Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bad Vitamins...Bad Cola

I am sure some of you will think what you are about to read is bad news, since it is all bad news these days.  But this is good news...the hundreds or thousands of dollars you have been spending on vitamins, vitamin infused drinks, and diet soft drinks are a total waste of money and are probably bad for your health.  Now you can save all that money and be healthier at the same time.  How often does that happen?

Yep, the jury is in on man made vitamins.  They don’t do anything that they claim to.

After numerous studies by different research entities on tens of thousands of people, health scientists have concluded that ““Consumers spend money on dietary substances with the thought that they are going to improve their health, but there’s no evidence for this,”  “Buying more fruits and vegetables might be a better choice.”  

And the good news, they are much cheaper than bottles of vitamins.  The tens of billions spent on these products are totally might as well be taking sugar pills or placebos. (There is one exception, according to my friend Betsy and my friend Dr.  Pepper, (ironically that is his real name) pure fish oil capsules are full of natural Omega-3, which is really good for you.)

So now, the so called vitamin waters and Diet Sodas spiked with vitamins come under the microscope.  The assumption must be made that they too, are a monstrous waste of money.  Give the people in the marketing departments of the companies that make these beverages credit....they were working with what they had.  But I think they need to find another way to sell water and soda.

This is where I sort of get wound up.  According to Coke's CEO E. Neville Isdell "Diet and light brands are actually health and wellness brands,".  He was referring to a product called Diet Coke Plus, which is Diet Coke plus a few vitamins. (I think this is the guy that also said that all those plastic water bottles piling up in the oceans and landfills are biodegradable....”they will have completely disappeared in 5 thousand years”)

Let’s deconstruct a “heathy” Diet Coke.  This popular drink (which we refer to as “Brown Drool” in our family)  consists of artificially blackened water tinged with synthetic chemicals. Here are its ingredients  from most prevalent to least: carbonated water, caramel color, aspartame, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate (to protect taste), natural flavors, citric acid; and caffeine.

To protect taste? What are people supposed to be tasting? Oh right, there it is: "natural flavors." Diet Coke contains more of the chemical designed to protect said flavors than the flavors themselves. (BTW, the "natural flavors" are the part that are secret and some swear contain addictive substances.....the only way to explain the constant consumption by many people).

In essense Diet Coke is a nutritional void. Human bodies evolved to make use of a variety of foods, but I doubt isolated versions of phosphoric acid, etc., are among them. And aspartame, aka Nutrasweet, may cause active damage.

Even worse, the “diet” in Diet Coke is a sham. Multiple studies have shown that people who drink diet soft drinks don't lose weight. In fact, they gain weight.

Some of the findings come from eight years of data collected by the University of Texas Health Science Center and were reported at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association.

According to the report, "What didn't surprise us was that total soft drink use was linked to overweight and obesity,"  "What was surprising was when we looked at people only drinking diet soft drinks, their risk of obesity was even higher."

In fact, when the researchers took a closer look at their data, they found that nearly all the obesity risk from soft drinks came from diet sodas.

"There was a 41% increase in risk of being overweight for every can or bottle of diet soft drink a person consumes each day,”

For regular soft-drink drinkers, the risk of becoming overweight or obese was:

26% for up to 1/2 can each day

30.4% for 1/2 to one can each day

32.8% for 1 to 2 cans each day

47.2% for more than 2 cans each day.

For diet soft-drink drinkers, the risk of becoming overweight or obese was:

36.5% for up to 1/2 can each day

37.5% for 1/2 to one can each day

54.5% for 1 to 2 cans each day

57.1% for more than 2 cans each day.

For each can of diet soft drink consumed each day, a person's risk of obesity went up 41%. 

What is the lesson here?  If you are going to put something in your body, make sure it is real beverage and food, not some sort of elixir or food-like substance cooked up by the marketing department at a beverage or processed food conglomerate.  They cannot come up with anything that is near as good as the real thing.  (The exception may be the newest drink in India made from cow urine.)

Indeed, to look at the chemical composition of any common food plant is to realize just how much complexity lurks within it. 

Here’s a list of just the antioxidants that have been identified in garden-variety thyme: Some of these chemicals are broken down by your digestion, but others are going on to do undetermined things to your body: turning some gene’s expression on or off, perhaps, or heading off a free radical before it disturbs a strand of DNA deep in some cell-Terpineol, alanine, anethole, apigenin, ascorbic acid, beta carotene, caffeic acid, camphene, carvacrol, chlorogenic acid, chrysoeriol, eriodictyol, eugenol, ferulic acid, gallic acid, gamma-terpinene isochlorogenic acid, isoeugenol, isothymonin, kaempferol, labiatic acid, lauric acid, linalyl acetate, luteolin, methionine, myrcene, myristic acid, naringenin, oleanolic acid, p-coumoric acid, p-hydroxy-benzoic acid, palmitic acid, rosmarinic acid, selenium, tannin, thymol, tryptophan, ursolic acid, vanillic acid.

I don’t know what any of that stuff is, but it all works together in mysterious and wonderful ways that are not fully understood by nutritionists and the marketing people at Shaklee or PepsiCo.   So, to stay healthy, and keep some extra money in your wallet, go straight to the fruit, vegetable, and natural juice sections of your local store and avoid the soft drink, snack and frozen food sections if you can.  Your body and bank account will love you for it.  

1 comment:

Bear said...

The ingredients of scotch, I think are malted barley, water, and yeast. So, obviously, scotch is the healthier choice.