I often lament over the fact that I raised my eldest children in a much less healthy environment than my youngest kids. When I was a young mother, I still believed that I could trust what I heard on the news or things a doctor said. My family used to consume large quantities of processed foods and sugar. As time went on, I began to educate myself. The more I learned, the more I tried to adapt our lifestyle, especially our diet, to improve our health and build strong immune systems. Out went sugary drinks, especially soda!
On a rare occasion, we might have soda in our house, such as if we’re having company on a holiday. Even then, however, I typically just serve ice water with lemons on the side or tea. Millions of people throughout the country are addicted to sugary drinks. I know many people whose idea of staying “properly” hydrated is to down several sodas per day. They’re not drinking the small, 8 0z. cans we used to drink, either. Sugary drinks nowadays are mega-sized, and most people drink the entire thing, which equates to two, sometimes three full servings!
Nasty sugary drink side effects
You probably aren’t especially conscious about all of your internal organs and bodily systems every time you guzzle a soda or other sugary drinks. Take a look at the following list, which, according to Harvard Medical School and other scientific experts, shows potential dangerous effects that drinking beverages loaded with high fructose corn syrup and other added sugars can have on your health:
- Impaired liver function
- Cardiovascular disease and other heart problems
- Leptin resistance
- Thyroid problems
- Metabolic disorders
- Pancreatic cancer
- Tooth decay
Here’s the thing: This list is not extensive, meaning there are MORE serious adverse health effects associated with frequent consumption of sugary drinks. Also, these are effects that are NOT rare — they are LIKELY to occur if you are constantly drinking beverages with tons of added sugar in them!
Addiction to sugary drinks is similar to a narcotics addiction
If you’re prone to addiction, you’ll really want to avoid processed sugars. Such sugars, especially high fructose corn syrup, are highly addictive! This is not to say that consuming sugar is the SAME type of danger as using narcotics. However, according to a study published in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, scientists say that the level of addiction for those who can’t break their sugar habit is as strong and debilitating as addiction to narcotics. In fact, many people need psychological counseling and medication to help them overcome addiction to sugary drinks and other added-sugar products.
Understanding the difference between naturally occurring sugars and added sugars
The cells in your body can produce natural sugars. You can also get natural sugars through consumption of certain foods, fruit, for instance. Glucose, sucrose and fructose are three basic naturally-occurring sugars. You NEED them to be healthy! The topic of naturally-occurring sugar is complex. To keep things basic, let’s just say that natural sugars are building blocks that your body needs to form several types of carbohydrates that are critical to your health.
When you drink a smoothie or cup of juice, however, even if it is 100% natural, the fruit itself has already been broken down into liquid form. This causes an onslaught of sugar (albeit natural sugar) to hit your liver all at once, which makes it difficult for your body to process it. This is why it is always healthier to simply EAT the fruit, instead of drinking it! I know, I know, how boring and NOT fun — don’t shoot the messenger here, I’m just trying to help you improve your health! If you simply can’t live without smoothies, opt for veggie ones instead. I’m not saying you need to 100% abstain from fruit smoothies. Just do some research on why it’s better to eat the fruit instead of drinking it to make informed decisions.
Sugary drinks and good health are not compatible
Chances are, you or someone you know has battled or is battling cancer. One of the first things oncologists will teach cancer patients is to avoid processed sugar. It is your enemy! Frequently consuming sugary drinks is disastrous to your health, even if you don’t have cancer. If you’re not good about staying properly hydrated with water because you usually opt for a sugary drink, check out this article that provides suggestions on healthy ways to flavor your water.
Sugary drinks are disastrous to human health. The blunt fact of the matter is that by giving into a momentary craving, you’re placing yourself at risk for serious health problems down the line. Soda and energy drinks are extremely toxic! Do you know that Mountain Dew contains brominated vegetable oil (BVO)?! Do you know what that is? It is a patented flame retardant! Studies show that people who frequently consume sugary drinks containing BVO are at great risk for memory loss, adverse skin conditions and central nervous system problems. Is it REALLY worth it? BVO is so bad for human health that numerous countries have banned it!
Let today be the day you start to make healthier drink choices! By eliminating sugary drinks from your family’s diet, you and your children will immediately improve your health!