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With so many different types of soda on the market, it can be challenging to figure out which one is healthier for you. Fortunately, there's an easy answer: homemade soda!
Homemade soda offers several key advantages over the store-bought variety. For starters, when making your soda at home, you have the freedom to pick and choose your own natural ingredients. This allows you to get creative and tailor your beverage to match your wants in terms of taste and nutrition.
In this post, we'll take a closer look at the pros and cons of homemade soda vs. store-bought to help you make an informed decision.
Nutritional Comparison of Homemade Vs. Store-Bought Soda
Homemade soda is often made with natural ingredients like fresh fruits, natural sweeteners, and herbs, which make it a healthier choice than store-bought soda. Let's compare their nutritional values:
- Natural sweeteners lead to lower calories per serving
- Depending on the flavorings used, homemade soda can have various vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, and more
- Generally lower in sodium compared to store-bought sodas
Store Bought Soda:
- Most store-bought sodas contain high fructose corn syrup or other sweeteners with up to 40 grams of sugar per 12 ounces
- Store-bought sodas are typically higher in sodium than homemade versions by as much as several hundred milligrams
- Some store-bought sodas may include artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and additives like phosphoric acid. These ingredients contain no nutritional value and may harm one's health.
Pros of Homemade Soda
Homemade soda has become a popular alternative to store-bought versions due to its cost savings, greater health benefits, and ability to customize flavors.
No Added Preservatives
Unlike store-bought sodas, homemade soda does not contain added preservatives or artificial ingredients. This means that you know exactly what is in your drink and can be sure it is free of unhealthy additives.
Homemade soda can be sweetened with natural ingredients such as honey, agave syrup, or fruit juice. These natural sweeteners are healthier than the refined sugars found in store-bought soda.
Homemade soda is a great way to add various vitamins and minerals to your diet. You can add fruits, vegetables, or herbs to make a more nutritious version of the drink.
Lower Sodium Levels
Store-bought sodas are often high in sodium, leading to health risks such as dehydration and hypertension. By making your soda at home, you can control the sodium levels much better. This makes it a better option for those who need to watch their sodium levels closely.
Homemade soda is significantly lower in calories than store-bought soda varieties. This not only helps you maintain your weight but also reduces the risk of developing health problems associated with obesity.
Instead of being stuck with the same flavors and brands in stores, you can experiment and create your signature taste by mixing different ingredients. You can also choose the sweetness level, carbonation amount, and more!
Cons of Store-bought Soda
Store-bought sodas are typically high in sugar, artificial flavoring, and preservatives. In contrast, homemade soda can be made with all-natural ingredients such as fruits and herbs that provide additional health benefits.
High Sugar Content
Store-bought soda is often loaded with sugar, which can lead to weight gain and other health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and tooth decay.
Many store-bought sodas contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium which can have adverse health effects.
Sodas contain preservatives and other additives that can cause allergic reactions.
Store-bought sodas typically contain a large amount of caffeine, which can lead to insomnia and other health issues.
Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits
Drinking sodas can lead to unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as skipping meals and replacing them with sugary drinks.
Tips for Reducing the Amount of Sugar in Your Homemade Soda
By following these tips, you can easily reduce the amount of sugar in your homemade soda without sacrificing flavor or enjoyment.
Use less syrup when making your soda
Start by using half the amount of syrup you normally use and see how it tastes. If needed, add a little more until you find the perfect balance of sweetness.
Choose natural sweeteners instead of processed sugars
Try replacing white or brown sugar with honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar for a healthier choice.
Experiment with other sweet flavors
Adding fruits such as berries, citrus, or pomegranate can give your soda an extra kick while cutting back on the sugar content. Additionally, spices like ginger, cinnamon, or nutmeg can make your homemade soda unique and tasty without additional sweetness.
Dilute with sparkling water
When making your soda, replace some of the regular water with sparkling water for added fizz without the extra sugar.
Drink slowly and savor each sip
Instead of gulping down a whole glass of soda in one go, take your time and enjoy each sip. This will help you reduce your overall consumption while still being able to enjoy that sweet flavor.
Make your own sugar-free syrups
For those looking for an even healthier option, try making your own sugar-free syrups at home. You can use fresh fruit juices, herb infusions, or natural sweeteners like stevia to create unique and delicious flavors with no added sugar.
While there may be some benefits to drinking homemade soda, it is important to remember that moderation is key. Too much of anything – even something seemingly innocuous as soda – can lead to health problems down the road.
If you are going to drink store-bought soda, be sure to check the label for sugar content and additives. And if you have any concerns about your health, always consult a doctor or medical professional.
If health is your priority when choosing a beverage, why not try making your homemade soda with a machine like the Sparkin Cold Soda Maker by GlacierFresh? All it takes is a few simple ingredients and some extra time in the kitchen – plus, you'll have an incredibly delicious treat at the end!