Sugary and Not So Sugary Problems

Pop quiz: What is the largest source of calories in the Average American's diet?

If you answered soda you would be correct!

This is truly a sad reality. Consumption of sugar, in general, causes insulin spikes and dips, but in the larger quantities like we see in pop (or soda) it has the potential to devastate this balance leading to type 2 diabetes, potassium depletion (leading to muscle weakness, constipation, and neuromuscular disorders), osteoporosis, attention deficit disorder, insomnia, kidney stones, and tooth decay, and obesity...just to name a few. Not to mention as well, that it is taking precious stomach room away from nutrient rich foods in children and adults alike.

As American's we tend to look at the potential side effects of life, drugs, etc, and take them in stride, with the ignorance of thinking these things will never happen to me...or my children. But everyday Average American's, and most likely the same that are the average consumers of pop, are diagnosed with those conditions...

Soda consumption is a simple if/than analogy. If you consume soda on a regular basis than your risks of contracting all the of above conditions increases drastically, and if you continue to consume soda than your risks just get higher. For every can (I mean a can, not a bottle) of pop you drink a day you increase your risk of obesity by 60%! Yup, that's right, 60%! So, if you are a two canner a day, you are 120% likely to become obese. If you are sipping a soda and reading can put the can down now.

Some of you woman might be thinking now, “well that is why I drink diet soda silly!” While you may think you are avoiding all of the above by drinking your diet variety, you are falsely lead as well.

Since most woman are obsessive compulsive calorie and fat label checkers, the soda companies, and all the other manufacturers for that matter wised up to our weakness and created something just for you...with no fat and calories...

Now, do you ever stop to wonder how you could be consuming such a “sugary” beverage with almost no or no calories and no sugar? We can all thank the company Monsanto for such a discovery...or curse. Aspartame itself doesn’t have any calories, but basically, one of its ingredients, the amino acid phenylalanine, blocks production of serotonin, a nerve chemical that, among other activities, controls food cravings. As you might well imagine, a shortage of serotonin will make your brain and body scream for the foods that create more of this brain chemical—and those are the high-calorie, carbohydrate-rich snacks that can sabotage a dieter. Obviously, the more aspartame one ingests, the more heightened the effects. Simply put, aspartame appears to muddle the brain chemistry.

A great example of this is when one consumes aspartame (equal, sweet n low, spoonful), it appears that it still causes an insulin spike, but with no true “sugar” to counter-act this process, cravings for food that will counteract the sugar or simple carbs (junk food) happen, and the body will not quit until the insulin level is returned to normal.

For those of you who knew Aspartame wasn't a good option, and chose the safe alternative “splenda” or sucralose, I have some bad news for you too. Splenda actually has never undergone long term human study. So, the only research I can offer is from rats, mice, and rabbits. This research showed that sucralose consumption can cause shrinking of the thymus gland (up to 40 percent shrinkage), enlargement of the liver and kidneys, atrophy of lymph follicles in the spleen and thymus, increased cecal weight, reduced bodily growth rate, decreased red blood cell count, hyperplasia of the pelvis, extension of gestational periods in pregnancy, decreased fetal body weights and placental weights, and diarrhea.

Long story made short. You are best to stay with what is natural. Natural meaning how you would find it in nature. Nature doesn't produce High Fructose Corn Syrup...a manufacturer has to change the molecular make up of corn to do it. Nature doesn't make fat free gives us cows that have varying fat contents throughout the year and different vitamins and minerals in the grass. Nature does give us a wide variety of delicious fruits and veggies that are wonderful freshly juiced or squeezed!

If you would like more information about any other sweetener alternative here is a large database.

sources not linkable: The Lancet 2001;357:505-508


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