Monday, March 25, 2013

Why soft drinks ARE that harmful....

Today's Post:  Monday, 3-25-2013

We post often about the health harm of soft drinks and how fattening they are.

That’s true enough I have topics I’ll post later this week that have other subjects.

But there are two reasons for this post. 

1.  Soft drinks now are such a massive problem because most Americans drink them and most who drink them drink something like 10 times too much.

The average person gets 10% of their calories from soft drinks and up to 10% of their calories from packaged foods they eat with the soft drinks that they could eat real food instead and take in half the calories.

And, for many reasons, people who drink diet soft drinks are fatter than people who drink regular soft drinks.

That means that if no one drank soft drinks, the average American would be 15% of their current bodyweight less fat.  And, they would NOT be any hungrier!

Since half of all Americans are too fat, that means that if no one drank soft drinks, that percentage would drop dramatically with no other actions needed!

2.  But why do this post now when I’ve posted on it so often?

Last week in the online health news a study done from population statistics showed that the poor health and obesity caused by soft drinks kills many people each year -- 180,000 or so worldwide with the worst problem here in the United States.

The soft drink industry immediately replied that association does not prove soft drinks were responsible.

This happens to be false in this case.  But it is true that knowing that things appear together does not by itself prove that one causes the other. 

The people doing the study replied back that their statistical analysis did too show that soft drinks were the cause.  And, they made a very strong case.

But despite coming to a correct conclusion, they had a better defense!  The soft drinks DO cause the problems and we know why.

The studies that are the smoking gun that show soft drinks cause the diseases and obesity causing the deaths has been done and shows clearly that soft drinks are the cause and the direct cause in many cases of these deaths.

Both regular and diet soft drinks do cause obesity and heart disease and type 2 diabetes and the research showing this is strong, detailed, and consistently finds the same results.

This email makes some key points:  (I’ll put those in bold.)

David Blyweiss, MD sends out an email, Advanced Natural Medicine, and last Weds, 3-20, he had this:

When Sweet isn't so Sweet
Today I was going over questions from my readers and discovered there is still a lot of confusion over high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and sugar.

On one hand I get a question asking "If HFCS is so bad, should I just stick with sugar?" On the other someone asks "We've been using sugar forever; why is it suddenly 'bad' for us?"
So let me clear up some confusion…

It's true that sugar has been around since ancient times. So I can understand why some people are wondering why it's such a big deal today.

The thing is, until about the 18th century, it wasn't widely available. Back then it was considered a luxury and few people had access to it. They were lucky just to get a few ounces of it here and there.

Fast forward to today. The average American consumes between 41 and 50 pounds of "added" processed sugar each year. That makes the average consumption between 150 and 175 pounds of sugar per year.

"Added" sugar is the amount above and beyond what you would naturally find in the food supply. And this is a huge leap from the few ounces a year we were consuming in ancient times.

Here's another big difference between then and now: The addition of HFCS into our food supply. When you add that to the amount or processed sugar we're eating, it takes the amount of "added" sugar per year up to between 80 and 96 pounds per person.

HFCS wasn't widely used until the late 1970's.

And look what happened next; from 1980 to 1991 obesity rates rose by 52.9 percent in women and 61.5 percent in men. Today, over two-thirds of adults over 20 years of age are considered overweight or obese.

Many people are placing the U.S. obesity epidemic squarely on the shoulders of HFCS.
And while I don't think HFCS deserves all of the blame, I do believe it's one of the key players in the epidemic. Let me show you why…

Just a few months ago analysts performed an interesting analysis. They compared the amount of HFCS that was used in 43 countries. Guess what they discovered?

The countries using the most HFCS have a 20% higher rate of diabetes. The analysts came to that number after adjusting for other things, like regular sugar consumption, body weight and overall calorie intake.
The country that consumed the absolute most HFCS was the U.S. The researchers estimated that we eat an average of 55 pounds of HFCS per person each year.
Much of the HFCS in the U.S. is found in soft drinks.

In fact, beverages sweetened with sucrose, HFCS and other sweeteners are now the primary source of added sugars in the U.S. diet.

There's been a lot of research done on these sweet, syrupy beverages. In a meta analysis of 11 studies on these beverages, the results were consistent. They increase the risk of diabetes… and in more ways than one.

Not only do these sugary beverages contribute to obesity, they increase your glycemic load. This, in turn leads to insulin resistance, insulin beta cell dysfunction and inflammation.

But that's just the beginning of the story. There are other health concerns you need to be aware of when it comes to added sugars. They increase your risk of…

Heart disease and stroke: People who consume the most added sugars have worse triglyceride and cholesterol profiles. This occurs in both adults and adolescents. In adults who get more the 10% of their daily calories from added sugar, the odds of having low HDL (the good kind) cholesterol was 50% to 300% greater than those who used less than 10%.
When you combine these changes in HDL cholesterol with insulin resistance and inflammation, it increases your risk of arterial plaque and blockages. And increases your risk factors for both heart disease and stroke.

Fatty liver: Fructose intake, in particular, is associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver. This is a disease that can lead to inflammation, scarring and even cirrhosis. Researchers now believe this excess consumption of fructose might be a contributing factor. Studies show patients with this disease consume two to three times higher amounts of fructose than those without it.

Gout: Men who drink five to six servings of sugar sweetened soft drinks are at greater risk of gout. Their risk is 85% higher than men who only have one or two servings a week. And it's not only men who are at risk. Women who consume one fructose sweetened soda a day had a 74% higher risk.
Remember, you're the one in charge. Simply cutting out soft drinks and sugary snacks is something you can control.”

And, most regular soft drinks use High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Mike Geary writes on health nutrition and in a recent email had this:

“New Princeton Study reveals that HFCS can stimulate more weight gain than sugar

Leave it to those geniuses at Princeton to give us some good evidence that HFCS can make you fatter than sugar! 

In a 2010 Princeton University study, researchers found that rats given water sweetened with HFCS gained significantly more weight than those given water sweetened with plain sugar, despite calorie intake being the same between both groups.

Princeton researchers also state:  "In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides".

And what about those claims by the Corn Refiners Association that HFCS is "no worse than sugar"?  Well, let's get past the propaganda, and hear what an actual researcher has to say:

According to professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction... "Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn't true, at least under the conditions of our tests. 

When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese -- every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this; they don't all gain extra weight."

Princeton researchers also noted that the HFCS groups in the studies gained significant amounts of visceral fat around the belly.  As you might know, visceral fat is more deadly than subcutaneous fat and is a serious health concern as it releases inflammatory molecules into your system.

One reason that HFCS appears to cause more weight gain than plain sugar is that HFCS doesn't trigger a leptin response in the body.  This means that it won't signal the body to decrease appetite despite those HFCS calories that were consumed.

Another reason that HFCS affects our bodies differently is this... according to Princeton researchers, although HFCS only has 10% more fructose than table sugar (55% fructose content vs 50% fructose content in sugar), the fructose in HFCS is more sinister... According to Princeton, "as a result of the manufacturing process for high-fructose corn syrup, the fructose molecules in the sweetener are free and unbound, ready for fast absorption and utilization. In contrast, every fructose molecule in sucrose that comes from cane sugar or beet sugar is bound to a corresponding glucose molecule and must go through an extra metabolic step before it can be utilized." “

Between the parts it’s very clear, sweetened soft drinks create massive overdoses of sugars even if they use real sugar.  And, for the past 15 years or so, most of those overdoses have been high fructose corn syrup.

This overdose, particularly of high fructose corn syrup, is a proven cause of obesity, excess inflammation, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes and lower but harmful levels of high blood sugar.  They also cause massive increases in triglycerides.

Increases in triglycerides according to research done at Harvard show that the person in which they occur has dramatically more of the small particle LDL that is a direct cause of heart disease.

So, the statistics show that soft drink consumption does show up almost identically to increases in obesity, heart disease, strokes, and diabetes – the increased deaths related to them.

Since excess sugar and high fructose corn syrup has been directly shown to cause these conditions, this is not just that they appear together.  The soft drinks DID cause the problems and the extra deaths.

Worse, people who drink diet soft drinks, studies show, are even fatter and get even more of these diseases!


If you don’t want to be far too fat, and develop diseases you’d rather not have, and die early, never, ever drink ANY soft drinks!

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