Organic fruits and vegetables

Organic fruits and vegetables
To Love Oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. --Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Soft drinks--love me not

A diet rule:  If you drink a diet soda with a candy bar, the calories in the candy bar are cancelled out by the diet soda.  We all like to find ways to justify drinking soft drinks. We kind of know they’re not good for us. But the truth is, becoming daily partners with soda is severely hurting us as a nation.  The National Domestic Violence Hotline says, “many abusive partners may seem absolutely perfect in the early stages of a relationship.  Possessive and controlling behaviors don’t always appear overnight, but rather emerge and intensify as the relationship grows.” This perfectly describes many peoples’ relationship with soda.  At first, we enjoy soda now and then at a party, or when we’re eating out.  We begin to relate having a fun time with drinking a soda.  We may even find that we “need” to have a soda every time we eat a certain food. We may also find that drinking a soda squirts “feel good” chemicals in our bodies when we’re feeling blue.  So we make that trek to the gas station whenever we’re feeling down.  But after a while, we start needing our soda more regularly until we are drinking it every day or even several times a day. Our need for soft drinks has now become an addictive and abusive habit.   

In 2005 the average American drank 379 sodas per year.  That’s 1¼ 12 oz. cans per day.  The average for diet soda was 171 cans per year. Between 1977 and 2001, Americans’ daily calorie consumption increased by 250-300 calories, nearly half of which came from sugary drinks alone. Drinking soda and other sugary beverages has become the single largest contributor to daily caloric intake. 

Why is drinking all these soft drinks so bad for me? For one thing we risk disease.  We absorb liquid sugar in as little as 30 minutes, much faster than a candy bar, leading to a spike in blood sugar that the body isn’t equipped to handle.  These spikes overwhelm the body and lead to the transformation of sugar into fat in the liver, which directly contributes to both diabetes and heart disease. Those who drink one to two sugar-sweetened beverages per day have a 26% higher risk for developing type II diabetes.

The American Heart Association recommends that Americans consume no more than 5-9 teaspoons of sugar per day.  Many nutritionists take that number down to 0, and tell us to get our sugars from whole foods like apples and dates and bananas.  How much sugar (or high fructose corn syrup) is in a can of soda?  Each brand varies its amount, but 10 teaspoons of sugar is a nice thumbnail average.  So people who drink the average amount of regular soda are consuming an additional 3,700 teaspoons of sugar or other sweetener per year.  An average serving of soda is 150 calories.  If you consume 150 calories every day all year long, you can expect to be 15 pounds heavier.  So reason number #2 is you will gain weight.

“So, that’s why I just drink diet soda.”  I guess we’ll need to go deeper into the list of ingredients to help you see more of the warning signs of abuse. Phosphoric Acid is an important ingredient in all soft drinks.  It’s added to keep the carbon in the carbonated water. In the bloodstream Phosphoric Acid changes the pH of the body so that it is highly acidic.  This is a huge stress on the body.  It acts like battery acid splashed on your skin.  Most immune systems would go on strike in a highly acidic environment. 

Many sodas also contain 2-acetyl-4-tetrahydroxybutylimidazole, or THI.  This caramel coloring suppresses the immune system all by itself. The digestive system cannot make THI into a substance the body can use. THI slows down the immune system, which increases susceptibility to disease.

Have you had time to look at the research on Aspartame, the sweetener of most diet soft drinks?  Some of its’ effects include brain damage, behavioral and mood changes, headaches and migraines, increase in hunger, body weight, and BMI, other health problems like retinal damage, pre-term delivery, and disruption of odor-associated learning.  You can find these studies at this hyperlink: ( )

Among the conclusions that have been found are:
1. Aspartame may be a dietary trigger of headache in some people.
2. Even chewing gum with aspartame can cause headaches.
3. Aspartame triggers migraines in children and adolescents.
4.  One study found that eating artificial sweeteners simply perpetuates a craving for sweets and overall sugar consumption is not reduced.
5.  According to Sharon Fowler, M.P.H: 
“On average, for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese.”
6.  Aspartame can increase the feeling of hunger.
7.  There was an association between intake of artificially sweetened carbonated and noncarbonated soft drinks and an increased risk of preterm delivery.
8.  Aspartame causes a variety of disease in children including headaches, convulsions, unexplained visual loss, rashes, asthma, gastrointestinal problems, obesity, marked weight loss, hypoglycemia, diabetes, addiction (probably largely due to the methyl alcohol), hyperthyroidism, and a host of neuropsychiatric features. The latter include extreme fatigue, irritability, hyperactivity, depression, antisocial behavior (including suicide), poor school performance, the deterioration of intelligence, and brain tumors.
9.  Aspartame is a possible mechanism in causing retinal damage.

Nervous yet?  Countless published studies manufactured by the Food industry try to show that this chemical is safe.  You will find conflicting information when you look for it on the internet. The FDA still allows this ingredient in soda. However if you are struggling with migraines or headaches, weight issues, or addiction to soda, I would say that you need to detox from it as quickly as possible.  And make sure to never give it to children. I wouldn't even drink it while I was pregnant. There may be disagreement on some of the issues with drinking a soft drink.  If you look at the science underlying all of the ingredients involved, you can make a solid case for leaving this marriage as soon as possible.