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Is coffee better for you than soda pop?

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Diet, Health

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    GirlSmarts on Sep 18, 2012 Reply

    The question of whether coffee is better or worse for a person than soda is difficult to answer, because there are a lot of variables, or deciding factors.

    For example, from a nutritional standpoint a plain cup of black coffee with no sugar or cream has about 5 “empty” calories, with no cholesterol and no sodium, while a Starbucks Grande Cafe Latte has 168 calories, 21g of sugar, and a whopping 232mg of sodium (that’s 10% of all of the sodium you should consume in one day).

    By contrast, a bottle of Coke has 97 calories, 21g of sugar and 68mg of sodium. And that is just the nutritional label information; it gets a lot more complicated than that.

    You also have to consider the ingredients used for different sodas or coffees. The kind of sugar used in most sodas, and in pre-sweetened Starbucks coffees, is called high-fructose corn syrup. This is made from a process that breaks down corn sugar, adds chemicals to it, and re-processes it into a substance that the human body can’t process very well. This is much worse for you than plain table sugar (which you know is not very good for you either).

    Many sodas also contain many other chemicals that don’t go into plain coffee, but sodas made with pure cane sugar and without added preservatives, could be considered “better” for you than some others.

    Most sodas, and all coffee, also contain caffeine, which while legal, is still a drug. Caffeine is addictive, and using it too much can cause sleep difficulties, as well as dependence and withdrawal symptoms.

    So, the answer is neither is really good for you. If you had to pick between the two, in-general, coffee is better for you than soda, but that depends a lot on the kind of coffee, and the kind of soda.

    In general, plain coffee could be considered the “healthiest”, but it’s not actually “healthy”. It’s important to remember that one might be “better” than the other, but neither is particularly “good” for you, so drink both coffee and soda very sparingly and preferably not at all.

    Talk to your health care provider about what are the best liquid food options for your health.

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