Tag Archives: Diet soda

Soda, OJ May Increase Risk of Gout

According to a new study  drinking too much soda or fruit juice will increase the risk of developing gout, a painful form of arthritis.

Women who drank two cans or more of non-diet soda a day, or 12 ounces or more of orange juice a day, were more than twice as likely to develop gout. Women who drank just one soda or 6-ounce glass of juice per day were at 74 percent and 41 percent greater risk, respectively.

CNN reports:
“The culprit appears to be fructose … [F]ructose increases levels of the chemical uric acid, which causes gout. When uric acid levels in the body get too high, the acid hardens into sharp crystals that are deposited in joints.”

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Soft Drinks Linked to Pancreatic Cancer Risk

Resources:
CNN November 10, 2010
Journal of the American Medical Association November 10, 2010; [Epub ahead of print]

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Soda Consumption at an Early Age Indicator of Unhealthy Childhood Diet

Young girls who drink soda have less healthy diets through adolescence than their peers who do not drink soda, according to a Penn State study.
The ten-year study showed that girls who drank soda at age five had diets that were less likely to meet nutritional standards for the duration of the study, which ended at age 15.Girls who did not drink soda at age five did not meet certain nutritional requirements, but their diets were healthier.

The difference between the two groups in nutrient intake is “not just because of what they are consuming, but because of what they are not consuming,” said Laura Fiorito, postdoctoral fellow in Penn State’s Center for Child Obesity Research.

Milk intake differed greatly between the two groups — soda drinkers drank far less milk than non-soda drinkers — and milk has all of the nutrients that differed between the groups except fiber. At age five, non-soda drinkers consumed 10 to 11 ounces of milk daily, while soda drinkers had less than seven ounces.

“Adequate nutrient intake is important for optimal health and growth,” the researchers reported in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

For example, low calcium intake is associated with increased risk of bone fractures and higher added sugar is associated with dental problems and the development of several chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.

The Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, recommends that girls between age 14 and 18 receive at least 65 milligrams of vitamin C daily. In this study, soda drinkers fell short at just 55 milligrams daily, while non-soda drinkers exceeded the recommendation at 70.5 milligrams daily.

Although soda drinkers had less healthy diets, both groups failed to meet recommendations for certain nutrients. The Institute recommends that girls age 14 to 18 receive at least 1,300 milligrams of calcium daily. At age 15, soda drinkers in the study averaged 767 milligrams a day, while non-soda drinkers had slightly higher intakes at 851 milligrams a day, but were still deficient.

The researchers also found that both groups increased their soda consumption by age 15. However, soda drinkers were consuming nearly twice as much soda at age 15 than their counterparts — 6.6 ounces a day versus 3.4 ounces a day.

Although the study has considerable implications on how beverages impact diet, Fiorito believes children may already have developed drinking preferences and patterns by age five.

“We think that the patterns develop when they are younger. Some studies show that children already drinking soda or carbonated beverages at age two,” said Fiorito.

The study followed 170 girls for 10 years, documenting meals three times every two years. Girls classified as “soda drinkers” — those who drank roughly four ounces of soda daily at age five — showed much lower intakes of fiber, protein, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium throughout the study than “non-soda drinkers” — those who had no soda intake at age five. Also, the soda drinkers had much higher intake of added sugars. The study did not distinguish between diet and regular soda because the “soda drinkers” drank both types, but diet soda intake was very low at age five.

Parents of soda drinkers in the study had higher body mass indexes than non-soda drinkers’ parents. Fiorito believes this suggests that “parents model consumption patterns for their children,” and that the parents’ unhealthy eating habits not only contributed to an increased BMI, but influenced children.

There have been other studies on the effects of soda on dieting, but this is the first study to track the consumption of multiple beverages over a ten-year period. Included in the study were coffee/tea, soda, milk, 100 percent fruit juice, and fruit drinks – any fruit-flavored drinks with less than 100 percent fruit juice.

Other beverages have come under scrutiny in recent years for their possible negative health consequences. For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a formal statement in 2001 that recommended limits on children’s fruit juice intake. The Academy has not issued any formal statement on soda, but this study provides a clear link showing that soda can prevent people from maintaining a healthy diet.

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*Study Reveals the Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Virgin Olive Oil


Source:
Elements4Health :June8.2010

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Foods That Chronic Pain Sufferers Should Avoid

is a pervasive issue and fibromyalgia is a very common form. It is a chronic condition whose symptoms include muscle and tissue pain, fatigue, depression, and sleep disturbances.
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Recent data suggests that central sensitization, in which neurons in your spinal cord become sensitized by inflammation or cell damage, may be involved in the way fibromyalgia sufferers process pain.

Certain chemicals in the foods you eat may trigger the release of neurotransmitters that heighten this sensitivity.

Although there have been only a handful of studies on diet and fibromyalgia, the following eating rules can’t hurt, and may help, when dealing with chronic pain.

Limit Sugar as Much as Possible. Increased insulin levels will typically dramatically worsen pain. So you will want to limit all sugars and this would typically include fresh fruit juices. Whole fresh fruit is the preferred method for consuming fruit products.

If you are overweight, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, you will also want to limit grains as much as possible as they are metabolized very similarly to sugars. This would also include organic unprocessed grains. Wheat and gluten grains are the top ones to avoid.

Eat fresh foods. Eating a diet of fresh foods, devoid of preservatives and additives, may ease symptoms triggered by coexisting conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

It’s also a good idea to buy organic food when possible, as it’s best to avoid pesticides and chemicals. However, fresh is best. So if you have to choose between local, fresh, non-organic and organic but wilting – go with fresh, and clean properly.

Avoid caffeine. Fibromyalgia is believed to be linked to an imbalance of brain chemicals that control mood, and it is often linked with inadequate sleep and fatigue. The temptation is to artificially and temporarily eliminate feelings of fatigue with stimulants like caffeine, but this approach does more harm than good in the long run. Though caffeine provides an initial boost of energy, it is no substitute for sleep, and is likely to keep you awake.

Try avoiding nightshade vegetables. Nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant may trigger arthritis and pain conditions in some people.

Be Careful with Your Fats. Animal based omega-3 fats like DHA and EPA have been touted as a heart-healthy food, and they may help with pain, as well. They can help reduce inflammation and improve brain function. At the same time, you want to eliminate all trans fat and fried foods, as these will promote inflammation.

Use yeast sparingly. Consuming yeast may also contribute to the growth of yeast fungus, which can contribute to pain.

Avoid pasteurized dairy. Many fibromyalgia sufferers have trouble digesting milk and dairy products. However, many find that raw dairy products, especially from grass fed organic sources, are well tolerated.

Cut down on carbs. About 90 percent of fibromyalgia patients have low adrenal functioning, which affects metabolism of carbohydrates and may lead to hypoglycemia.

Avoid aspartame. The artificial sweetener found in some diet sodas and many sugar-free sweets is part of a chemical group called excitotoxins, which activate neurons that can increase your sensitivity to pain.

Avoid additives. Food additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) often cause trouble for pain patients. MSG is an excitatory neurotransmitter that may stimulate pain receptors; glutamate levels in spinal fluid have been shown to correlate with pain levels in fibromyalgia patients.

Stay away from junk food. Limit or eliminate fast food, candy, and vending-machine products. In addition to contributing to weight gain and the development of unhealthy eating habits, these diet-wreckers may also irritate your muscles, disrupt your sleep, and compromise your immune system.

Resources:
Health.com 2008
Health.com 2007
National Fibromyalgia Association

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9 Hidden Toxins Lurking in Your Food

Your grocery store is plentifully stocked with wolves in sheep’s clothing. Here are some tips to help you steer clear of hidden toxins that masquerade as safe products.

……..Grocery shopping

1. Stay away from processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, and sausage. Sodium nitrate can also cause the formation of nitrosamines in your system, which can lead to cancer.

2. Reduce the amount of canned food you consume. Cans are commonly lined with bisphenol-A, an organic compound that may be associated with diabetes and heart disease.

3. Skip the diet soda and artificial sweeteners. Prolonged exposure to aspartame, a neurotoxic chemical additive in these products, can lead to nerve cell damage, dizziness, and headaches.

4. Opt for organic chicken. The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy discovered traces of arsenic in non-organic chickens. Exposure to this dangerous chemical can lead to cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Another study also found numerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria in conventional poultry.

5. Avoid manufactured snacks.
Hydrogenated oils are used to lengthen the shelf life of products like crackers and cookies, but they are also associated with diabetes and heart disease. Snack foods are also generally loaded with salt, corn syrup and other unhealthy ingredients.

6. Stay away from artificially-colored foods like candy, maraschino cherries, and gelatin. Mice and rats exposed to blue 1 and 2, red 3 and yellow 6 suffered from brain, adrenal gland, thyroid, and kidney tumors.

7. Always buy organic produce. Lingering pesticides can lead to nervous and reproductive system damage, not to mention cancer.

8. Avoid Teflon cookware. The Teflon used to create nonstick surfaces can release noxious gases when exposed to high temperatures, which puts you at risk for a large variety of diseases, many of which are not even well documented at this time.

9. Never microwave food in plastic bowls, containers, or dishes.
Exposure to heat causes the bisphenol-A found in plastics to break down and potentially contaminate your food.

Sources: AlterNet August 11, 2009

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Food Additives to Remove From Your Diet

Many food additives have been studied and linked to various diseases. Becoming informed about the additives in everyday food items can make for an easier shopping experience and healthier food for everyone.

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Here’s a list of some of the most medically questionable and harmful additives in everyday foods:

1.Sodium nitrite
2.BHA & BHT
3.Propyl gallate
4.Monosodium glutamate
5.Trans fats
6.Aspartame
7.Acesulfame-K
8.Food colorings (Blue, Red, Green, Yellow)
9.Olestra
10.Potassium bromate
11.White sugar
12.Sodium chloride (salt)
Since some of these may not be familiar to you, sodium nitrite is a preservative added most commonly to bacon, ham, hot dogs, sandwich meats, and smoked fish. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are other preservatives added to foods like cereal, gum, potato chips, and vegetable oils. Propyl gallate is found in meats, chicken soup base, and gum. All of these preservatives have been linked to cancer.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) can cause migraines and other adverse effects. Trans fats are being eliminated from most foods, as the studies linking them to heart disease, strokes, and kidney problems are widely accepted.

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener found in products like NutraSweet and Equal as well as diet foods and soft drinks. And acesulfame-K is a newer sweetener used in soft drinks and some baked goods.

Many food colorings have been banned by the FDA, but some can still be found in foods that require a particular color. Olestra was common for a time in potato chips as an additive that prevented fat from being absorbed in your digestive system. Food colorings have been tied to cancer and Olestra also blocks vitamins from being processed.

Potassium bromate is sometimes added to white flour, breads, and rolls to increase the volume of the products, but it has cancer-causing properties that have prompted some states in America to actually require a label to that effect.

Finally, white sugar and sodium chloride (salt) can be dangerous if not kept to a minimum.

Source: Health News June 29, 2009

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