Rethink.

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Soda is Liquid Satan January 21, 2009

Filed under: Acidity,Sugar — Yvette @ 3:23 pm

Soda is liquid satan, I couldn’t agree more with the skinny bitches Rory and Kim who coined this phrase.  If you’re interested in a tough love book about eating right I’d recommend Skinny Bitch.

Anyways, I’ve posted about high fructose corn syrup, sugar, aspartame and natural flavors.  If you drink soda, diet or regular you should read these past posts.  Here’s the scoop on soda.

Ingredients

Coke- carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural flavors, caffiene

Pepsi-carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, sugar, phosphoric acid, citrid acid and natural flavors

Diet Coke-carbonated water, caramel color, aspartame, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate, natural flavors, citric acid, caffiene

My translation of the ingredients-carbonated water, nutritionally devoid sweeteners, chemicals, chemicals, chemicals, and more chemicals.  Why would you want to ruin your water like that?

I rounded up a bunch of sodas like canada dry’s ginger ale (which by the way has no ginger in it), and most of the ingredients are the same.  Soda is just bubbly water with chemicals and harmful modified sugars added to it.

Here’s the breakdown.

The sugars.

Aspartame, high fructose corn syrup and sugar I’ve mentioned before.  These sugars whether they’re in diet or regular soda are not healthful and cause weight gain and energy spikes.  The chemical sweeteners can lead to cancer among other undesirable diseases (see my posts on sugar).

The artificial & natural flavor and other additives.

Caramel color is an artifical flavor. If natural flavor is listed as an ingredient you can be sure that there isn’t just one natural flavor, there’s probably a whole slew (that goes for all foods and beverages, not just soda).  Phosphoric acid allows a slightly sour taste in soda and adds to it’s acidity.  This acidity is known to leach calcium from your bones.  Caffiene which is an addictive substance leaves the body dehydrated.

All of these substances are harmful and highly acidic to your body.  Regular soda has a pH of 2 and diet has a pH of 1.5.  So if you’re trying to lose weight at all, soda will cause your body to produce fat  cells due to it’s high acidic content.   Also acidic conditions in the body are breeding ground for illness and colds.

In my opinion one of the most helpful steps to becoming a healthier person is to cut down or stop drinking soda.

 

Health Tips December 5, 2008

Filed under: Acidity,Health Tips — Yvette @ 6:14 pm

The Standard American Diet (SAD) is typically very acidic, we eat an abundance of processed, nutritionally deficient white foods.  As a nation we go to restaurants, fast food chains, order in, and reheat more often than eating home cook meals in record breaking numbers.  We also drink a lot of coffee, soda and juice, which contain more harmful ingredients such as sugars, caffeine, and artificial and natural flavors than nutrients.

A little fact for all you soda lovers out there.

Soda is one of the most acidic things you can ingest other than hydrochloric acid.  Soda has a pH of 2 (1.5 if it’s diet) and hydrochloric acid has a pH of 1.  You need about 32 8 oz glasses of water (pH of 7) to counteract the harmful effects of one 8 oz soda.

Ingesting all these refined and processed foods on a regular basis leaves us very little time to drink the water our body so desperately needs.  Not only do we need a lot of water daily, but consuming junk requires more water to balance our body’s pH, which needs to be slightly alkaline.  Viruses and bacteria can not manifest into illnesses, colds and infections without acidic conditions.  So if you’re sick frequently, it may be due to constant acidic conditions in your body.

Cutting down on processed white foods, soda, coffee and prepackaged meals is a great way to reduce your body’s acidity.  But if you do happen to eat those foods, all hope is not lost.  A great way to help your body restore it’s balance is to have some lemon water.  Lemons are one of the most alkalizing foods.  I realize this may seem counterintuitive because the fruit itself is acidic, but the acidity or alkalinity of a food is measured by the ash it leaves behind after it is digested.  So squeezing some lemon juice into your water is a great way to help restore your body’s balance!

 

Sugars That Aren’t So Sweet, Part I Aspartame November 7, 2008

Filed under: Acidity,Carcinogens,Food Additives,Sugar — Yvette @ 9:47 pm

Sugar is delicious, but we all know it should be consumed in small quantities.  This can be difficult since things like soda, ice cream, candy, chocolate and a lot of other goodies are packed with sugar.  Companies in the food industry love using all kinds of sugar in their products because it’ll keep you coming back for more.  There are several kinds of sugars on the market today, the most common are: high fructose corn syrup, white table sugar (sucrose), aspartame, and sucralose.  Aspartame and sucralose are relatively new sugar substitutes that are very harmful to the human body.

If you drink diet soda, chew gum, use vitamin supplements or use sugar substitutes, like NutraSweet and Equal, you should be aware of the ingredient aspartame.  Aspartame is approximately 90% amino acids and 10% methanol.  The human body does not have the correct enzymes to break down methanol.  So instead of breaking it down, formaldehyde is formed.  Formaldehyde is known to be toxic and carcinogenic.  The formaldehyde build up from aspartame consumption is known to cause damage to the immune system, nervous system, and irreversible genetic damage at very low-level, long-term exposure.

How did this get into our food?  Food industries, as I’ve said before, care more about making money than they do about your health.  Aspartame was denied approval by the FDA 8 times, so they pulled some strings in order to get it approved for small quantities in dry food.  Over the years they were able to get it into a wide variety of foods, despite the fact that the FDA has documented 92 different side effects ranging from joint pain, blurred vision, depression, anxiety, brain lesions and bladder cancer.  The only reason why aspartame is on the market is because it is cheap to produce and companies are able to make billions of dollars off Americans who think they are buying a diet product.

Sorry guys, aspartame, and diet sodas are NOT diet products.

I understand a lot of you love diet soda or sugar substitutes because you don’t want to consume regular sugar.  Maybe you’d rather have a little formaldehyde in your body than gain weight from sugars.  The problem is that diet soda will not make you any less fat than regular soda.  This is because aspartame has a pH of 1.5.  Time for a quick chem review.  The pH scale, which we all know and love from chemistry class, goes from 1 to 14.  Substances testing below 7 are acidic, 7 is neutral, over 7 are alkaline.  Your body wants a pH of 7.365, slightly alkaline, and will continually try to balance itself.  Naturally occurring foods will generally have a pH between 5 and 9.  So, aspartame, having a pH of 1.5, is very acidic to the body.  If I eat aspartame my body will balance itself right?  Right, but not without pulling calcium and other alkaline minerals from your bones to neutralize the acid.  I’ll remind you here that osteoporosis is very prevalent in our soda-loving country.  Wait there’s more, not only does it pull calcium from your bones, but it will also produce fat cells to keep the acid away from the vital organs.  This diet sugar is not really a diet food after all.

I know that I may be causing an uproar among diabetics who often turn to artificial sweeteners over the high glycemic sugars like high fructose corn syrup and table sugar.  But, there is controversy over whether aspartame is safe for diabetics.  Don’t worry there are two natural sweeteners that most people have never heard of, stevia and agave nectar.  Whether you’re diabetic or just interested in getting aspartame out of your diet I would recommend these two foods, that’s right FOODS, not additives.  They are not only tasty, but also low on the glycemic index, which means they release energy into your body at a slow rate. You can even buy stevia in little sugar packets if you like to sweeten your coffee or other drinks!

 

Natural Flavors Not so Natural October 24, 2008

Filed under: Acidity,Flavorings,Food Additives — Yvette @ 9:12 pm

I have a kind of….frustration with the ingredient “natural flavors.”  I’m annoyed by many food additives, like high fructose corn syrup, which my mother jokingly tells people not to mention in front of me.  I’ll most likely talk about that one another day.  But, currently I am annoyed with natural flavors.  One of the reasons is that I don’t want to consume it, and I can’t seem to avoid it.  It’s harder to avoid than high fructose corn syrup.  Hard to believe right?  Check your ingredient lists.

I’m frustrated because the term natural flavor leads the consumer to believe that this ingredient is formed by nature, that is in fact the definition of natural.  According to the FDA natural flavors are derived from herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables, beef, chicken, etc.  But a natural flavor is still a chemical, and much more similar to an artificial flavor in composition than anything you would find growing in a garden.  Both of these flavors are constructed by “flavorists” in a laboratory.  These flavorists use the same chemicals but different processes to compose the two flavors.

Why use natural flavors?  Why not use the real thing?  Why not use actual vanilla extract instead of natural vanilla flavor or almond extract instead of natural almond flavor?  It’s simply because natural flavors are cheaper to produce.  Most companies don’t care that they are pumping our bodies full of chemicals.  They’d rather make the extra buck or two if they can fool you into thinking that a natural flavor is perfectly natural to eat.  But it’s far from that.

So for example, during the process of deriving natural almond flavor traces of hydrogen cyanide are also formed.  Cyanide, a highly poisonous substance, doesn’t sound so yummy to me.

Although you won’t die from small traces of cyanide, your body won’t be too happy about it.  Chemicals cause acidic conditions in the body; diseases and viruses thrive in acidic conditions.  Natural flavors are listed all the way at the bottom of the ingredient list, so you may be inclined to think, “there’s not that much in here, a little bit of chemicals won’t hurt me.”  I know I’ve thought that too, but studies show that the average American consumes 124 pounds of food chemicals per year.  I’m not saying that natural flavors are solely responsible for diseases and viruses.  I do think it’s important to be aware that chemicals definitely don’t help your body, and that a natural flavor is anything but natural to your body.