Consider healthier alternatives to sugary sodas


Regular or diet—soda generally isn’t good for you. Soda has been linked to obesity, high blood pressure, kidney damage and some cancers.

If you’re looking for some easy swaps toward a more healthful lifestyle, try these five ideas in place of soda:

  1. Still or sparkling water
    Hands down; good old-fashioned water is always a healthy beverage choice. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, water helps you regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, protect your spinal cord and get rid of wastes.

    Spice up this soda swap with carbonation, fruit slices and herbs. Check out healthy fruit-infused water recipes from Buzzfeed.
  2. Coconut water
    A clear liquid found in the center of young (green) coconuts, coconut water is low in calories, low-sodium, fat-free, packed with potassium and gets the job done when it comes to hydration. But don’t confuse coconut water with coconut milk, which is white and higher in fat content.
  3. Hot or iced tea
    Tea has been touted for its health benefit for a very long time. WebMD says that studies have found some teas to help with cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

    Brew up green, black, white or herbal tea—and be wary of instant teas, which can include sugars and artificial sweeteners.
  4. Milk
    Put away the pop and check out a carton—of milk, that is. Cow’s milk counts toward your recommended daily serving of dairy, and contributes to bone health. When choosing dairy, be sure to stick with low-fat options.

    Change things up with almond milk, which is lower in calories and lower in protein than cow’s milk. SFGate reports that adding almond milk to your diet can be a way to help reduce the risk of heart disease.
  5. Vegetable juice
    Eating whole veggies is best, but when you’re craving a beverage, vegetable juice is usually a healthy choice. If you’re not able to juice your own veggies, be sure to look for packaged veggie juices that are low in sodium. Easy-to-find veggie juices include tomato, carrot, and greens like kale.