If you’re craving soda or if you just want a break from water, I’ve got the perfect healthy soda alternative for you… and it’s something I drink myself every day!
It has the fizzy kick of soda without all the toxic sugar or artificial sweeteners. In fact, my special “soda” is packed with two key nutrients you need to be getting in your body. Check out my new video…
To recap, here are those instructions again:
1) Sparkling Mineral Water
I strongly recommend San Pellegrino, because it’s one of the very few mineral waters that contains sulfate ions.
Sulfur is an essential mineral, but most people don’t get enough in their diet. Sulfur helps cleanse & detoxify your body, protects against oxidative stress, boosts your immune system, and can even help support your joints.1
2) Balsamic Vinegar
It’s naturally a little sweet and a little tangy, and contains an abundant amount of energy- and longevity-boosting polyphenols.
One study indicates that the polyphenols in balsamic vinegar helped inhibit LDL oxidation, a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.2
To make the drink:
Simply add a couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to a glass, top with San Pellegrino, stir, and enjoy.
I even do it in restaurants! Just ask the waiter to bring over the balsamic and add a few drops to your mineral water.
It may seem crazy, but balsamic vinegar is naturally sweet… so this simple drink satisfies a sweet tooth AND a craving for carbonation.
This is one soda I don’t feel guilty for loving – again, I drink it myself every day.
WHY SHOULD I AVOID CONVENTIONAL SODA AND JUICE?
Perhaps you already know that a can of regular soda is a sugar-drenched health hazard. And it’s not always cane sugar that you need to be aware of. Many years ago, the Coca-Cola company switched from using sugar to high-fructose corn syrup in their soda drinks because, with corn subsidized by the government, it became a much more affordable option. High-fructose corn syrup may not contain the word “sugar” but it’s as bad, if not worse, for your blood sugar and insulin levels than regular table sugar.
With this awareness, many people have made a switch to diet soft drinks or fruit juice to replace their soda habit. But this is just as much of a problem. Why?
1. Fruit juice beverages are loaded with as much sugar as soda.
A single 12 oz can of cola contains 33g of sugar. A 12 oz glass of orange juice can contain around 31g of sugar. How much sugar is that in simple terms? It’s around EIGHT teaspoons of sugar. You wouldn’t even sprinkle that on your cereal, so why would you drink a glass of it? You may have heard me refer to fruit as “nature’s candy,” and that’s because it has as much sugar as some candies. You absolutely should enjoy some fruit in your diet, but do so in moderation, and when that fruit is in season. Think of it as a treat. You should also aim to eat fruit whole, as fruit contains essential fibers that we need for a healthy digestive system.
2. Calorie-free diet sodas may not be considered a “sugary drink”, BUT …
– that doesn’t mean that the other ingredients are good for you. In fact, if you’ve seen my milk and soda experiment, you’ll understand why.
The phosphorous and acids in your favorite can of “diet” soda are actually robbing your body of its most essential mineral: calcium. This is particularly bad for women, who are more naturally prone to osteoporosis due to their thinner bones and a loss of bone-protecting estrogen as they age. Calcium keeps your bones and teeth strong, while also supporting your heart, nerves, muscles, and a host of other crucial bodily functions. So, being deprived of calcium causes far greater problems than just bad teeth. As you will see in my experiment … when you drink soda, a barrier is instantly formed that prevents your body from absorbing calcium!
3. Artificial sweeteners can elicit an insulin response
Artificial sweeteners such as Splenda, aspartame, saccharin, or even the plant-based stevia, can still elicit an insulin response in a diet soda drinker in much the same way that sugar does. When you’re drinking diet soda, the body starts to get used to these sugar substitutes and the tongue will start to send a message to the brain that something sweet is incoming. The brain then signals the pancreas to secrete insulin. So, despite the fact that the sweetener has no calories, it may still contribute to weight gain. That certainly makes me think twice about soda consumption of any kind.
“If it tastes sweet, retreat!”
So the next time you have a soda craving, give this homemade “soda” recipe a try… and make sure to let me know what you think.
Oh, I highly recommend San Pellegrino sparkling water because, compared to other brands, it has the highest level of sulfates: 535 milligrams per liter. Other sulfate-containing mineral waters include Perrier, Gerolsteiner, Badoit, Calistoga, Azzurra, and Vichy. But, again, none have nearly the level of San Pellegrino.
Looking out for you,
Steven Gundry, MD
P.S. I highly recommend San Pellegrino because, compared to other brands, it has the highest level of sulfates: 535 milligrams per liter. Other sulfate-containing mineral waters include Perrier, Gerolsteiner, Badoit, Calistoga, Azzurra, and Vichy. But, again, none have nearly the level of San Pellegrino.
Want help stocking your pantry with Gundry-approved foods? Visit the online grocery shop for Dr. G’s personally curated products for the lectin-free lifestyle. Click the image to shop now:
Article updated on August 22nd, 2017
2Iizuka M, Tani M, Kishimoto Y, et al. Inhibitory Effects of Balsamic Vinegar on LDL Oxidation and Lipid Accumulation in THP-1 Macrophages. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology. 2010;56(6):421-427. doi:10.3177/jnsv.56.421.