Are you drinking Coca Cola right now?
If so, you are one of 9 billion people doing the same today. And that just Coke. We’re not including other soft drinks, like the massive Pepsico products and a myriad other smaller ones.
The word is certainly spreading about soft drinks and their health issues, but soft drinks like Coke, Pepsi, and other sodas have retained millions of people. The only conclusion – given the totally damning health evidence, has to be that they (and you!) are addicted to them.
Around one in two Americans still drink soda on a daily basis.
Not just one glass, or can. They consume an average of 2.6 glasses per day.
But the Americans don’t hold the crown as soda squaffers.
Mexicans drink more than any other country in the world at roughly 163 litres (or 36 gallons) per person, every year.
So I wonder.. is there a connection between the 70,000 Mexicans who die every year and soda consumption?
(The number is probably much higher, since many people are not diagnosed, or may die of heart disease, strokes or cancer—all diseases that often stem from diabetes and soft drink consumption).
We already know from a vast number of studies that soda consumption in the Western world definitively relates to the steep increase in newly diagnosed diabetes patients as well. The difference, however, is that in western countries, the offending beverages are mostly sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, a seriously nasty and sneaky form of sweetener, (yes, more dangerous than regular sucrose, the commonly used sweetener in other countries). Any large amount of sugar is extremely hazardous to the body, but high fructose corn syrup is even worse than regular sucrose. It is particularly bad for the liver and for our blood sugar levels.
No matter what we choose, bad things happen within minutes of drinking a sugary soft drink:
- In just a few minutes, 10-12 teaspoons of sugar body-slam your system.
In a weird way, its formulation protects you from your body vomiting up this potent and toxic mix of sugar. Drink designers realised the problem and added phosphoric acid, carbonation, and other artificial flavours to mute its unacceptable vomit-prone sugary taste.
- Within 20 minutes, sugar in your blood surges to phenomenal levels, with an accompanying insulin response. Sensinga survival threat, your liver responds like a hero. To save you from all that sugar in your bloodstream it attempts to convert the sugar to fat cells. In the case of corn syrup, this is liver response is bordering on a death threat response. Naturally, our body has to suddenly store all that fat, so with no ability to do so immediately, it puts in the ‘wait lane’ AKA your blood stream. (Most people, told they have high triglycerides are never told what ‘triglycerides’ are? Imagine if your doctor cut the jargon and simply said, you have lumps of fat in your veins!) Eventually this fat gets stored on the body, or in the liver, and suddenly you are a target for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.
It’s also, naturally enough, a primary causative factor in obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even many cancers.
- In a half hour, your body starts absorbing all the caffeine in the soda.
Your pupils dilate, your heart rate increases, you feel temporarily energized as your blood pressure rises, and your liver, in response to the caffeine, dumps even more sugar into the bloodstream. Insulin goes back up, you get hungry and that sugar gets stored as more fat.
- In ¾ of an hour, dopamine (a ‘feel-good’ hormone) is released, stimulating the pleasure centre of the brain.
Yes, just like heroin. And equally addictive. Imagine for a minute again, your doctor looking hard at you and telling you that you are a junkie. And you knowing it is true. This is right where the cognitive dissonance happens. A comfortable belief ( A few sodas can’t hurt me) clashes head on with science (You are an addict.) Why do so many people still drink the stuff?
It’s not logical. Neither is addiction. Can you see your cognitive dissonance at work?
- Within In an hour…
of squaffing that soda, the phosphoric acid in the soda binds onto usable calcium, magnesium and zinc in your digestive system. Here’s the in-body reason a soda drinker needs alkaline minerals. Every glass or can of soda grabs our available alkalis. Now you can’t put those essential minerals to use as they were intended. They attach to the phosphoric acid and pass from the body in the form of pee. About now you’ll probably want to visit the little room. Not because you have an excess of healthy water to your body’s needs. It’s caused by the caffeine. So if you decided on drinking a soda to quench your thirst, you’ll pee more than that away. You end up even thirstier and more dehydrated.. just how the drink designers wanted you to be.
- An hour later, caffeine and sugar hit has worn off,
and your mood and addiction starts showing up again in your familiar up and down mood swings. You are hungrier, tired, irritable, and sluggish.
- Even just one soda a day has massive consequences to your health. Not unlike the free hit of heroin the dealer offers our kids. He knows what we know. One is enough.
Let’s look now beyond the addiction process. Let’s look at what evryday users can expect.
Obesity and Diabetes ‘One a day?’
The Nurse’s Health Study monitored 90,000 women for 8 years. This huge study discovered that one soda a day added about 10 pounds of fat in 4 years.
One a day also doubles your chances of type 2 diabetes. Given that your odds of becoming a diabetic are now one out of three, I’m guessing that there’s a possibility that if you really love yourself and your family, there’s a choice to be made!
Excessive sugar intake actually dumbs you down. A 2002 UCLA study discovered how. A brain chemical called “brain derived neurotrophic factor” or BDNF, makes it harder for you to remember, and even harder to learn. A supporting study from University of Copenhagen linked low BDNF levels to depression and dementia.
BDNF levels are also connected to insulin resistance, which kickstarts not only diabetes, but also puts you into the high risk zone for Alzheimer’s disease.
This last problem seems like some sort of Frankensteinian creation. Imagine the glee from shareholders in soda companies when they learned that continual sugar consumption dulls the brain’s mechanism for knowing when to stop, making you definitely more susceptible to weight gain and obesity.
(According to a 2010 study from the University of Minnesota)
Bacon doesn’t cause heart attacks. Soda causes them. We now know a strong correlation between soda and heart disease is a real thing. One recent studies from Harvard (2012), concluded that just one can of soda a day increased heart disease by 20%. Yes, we have said that this risk can be associated with the increased risk of high blood sugar, and diabetes, but heart disease and stroke risk also increase significantly. Another study from the University of Miami showed that those who had a daily diet soda habit had a 61% increased risk of “cardiovascular event,” including heart attack and stroke, than those who drank no soda — even when factors such as smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption and diet were controlled.
Drink soda, or other sugary beverages, and you’ll certainly score high on the scorecard for cancer risk, especially gallbladder and bile ducts around the liver, according to a Swedish study. The study suggests that obesity, and elevated blood sugar levels also increase the risk of malignancies. We know already that many cancers feed on sugar, so.. once again, the answer to the problem stares us in the face.
One particularly nasty, fastmoving and painful form of cancer is cancer of the pancreas. It’s also tied in with drinking a soda or two a day. Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C studied and concluded that risk of pancreatic cancer increases by about 87%, according.
As we said earlier, sSoda drinking is also one of the biggest causes of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.
Researchers at the University of Adelaide recently concuded that soda consumption is also strongly related to COPD and increases risk of asthma attacks.
Soda Bones and Meth User’s Teeth
- A 2006 study published in the Academy of General Dentistry journal found that drinking soda is nearly as harmful for your teeth as drinking battery acid and the damage is comparable to what happens to a meth user’s teeth.We all know that sugar leads to tooth decay, but what about the phosphoric acid? It’s far worse! Look it up and you’ll discover it’s also used in cleaners for toilet bowls, grout, tile, automobile rims, and some general-purpose cleaners/degreasers.Look up how you should handle it and you’ll find this: Eye/face protection: wear tight-fitting government approved safety goggles (NIOSH or EN 166).
- Skin protection: Nitrile-rubber gloves are recommended for all handling conditions. Inspect gloves prior to usage for tears, holes, weak spots. Contaminated gloves should be disposed of according to all laws and regulations.
- Body protection: complete chemical-protective suit recommendation is dependent upon concentration and amount of phosphoric acid to be handled.
- Respiratory protection: use full-face air-purifying respirators with multi-purpose or type ABEK respirator cartridges as a backup to the engineering controls and when proper risk assessment recommends its usage.
To prevent exposure, the CDC recommends taking serious precautions to prevent the generation of mists, avoiding potentially hazardous exposure to eyes, skin, and nasal passageways. The CDC also recommends no eating, drinking, or smoking when handling phosphoric acid to avoid the possibility of ingestion.
..and we drink the stuff!
It’s a double whammy.
Citric acid and phosphoric acid added to offset the sweet taste of the large amounts of sugar, and they actually corrode tooth enamel, supporting the corrosion happening from the sugar. right alongside the sugar. The Colgate Oral and Dental Health Resource Center, says that soft drinks are among the most significant dietary sources of tooth decay.
“Acids and acidic sugar byproducts in soft drinks soften tooth enamel, contributing to the formation of cavities. In extreme cases, softer enamel combined with improper brushing, grinding of the teeth or other conditions can lead to tooth loss.”
As we discussed earlier, phosphoric acid binds to calcium, magnesium and zinc—all vital bone and teeth minerals. It co-opts them, removing them from the body, making them useless for bone and tooth material.
The acid doesn’t just erode the outer surfaces of tooth enamel. It eats away at the inherent structure of teeth and bone, causing massive tooth decay, and osteoporosis as well.
Are you still reading? It only gets worse so how about making a decision? I speak from deep experience.
In high school I decided to be some sort of hero who could quaff a whole bottle of Coke art morning recess, lunch and afternoon recess. My teeth became so bad that I had them all removed. My happy smile isn’t mine. Not only that, I discovered some 5 years ago that my other legacy of my brief heroism was advanced osteoporosis.
An change of diet or a change of mind?
Soda consumption, to me, is the ‘gatekeeper’ of a whole fortress of ideas about what we can ‘get away with’ in our diet.
I can suggest a simple change from soda to good healthy water, and I would be totally justified. But if our overall diet is still high in sugar – and carbs, which quickly convert to sugar in our body to give us that sugar hit when we stop drinking Coke) then you’re still an addict.
I read many ‘experts’ suggesting reducing sugar. All I can say is ‘Good Luck”.
And I also understand that an addict cannot think outside of his or her addiction and so I have concluded that most people won’t take this advice unless they are really in some form of pain. What a terrible idea! To actually consciously degrade your own health through an addictive habit, and to be able to read a page like this and continue degrading your health because you are ‘not too bad’.. yet.
So I’m telling you the ‘bad’/good news. The ‘bad’ news is that the only certainty of recovery from your degrading addiction is to go cold turkey. The good news is the same. So it’s your attitude and whether you trust what I say that will ultimately determine whether you have the courage to drop the sweeties.
I can say this only because that is what I did. And my life is so much better because of it. At age seventy I do not have the luxury of another decade in which to think about getting well.
Ian is the inventor of the UltraStream, the world’s first natural water ionizer and hydrogen infusing water system.
Fructose linked to gene damage
Fructose is a natural sugar commonly found in fruits, corn and plants. So.. it’s ‘natural’, right? Must be Ok, right?
Wrong. Especially now it’s used in many processed and ultra-processed food products and soft drinks as a cheap sweetener, usually in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.
Previous studies have already found it to be to be hazardous to health, leading to insulin resistance, obesity and elevated blood pressure to name just a few.
A new study has increased this list further. Scientists at the University of California found that, “A diet high in fructose can kill hundreds of genes in a way that could lead to several diseases”. Interestingly, the researchers found an omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid(DHA), was able to go some way to reversing the effects.
In our opinion it’s perhaps the most insidious element of the ongoing acid assault on our health and wellbeing. because it’s mainly in fruit, we see it as healthy.
Here’s a chart that assists us to work out just how much of this is sneaking into our systems via our fave fruits and smoothies.
I spent some time with John Biethan, our man in the US today on blab.im talking about Green Smoothies.
I’m a bit left-of-centre about Alkaline Green Smoothies as you will see.
We have great respect for the work of Rob Verkerk and his Alliance for Natural health. He has spent years in direct opposition to the EU supplement rules AKA Codex. he’s campaigned relenlessly for sensible food guidelines and we agree with his ideas. ANH has even created a program called Food4Kids. Here’s their full agenda.
If you are wondering what’s right for kids I’d seriously recommend downloading this page in its entirety.
3 Steps to Sugar, Carb and Acid freedom
As a ‘normal’ Western Diet human, my years of processed foods, poor exercise levels, and “normal” western eating patterns literally programmed my body to burn NOTHING but calories and sugars from the foods I consume each day INSTEAD of burning off body fat that’s stored on your body.
The most popular exercise programs take way too much time and use old-school methods that cause you to crave more carbs and calories – especially calories from sugar – FORCING your body to burn sugars and waste away nothing but stored energy. Look around at gym and see how many members are scoffing energy drinks.
In this state, every time I eat and exercise, my body is busy fighting a losing battle. The eating and the exercising doesn’t have to change: my metabolism has to change.
Fortunately, I’ve discovered a way to reset my body’s fat burning switch so that my body burns fat FIRST every time I move and exercise.
It’s a super simple 3-step metabolic primer from weight loss guru Shaun Hadsall that seems to turn off your body’s “addiction” to burning sugars, while making your most stubborn fat your “go to” energy source in LESS that one week’s time.
1: Try consuming zero starches or fruits for 3 or 4 days in a row during the week.
We are doing this to accelerate depletion of glycogen energy stores and start your body burning mostly fat again. Consume protein in every meal to help increase satiety and keep your body in an anabolic high-energy fat-burning environment.
You can burn a ton more belly fat by using this approach just a few days of the week.
2: Increase your fat intake and double (at least) your servings of green cruciferous veggies on deplete days.
When you lower carbs for a few days you’ll need energy from other sources. Friendly ‘good’ fats and cruciferous veggies should be first choice to help provide this needed energy.
Try extra fish or krill oil, olive oil, coconut oil and raw nuts to increase your fat intake — And spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, arugula, green beans, brussels sprouts and cabbage – all great choices for your veggies.
We are trying to provide all the fiber, vitamins, and minerals necessary to maximize fat-loss during a lower carb phase. And we should experience a BIG DECREASE yin cravings .
3: Double your daily good water intake, while depleting carbs.
Almost everyone underestimates the effectiveness of proper hydration for UNDOING the damage of over-eating, getting rid of excess water retention, and supporting other metabolic processes that burn fat. Of course in my case I supercharge this process by only drinking ultra pure alkaline hydrogen rich water from my own invention, the UltraStream.
Don’t foregt! If you had high carb meals in the last 2 days you’ll be holding almost an extra 3 grams of water for every gram of carb you consumed. So if you carbed up over the weekend, we’re talking an extra 700 to 1000 grams of water sloshing around between cells!.
Here’s a good rule of thumb. Consume 5% of your total body weight in ounces of water on your carb deplete days. So if you weigh 70kg then you should be shooting for 3.5 litres of water minimum.
Hey, do yourself a favour. Chart it, journal it, log it.. but any way you do it, record it! After 3 or 4 days of using this strategy, your body and hormones will be PRIMED to burn PURE fat when you exercise. And it’s very possible that if you didn’t record your progress, you won’t even realise. That’s the power of our mind’s ability to resists change!
And remember.. this all depends on a good exercise strategy continuing, because that’s what is burning energy and forcing you to change over the a fat burning metabolism.
Agave. The very name is exciting, redolent of Mexican deserts and secret herbs.
It comes from the same plant used to sweeten Tequila. It’s on the shelves of your local health food shop in more and more products. Why? And it is a good natural substitute for sugar, maple syrup or honey?
Perhaps if you were trying to save money you’d be interested in its relative sweetness. It’s 50% sweeter than sugar.. but at its prices per pound it’s a serious sweetness to the dollar loser. It’s also far more expensive than equally natural cane sugar.
So.. exactly WHY would you choose gave over sugar? One correspondent of mine accused me of being ‘unnatural’, claiming that “The Aztecs prized the agave as a gift from the gods and used the liquid from its core to flavor foods and drinks.”
One might well respond by asking where the Aztecs are today but that would be a cheap shot.
What amuses me is that somehow my correspondent believes that because Aztecs had the same sugar addiction as us and salved it using Agave, then Agave must be somehow better.
So is it a suitable alternative to sugar if you have say, diabetes, or are overly acidic, or have one or more of the hundreds of acid-related health conditions?
Most agave sweeteners come from the blue agave plant. You don’t get its raw nectar. Much like high-fructose corn syrup, it’s highly processed before you can add it to your tea, top your pancakes with it, or get it in an energy drink, bar, or other product. Yes, as my correspondent said, to make the agave nectar, sap is extracted from the pina, filtered, and heated at a low temperature, which breaks down the carbohydrates into a natural sugar blue agave plant. So now it’s a ‘natural’ sugar, so he suggests that because it’s ‘natural’ it’s better for you. Sorry, friend, just because something is ‘natural’ does not automatically send it to the ‘healthy’ box.
By following the New Alkaline Diet I have personally changed my diet substantially away from the concept of gathering calories from carbs and sugars – particularly sugars, given their proven addictive nature. So the fact that agave has about 60 calories per tablespoon, compared to 40 calories for the same amount of table sugar is of no great concern to me because I try to keep away from all sweeteners.
As a result I enjoy my food more than I ever have in my life, I have overcome my sugar-hit mood swings, and I am eating far less becasue I am not experiencing my past sudden snackaholicism.
So if you have diabetes, is it a good ‘natural’ substitute? It’ something the agave vendors claim, but I think having read what I’ve written so far, the answer is self-evident. We are sold on it with claims that it’s high in fructose and low on the glycemic index, making it a better option than refined sugar. But I can find no research to back that up.
The American Diabetes Association seems to have made its mind up. It has listed agave as a sweetener to limit, along with regular table sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, and all other sugars.
Liz Applegate, director of sports nutrition at the University of California, Davis, agrees. She says your body doesn’t know where the fructose or glucose comes from, be it fruit, agave, or high-fructose corn syrup; so if you eat too much of it, that’s a problem. I would go even further. There is more evidence coming in almost daily that even artificial sweeteners, once substituted for sucrose and fructose, have exactly the same effect on our body. The drug effect remains.
The simple fact we all shy away from is this: Less Is More With All Added Sweeteners
Agave may be ‘natural’ but it offers no miraculous health benefits, Applegate says. It simply adds sweetness.
Less Is More With All Added Sweeteners, and if you are serious about breaking the acid/inflammation/disease cycle, there’s only one decision you can make.
More on the New Alkaline Diet
Discover the fructose content of common foods, beverages, sauces, and even sugar substitutes in our infographic “Fructose Overload.” Use the embed code to share it on your website or visit our infographic page for the high-res version.
<img src="https://media.mercola.com/assets/images/infographic/fructose-overload-infographic.jpg" alt="fructose overload infographic" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">Discover the fructose content of common foods, beverages, sauces, and even sugar substitutes in our infographic "<a href="http://www.mercola.com/infographics/fructose-overload.htm">Fructose Overload</a>." Visit our infographic page for the high-res version.</p>