugar Pops

7 Side Effects of Soda

Are you drinking from the periodic table?
16 reasons to stop drinking soda it harms your body
Tally of sodas for calories and sugar content
For Goodness’ Sake, Stop Giving Kids Juice
Quick Tip to Help you Remember Fruits High and Low in Sugar

Are you drinking from the periodic table?

U.S. consumption of soft drinks ranks number one in the world, which is easy to understand. They are tasty, convenient, cheap and everywhere. They are mildly addictive because of High Fructose Corn Syrup and caffenine and we think they're a thirst quencher, but they're really not. Taco Bell is testing a morning soft drink service called Mtn Dew AM (a mix of oj and Mtn Dew served until 11am.)

Furthermore, soft drinks have no nutritional value. They contribute to weight gain (1-12 oz can a day translates to more than a pound weight gain every month) and obesity, diabetes, weakened bones, dental problems, kidney damage, increased blood pressure, cause heartburn, metabolic syndroms, are harmful on the liver, impair the digestive system, dehydration, high caffeine, possible DNA cell damage.

If you drink diet soda, it often includes the poison Aspartame made from aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol making it 200 times sweeter than table sugar. It's dangerous because after consumption, it starts to return to its original components and methanol converts further to formaldehyde and formic acid which are known carcinogens.

A single sugar packet is 3.5 grams or 15 calories.

The smallest Pepsi, Coke and 5 other brands are 7.5 to 8 ounce cans - Get out a bowl and drop in roughly 8 packs of sugar

The 12 oz can is still around. Add 4 more packs of sugar

Next, there's the 16 and 16.9 oz bottles. Add 4 more

Many new vending machines only carry the 20 ounce product in singles which is true for convenience stores, as well. Add 4 more

There's 24 oz - Add 4 more

Then comes one liter or 33.8 ounces Add 10 more

and the one they really want you to buy - the 2 liter or 67.6 ounces Add 34 more packets of sugar

The average American drinks 57 gallons of soda each year (that's about 54 lbs of sugar.) or more than 10 - 5 lb bags.

There are so many healthy alternatives that don't deprive you of essential vitamins and minerals like fresh juices, milk and water.

But, if you still plan to drink soft drinks or energy drinks, consider replacing it with good old water. And if you still have to have that sugar hit, add 12 packets of sugar that are in the soft drink. It would be better for you than High Fructose Corn Syrup, caffeine and Bominated vegetable oil. (BVO).

 For Goodness’ Sake, Stop Giving Kids Juice

A new British study is reiterating what anybody could work out by looking at nutrition labels: many commercially sold fruit drinks and juices give kids an entire day's worth of sugar in a single serving.

Of 203 fruit drinks, juices, and smoothies marketed at children, almost half of them had at least a child’s daily recommended maximum sugar intake of 19 grams.

Pamela Koch, executive director of the nutrition program at Teachers College, Columbia University, says she thinks the results would be similar if the study was conducted in the United States.

"Many fruit drinks are excessively high in added sugars, as this study found. Yet, these are often marketed as healthful products, confusing parents and children," she said.

The study's researchers recommended that when giving children fruit juice, they should choose unsweetened juice, dilute juice with water, only serve it during meals, and limit the amount to about 5 ounces a day.

An even better idea? Eat fruit, don't drink it.

Beverages That May Have More Sugar Than You Think

1. Beverages

The word is out: consuming sugar-sweetened beverages is linked to obesity and Type 2 diabetes and may even affect how long we live. Of all the sugar we consume, we drink a goodly portion of it. Everyone knows that sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages (call it a soda, soft drink, Coke, tonic, or pop) lead that dubious pack. So the fact that soda has lots of sugar is not a surprise -- everyone knows that carbonated soft drinks are loaded with sugar.

Why does soda contain so much sugar? One of the reasons is that it turns out we like the combination of sweet and sour tastes (or sweet and bitter). Sodas have a lot of acid in them (usually phosphoric acid) and then a lot of sugar or other sweetener is used to counteract the sour flavor.

Prominent health organizations are recommending limiting sugar consumption to 6 -12 teaspoons of sugar per day, depending on the organization. A can of regular soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar in it.


Compared to soda, lemonade may seem downright healthy, but some lemonade can actually have more sugar than soda! When anything is sour, you can bet there is plenty of sugar in there to counteract the sour taste. Homemade lemonade has about the same amount of sugar as lemon juice in it.

A 20-ounce bottle of Minute Maid lemonade has 17 teaspoons of sugar in it - 67 grams. That is significantly more added sugar than any organization recommends in a single day from all sources.

Energy Drinks

Many energy drinks have a shocking amount of sugar in them. Here's a secret: loading lots of sugar into your body does NOT "give you more energy"! Overloading our bodies with sugar will simply cause it to turn to fat. In fact, the sugar in most energy drinks has a significant amount of fructose, which does not provide quick energy in any case.

It is caffeine and other stimulants in energy drinks that causes the "energy" effects.

The sugar? Typical is 62 grams (16 teaspoons) in 16 ounces

Sports Drinks

Most people don't need what sports drinks have to offer.

It may surprise you to find out that sports drinks actually have less sugar than most sugar-sweetened beverages. Still, at 16 grams (4 teaspoons) for an 8-ounce serving, it adds up fast. Plus, about half of it is usually fructose, which, as we have already seen, is not a great source of quick energy. For more information about sports drinks and how to make your own easy sugar-free version, see How to Make a Sugar-Free Sports Drink

Coffee Drinks

It's surprising how many people have gotten used to basically having dessert every morning. Did you know that a 16 oz ("Grande") Cafe' Mocha at Starbucks has 9 teaspoons of sugar in it? If you prefer a White Chocolate Mocha, that's (get ready for it) 6 MORE teaspoons of sugar, for a grand total of 59 grams/15 teaspoons of sugar. It pays to find out whether your favorite coffee shop has sugar-free versions of their drinks, or cultivate a taste for plain coffee. Hey, How Many Carbs in that Latte?

Sweet Iced Tea

To counteract the slight bitterness of tea (and often the sourness of lemon), there can be a surprising amount of sugar in sweetened tea. One popular brand has 12 teaspoons of sugar in a 16 oz bottle. Homemade is easy to make, tastier, and you can control exactly what is in it.

Juice Drinks and Fruit-Flavored Drink Mixes

Anything labeled a "juice drink" is basically sugar water flavored with juice. Furthermore, the juice is usually mostly a very low-nutrient juice, such as apple (most of the nutrients are lost when refined apple juice is made), pear, or white grape. Juice drinks vary in the amount of sugar they have in them. Servings are usually 6 or 8 ounces and have anywhere from 16 grams (4 teaspoons) of sugar to twice that.

Drink mixes such as Kool-Aid are, of course, even worse. They have zero nutritional value. They are ONLY sugar, water, and flavorings. Each 8 ounce glass delivers 6 teaspoons of sugar and absolutely nothing else.

Fruit Juice

What about 100% fruit juice? By definition, 100% juice has no added sugar. But it can take 2 or 3 cups of fruit to make one cup of juice, so there are a LOT of natural sugars in some juices. You are also losing nutrients and fiber when you choose to buy juice instead of fruit.

Make sure look at the label to answer the question, "what kind of fruit"? Because, once again, there are lots of juice blends that have predominantly low-nutrient fruit juices in them (apple, pear, white grape).

The majority of the nutrients (and phytonutrients) in an apple or pear are taken away in the process of making the juice.

Even with more nutritious juices such as orange juice it's SO much better to eat an orange. Some of the nutrients, such as calcium, are lost in the processing, as is all of the fiber. Also, to keep these juices uniform, many of them are processed within an inch of their (long-lost) lives, with lots of different adulterants and flavorings added.

Eating fruit is much better from a blood sugar perspective as well -- drinking fruit juice is a very effective way to get a quick blood sugar rise, as any diabetic will tell you.

How much sugar in fruit juice? You may be surprised to learn that some of them have more than soda! Probably the highest-sugar juice is grape juice, at a whopping 38 grams (12 and a half teaspoons) per cup of juice. That's over a quarter cup of sugar in a cup of juice! Orange juice has about 28 grams (7 teaspoons) per cup, while grapefruit has 22 grams.

For low-sugar juices, try diet cranberry cocktail, which has artificial sweetener added instead of sugar, or go with tomato juice, either alone or in blends, for 11 grams per cup (a little less than three teaspoons of sugar).

Low-Carb Fruit List

Tip: If a juice has the word "cocktail" or "nectar" in the title, check the label. Most likely, either sugar or some low-nutrient juice has been added.

So, be careful when ordering! Or try making sugar-free cocktails at home! It's fun and easy!


Not all cocktails have sugar added to them -- a dry martini or a Bloody Mary are examples of those that do not. However most popular cocktails are pretty loaded down with sugar. They are made with ingredients such as simple syrup (sugar dissolved in water), sweet and sour mix (sour juices mixed with water and sugar) and liqueurs, such as Amaretto, Kahlua, and Cointreau, which can have up to 25 grams of sugar (6 teaspoons) in a jigger.

Example: a small margarita can easily have 24 grams of sugar in it.

Quick Tip to Help you Remember Fruits High and Low in Sugar

1. Berries - Berries are, in general, the fruits lowest in sugar -- and also among the highest in antioxidants and other nutrients.

2. Summer Fruits - Melons, peaches, nectarines, and apricots are next in sugar-order.

3. Winter Fruits - Apples, pears, and citrus fruit are moderate in sugars.

4. Tropical Fruits - Pineapple, pomegranates, mangoes, bananas, and fresh figs are high in sugar (guava and papaya are lower than the others).

5. Dried Fruit - Dates, raisins, apricots, prunes, figs, and most other dried fruits are extremely high in sugar.

Dried cranberries and blueberries would be lower, except that a lot of sugar is usually added to combat the tartness.

Dehydrated or freeze-dried berries and summer fruits, when you can find them, are a good alternative to dried.

Fruits Lowest in Sugar

  • Small Amounts of Lemon or Lime
  • Rhubarb
  • Raspberries (more about berries on low carb diets)
  • Blackberries
  • Cranberries

Fruits Low to Medium in Sugar

  • Strawberries
  • Casaba Melon
  • Papaya
  • Watermelon
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupes
  • Honeydew melons
  • Apples
  • Guavas -- Pineapple Guavas (Feijoa) and Strawberry Guavas are probably similar, but information that directly compares them is not available
  • Apricots
  • Grapefruit

Fruits Fairly High in Sugar

  • Plums
  • Oranges
  • Kiwifruit
  • Pears
  • Pineapple

Fruits Very High in Sugar

  • Tangerines
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Pomegranates
  • Mangos
  • Figs
  • Bananas
  • Dried Fruit, such as dates, raisins, dried apricots, and prunes



If you are considering buying organic fruits, check out this list of which fruits and vegetables have the most and least pesticides to help you guide your choices.

Pesticides on Popular Produce

  • 1. (worst) Celery
  • 2. Peaches
  • 3. Strawberries
  • 4. Apples
  • 5. Blueberries - U.S. Grown
  • 6. Nectarines
  • 7. Sweet Bell Peppers
  • 8. Spinach
  • 9. Kale and Collard Greens
  • 10. Cherries
  • 11. Potatoes
  • 12. Grapes – Imported from outside U.S.
  • 13. Lettuce
  • 14. Blueberries - Imported
  • 15. Carrots
  • 16. Green Beans – U.S. grown
  • 17. Pears
  • 18. Plums - Imported
  • 19. Summer Squash
  • 20. Cucumbers - Imported
  • 21. Green Beans - Imported
  • 22. Hot Peppers
  • 23. Red Raspberries
  • 24. Oranges
  • 25. Grapes – U.S. grown
  • 26. Cantaloupe
  • 27. Cucumbers - U.S. Grown
  • 28. Cauliflower
  • 29. Tomatoes
  • 30. Bananas
  • 31. Broccoli
  • 32. Winter Squash
  • 33. Cranberries
  • 34. Plums - U.S. Grown
  • 35. Honeydew Melon
  • 36. Sweet Potato
  • 37. Grapefruit
  • 38. Watermelon
  • 39. Cantaloupe - U.S. Grown
  • 40. Cabbage
  • 41. Eggplant
  • 42. Kiwi
  • 43. Asparagus
  • 44. Sweet Peas (frozen)
  • 45. Mango
  • 46. Pineapple
  • 47. Sweet Corn (frozen)
  • 48. Avocado
  • 49. Onions (least)