So, I decided to start something new here on the blog to give myself inspiration to write more. Every other Wednesday or so; I will be posting some sort of whacky bit of false information. My business partner with Adventure Naturals told be about this little jewel….
I know it’s hard to read, but the ad essentially promises that your infant will grow to have an easier time in his or her teenage years and “fit in” better if they start drinking cola on a regular basis now, promising a “lifetime” of guaranteed happiness. How about a lifetime of lethargy and being overweight?
How crazy is that. The ad even claims scientific evidence to back it up. The even crazier thing is, people probably believed this lie. Just like people fall for false health claims today. As I continue with Wacky Wednesday, I hope to find some modern day examples of this ad. I’m positive I will be able to find plenty of examples.
The Truth About Soda
Well, we all pretty much know the truth. Even those of you who still drink soda know it. You just don’t want to admit it. Sugary carbonated beverages are not good for you, no matter what crazy healthy claims are put out there by the cola industry. Lets take a look at some of the common ingredients in coke: carbonated water, carmel color, natural flavors, caffeine, phosphoric acid, and high-fructose corn syrup. What is it about ANY of these ingredients that would lead anybody to believe these beverages contained any health benefit what so ever?
I will only focus on two of these ingredients because grandma wouldn’t even know what any of the other ingredients are. If you have read Omnivore’s Dilemma or Defense for Food, you will now it’s always best to avoid foods that contain ingredients you can’t pronounce.
So, I will start with caffeine. Caffeine itself isn’t that bad. A “safe” level of caffeine consumption is generally agreed to be around 300mg per day. A single coke contains around 45mg, a cup of coffee 85mg. Back before I was into raw foods I would consume around 255-520mg a day. I was far above the “safe” level and likely explains the extreme detox symptoms I experience when I temporarily gave up the beverage completely. With that said, a single soda in terms of caffeine content seems harmless, right? Well, lets look at why we might want to avoid caffeine.
Reasons to avoid caffeine are because of the negative effects on cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, increases with the consumption of caffeine, thus reducing our bodies ability to fight disease, it can also lead to weight gain, moodiness, and heart disease. Also, when our bodies are “stressed” they are more run down and we end up reaching to caffeine again for another boost.
This isn’t to say caffeine is always bad, was with anything it should be consumed in moderation. Also plants like green leaf tea contain caffeine that is slowly released into the blood stream in smaller doses, so the effects are far less adverse and you still get a small boost of energy from the caffeine, minus the big buzz you get from drinking coffee. With that said, I must confess I have been guilty of drinking a cup or two of coffee a day lately because I have been been spending a lot of time in a local coffee shop working on Adventure Naturals. I really should switch to green tea or other healthy beverages such as Yerba Matte which also have a smaller dose of naturally occurring caffeine.
As far as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) goes, I think we all know that has become a negative buzz word lately. Health advocates have done such a great job of bringing this sugary substance to light that manufactuers are changing the name of this ingredient to “corn sugar.” Even though it’s made from corn it doesn’t mean you are getting the nutritional content provided in whole-cooked corn. The corn is so highly processed you no longer get any of the nutritonal benefits corn actually provides.
One of the main reasons why HFCS is so bad is that it doesn’t have to be digested before being absorbed into the blood stream, as opposed to sugar, the body must first digest the sugar before the fructose and glucose can be absorbed. This is why HFCS has a greater impact on blood glucose levels than regular sugar. Not to mention it masquerades around under a different name, deceiving the unknowing. But either way you look at it, too much sugar is bad for you. A few negative effects of sugar are: increased risk of obesity, immune system disorders, quickens aging, causes tooth decay, and increases stress.
Anybody I have known that has stopped drinking coke has lost weight and had an increase in energy. I haven’t meet a single person that has stopped drinking coke and not experience health benefits. Even if you aren’t vegetarian, cutting cokes out of your diet will greatly increase your level of health.
So there you have it, this whacky bit of information has been set straight. Let me know if you have any other suggestions for Whacky Wednesday or just want to share some crazy bit of “health information” you have received.