This is the final blog in my series on achievable ways to improve your health. So far we have had sit less – move more, eat more veg and now the 3rd idea (drum roll please)….

drink fewer soft drinks.

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How this will help you improve your health.

Soft drinks are often high in sugar and have low nutritional values. This causes problems in two ways. Firstly it is easy to take in too many calories in a day if you drink a can or two of soft drinks because you can be unaware of the sheer amount of calories contained in the drink. For instance in a regular can of coke there is 6 teaspoons of sugar and a 500ml bottle of coke contains more than the recommended daily amount of sugar. Secondly, soft drinks are often low in nutrients so you are often replacing a drink that is high in nutritional values such as milk (especially for children) or water for something with so called ’empty calories’ such as lemonade or other fizzy drinks. Its a lose, lose situation not only are you taking in  a lot of calories in the fizzy drink in the form of sugar but you are missing out on the vitamins and minerals that would have been in the milk. The affect of missing out on these can lead to health problems later on in life.

Drinking soft drinks has been linked to an increase in body weight and an increase in risk of problems such as diabetes, in one studies the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was twice as high in those  who regularly drank sugary drinks (or fruit juices) compared to those who did not. Other research has shown a 40% increase in the risk of heart disease and heart attacks in women who drank  two more more sugary drinks a day compared to those who rarely drank sugary drinks.

So what should you drink instead of fizzy or soft drinks. NHS Change 4 life sugar swaps suggests swapping sugary or fizzy drinks for water, sugar free drinks, no added sugar drinks, low fat milk and diet drinks instead.

This is the last of my achievable ways to improve you health. Hopefully you will try and limit the fizzy drinks, even cutting down by one can a day can help. That added with eating more veg and sitting less will be a start of the road to a healthy lifestyle.

My next blog topics will be on avoiding injuries that you can get through everyday activities.

Rosie Piercy MChiro DC