Regular sugar-filled soda's and diet Soft Drinks are big businesses. They have been a staple in American culture for a very long time. In recent years, Americans have been warned about consuming too much sugar, and cutting back on or cutting out soft drinks is one way to do it. There is also growing concern that diet soda's also pose a health risk. Research released a few days ago by INTERMAP, the International study of macro/micro nutrients and blood pressure, found that individuals who drink soft drinks, both diet and regular, have higher blood pressure readings that those who don't.

Confirmation from other studies related to soft drink consumption

This confirms a study done by the Nurses Health Study, which concluded that women who drank 4 or more cans of cola daily had a risk factor for elevated blood pressure that was 44 percent greater than women who drank less that one cup of regular soda each day. This research also validates a 2010 study on this subject which was published in Circulation. It concluded that cutting back on soft drinks not only may lower blood pressure, but also can decrease the chance of obesity and Type II Diabetes. Both of these have been proven to lead to heart disease.

Diet soft drinks and other alternatives

Type II Diabetics are often told to replace regular soft drinks for diet brands, in order to decrease sugar intake.

Diet soda is now coming under fire, as studies are showing them to be as big a risk as soft drinks made with sugar. There is no need to despair, because there are many alternatives if you desire to give up table sugar. The most recommended one is to drink purified water. If you feel you need the taste, try seltzer water or flavored seltzer water.

You can also slice up your favorites fruits and veggies and put them in a jar of water overnight. The next day you can enjoy delicious flavored water that has vitamins and minerals.

If you must have sweetener in your coffee, tea, or, lemonade, consider stevia, which is the most recommended alternative to sugar. According to Livestrong, regular use of stevia has been shown to reduce blood pressure.

This good news should be an incentive for those wanting to make a diet change. Stevia has also been shown to decrease blood glucose levels, which is a win-win for those diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Unlike artificial sweeteners, stevia comes from a plant, and is natural.