Lately I’ve been focusing on all the foods we should stop consuming, but what about beverages which can account for up to 30 percent of our daily calorie intake? Many of us take for granted all those calorie-laden lattes, soft drinks and other sweetened beverages, however the real problem is not related to calories, but something much worse.
Here are 7 beverages you should avoid consuming at any time, for your health and your waist line:
1. Soft Drinks (soda, pop, carbonated beverages, fizzy drinks, etc.)
There isn’t enough bad things to say about soft drinks of any kind. Soft drinks account for more than a quarter of all drinks consumed in the United States. That works out to at least one 12-ounce can per day for every man, woman and child. They are estimated to be at least one-third of the problem related to child obesity. Carbonated soda pop providesmore added sugar in a typical 2-year-old toddler’s diet than cookies, candies and ice cream combined.
Many sodas and diet soft drinks approach the pH level of battery acidin terms of corrosiveness and erosion of tooth enamel.
Besides the fact that diet soda causes dehydration, weight gain, mineral depletion, diabetes and caffeine addiction, research shows they’re also responsible for an increased risk of vascular events such as stroke, heart attack, and vascular death.
Artificially sweetened soft drinks are marketed as healthier alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages, due to their lack of calories. However, past research has shown very serious long-term health consequences due to highly toxic additives and artificial sweeteners such as sodium benzoate, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose and high-fructose corn syrup.
Men who drink just one 300ml can of soda per day are much more likely to require treatment for a serious form of cancer than those who never consumed the drink. One soda a day can raise aggressive cancer risk by 40 percent.
One study of more than 66,000 women found those who drank artificially sweetened drinks were more 60 percent more likely to develop diabetes than those who indulged in regular versions of the same beverage.
Another recent study published in the journal Respirology revealed that soft drink consumption is associated with lung and breathing disorders including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
2. Tap Water
If you’re still drinking tap water, you may be hiding from a flurry of information exposing its dangers.
Only 91 contaminants are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, yet more than 60,000 chemicals are used within the United States, according to Environmental Protection Agency estimates. Government and independent scientists have scrutinized thousands of those chemicals in recent decades, and identified hundreds associated with a risk of cancer and other diseases at small concentrations in drinking water, according to an analysis of government records by The New York Times.
Many readers know fluoride is a chemical waste product of the fertilizer industry that is problematic environmentally in regard to how to dispose of it. So the government and the industry figured out that putting it in our drinking water would solve the problem.
Studies have shown that fluoride can pull lead from pipes and add that to the poisonous mix coming from our taps. That might be the reason fluoride also seems to bring copper and aluminum with it as well as the lead.
Animal studies have demonstrated evidence of fluoride’s toxic effects on brain tissue. These include brain cell damage, reduced lipid content, impairment in anti-oxidant defense systems, increased aluminum uptake, and the formation of beta-amyloid plaques. These are the plaques which are indicative of Alzheimer’s Disease. Maybe this explains why many dogs seem to prefer to drink from puddles than their own tap-filled water dishes.
Depending on the country, cardiovascular disease is typically either the number one or two cause of death. A new study published in Nuclear Medicine Communications Journal has concluded that increased uptake of fluoride in arteries may be associated with an increased cardiovascular risk.
Just in case the toxicity levels of fluoride were not sufficient in the water supply, are now proposing that lithium could soon be added to drinking water.
An investigation by the Associated Press (AP) has also revealed that the drinking water of at least 41 million people in the United States iscontaminated with pharmaceutical drugs.
Drinking tap water contaminated with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a serious health risk. The highest measured levels of PFOA in human blood in the US, other than factory exposures, are in people who have consumed PFOA contaminated tap water.
Lead pipes once used routinely in municipal water distribution systems are a well-recognized as a source of dangerous lead contamination. Construction crews have been feverishly replacing these pipes in major cities in Canada and the U.S, but only partially using brass in conjunction with copper lines. The research shows that joining old lead pipes with new copper lines using brass fittings spurs galvanic corrosion that can dramatically increase the amount of lead released into drinking water supplies.
3. Sport Drinks
The sports drinks market keeps rising because unsuspecting consumers keep feeding into the marketing ploy. Worldwide, it’s a multi-billion dollar industry sponsoring some of the biggest athletes. But in a word, it’s “crap”.
Gatorade is almost as corrosive as coke. Researchers at the University of Iowa’s College of Dentistry found that energy drinks and sports drinks, such as Gatorade and Red Bull, eroded the enamel more than soda and fruit juices. In a 2008 study published in the journal Nutrition Research, the dentists soaked extracted human teeth in various liquids for 25 hours, and then measured the structural changes, or lesions.
“Power drinks can be quite acidic, usually because there is an addition of citric acid to those to give it tartness that is desired by some consumers,” said Dr. Clark Stanford, the associate dean for research at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. ” It’s important to look at the label and see if citric acid has been added.” Sipping on sports drinks can damage your teeth because of the high levels of acid in them, dentists have warned.
A recent study published in the May/June 2012 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, found that an alarming increase in the consumption of sports and energy drinks, especially among adolescents, is causing irreversible damage to teeth–specifically, the high acidity levels in the drinks erode tooth enamel, the glossy outer layer of the tooth.
Some experts called for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — which treats energy drinks as dietary supplements — to require warning labels on the hundreds of energy drinks now on the market.
Sports drinks are loaded with petrochemical artificial colors that have no purpose other than to make a visually appealing beverage. Artificial colors offer no nutritional value which support the assertion by many that sports drinks are a complete waste of money and can really harm you.
If you want a real energy drink, try the rehydrating powers of coconut water which match or even better any carbohydrate-electrolyte sports beverage.
4. Specialty Coffee
I know this may disappoint many coffee drinkers, but there are responsible ways to drink coffee and the other ways. If you indulge in big brand name speciality coffee from chains such as Starbucks or McDonalds, not only are you getting coffee from toxic coffee beans, but you’re consuming some serious calories.
How about a Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino Blended Coffee? Try 660 calories. Or what about a Java Chip Frappuccino Blended Coffee. That’ll be 600 calories. Why would you want to add this kind of artificially liquid creamed, refined sugared, artificially sweetened coffee to your daily beverage consumption?
Recently, there has been a big push to promote the benefits of coffee. From fighting free radicals, to improving memory, diabetes, parkinsons, and even reducing cancer risk, there is plenty of studies touting the so-called miraculous health benefits of coffee. But are these claims true and non-biased or exagerrated claims with alterior motives? Some of the biggest promoters of coffee’s health benefits come from the largest producers themselves such as those in Brazil.
I personally love coffee, but I will only drink bold organic varities that are grown responsibily. You won’t find this kind of coffee at Starbucks or any other kind of large coffee chain. The only types of coffee beans you’ll get from any major chain of specialty coffee is pesticide-laden and chemically grown.
The coffee plant is one of the most heavily sprayed crops. It’s coated with chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides, nothing you’d want to be ingesting. These chemicals then leech into the ground water and make people sick in local areas where coffee is grown.
Even though many chemicals that have been found to be harmful to the environment have been banned or are strictly regulated in the U.S. or Europe, they remain legal to use in less-developed countries, including many countries that grow coffee.
Coffee should be brewed within 4-6 weeks after roasting. The industry standard shelf life is 1 year. Over 70% of coffee importers do not follow these protocols far exceeding the time range for sales and stock.
Organic coffee is one of the choices you could resort to especially if you are searching for high quality and the best coffee blends. This is fast becoming a favorite among coffee aficionados because of its high end and awesome taste and aroma. Moreover, coffee lovers who are health conscious at the same time find this coffee choice the most remarkable one.
There are renowned coffee beans and brands for organic java which are trusted by countless coffee lovers around the world. Green Mountain: Fair Trade Organic, Sprouts Farmers Market and Tom Thumb (Safeway): O Organics European Blend are just few of the brands established in the market today.
The best way to help our migratory birds is to purchase certified Bird Friendly coffees. Rather than being grown on land that has been cleared of all other vegetation, Bird Friendly coffees are planted under a canopy of trees that provide habitat for birds. In addition to being shade grown, Bird Friendly coffees are also organic, meaning they’re grown without the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers that poison the environment. See what Kenn Kaufman says about Bird Friendly Coffeeon his blog.
The Rainforest Alliance has a broad social and ecological mandate that spans many sectors including agriculture. Coffee is one of the agricultural crops targeted by Rainforest Alliance programs. The coffee certification program is aimed at ensuring that coffee workers are paid fairly, treated with respect and that the crop they tend does not contribute to soil erosion, water contamination and forest destruction: the Rainforest Alliance seal means that both social and environmental values are respected.
5. Pasteurized Milk
The United States is the world’s largest producer of pasteurized cow milk, but oddly enough it is also one of the world’s smallest consumers. The dairy industry thus has a vested interest in eliminating all raw milk suppliers from the market place to enforce and increase per capita consumption of pasteurized milk which is lagging behind most of the world.
Pasteurized milk is perhaps one of the most nutritionally deficient beverages misappropriately labeled as a “perfect food.” Raw milk enthusiasts have known for a very long time that unpasteurized milk is the ONLY milk worthy of consumption. Pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamins C, B12 and B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer.
All cow’s milk (regular and ‘organic’) has 59 active hormones, scores of allergens, fat and cholesterol. Cow milk may also have measurable quantities of herbicides, pesticides, dioxins (up to 200 times the safe levels), up to 52 powerful antibiotics (perhaps 53, with LS-50), blood, pus, feces, bacteria and viruses.
The primary claim by the food industry: As the world’s population climbs, the sustainable production and distribution of food is balanced against the need to ensure its chemical and microbiological safety. Scientists believe they must irradiate, pasteurize and sterilize all foods to keep the public safe.
And pasteurization does not always kill the bacteria for Johne’s disease suspected of causing Crohn’s disease in humans with which most confinement cows are infected. Much commercial milk is now ultra-pasteurized to get rid of heat-resistant bacteria and give it a longer shelf life. Ultra-pasteurization is a violent process that takes milk from a chilled temperature to above the boiling point in less than two seconds.
One of the possible methods of pasteurization uses propylene oxide, a highly flammable and “highly toxic” chemical used in thermobaric weapons. Foods treated with the chemical are banned in some countries, including Canada and Mexico, as well as the European Union.
A very interesting point addressed by Marco Torres is do we really need to drink any milk of any kind from another species besides our own?
I love coconut, nut and seed milks. Brazil nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, and hemp seeds all make nutrient dense, great tasting milks and they’re all essentially made the same way and you can make them yourself without any sophisticated equipment.
6. Processed Fruit Juice
One of the great scams of the industrial food cartel is the so-called “fresh” orange juice sold in supermarkets.
Ever wonder why commercial orange juice–even the premium, not-from-concentrate, “100-percent pure” juice kind–tastes the same each time you buy it, but doesn’t taste exactly like a freshly peeled orange?
Turns out there’s a lot more to making juice than simply squeezing some citrus. As part of the mass-production process, big-name brands like Tropicana, Minute Maid, Simply Orange, and Florida’s Natural add artificial flavouring in order to make sure your juice tastes consistent from carton to carton–and to make sure it tastes like oranges.
“It really rocks people’s world to learn that most orange juice is not a fresh product,” says Alisa Hamilton, author of “Squeezed: What You Don’t Want to Know About Orange Juice”
Pasteurized, not-from-concentrate orange juice takes up a lot of storage space. In order to keep it from spoiling without adding chemical preservatives, the companies “deaerate” (or strip the oxygen out of) the juice. (Another surprise: During production, deaerated juice often sit in million-gallon tanks for as long as a year before it hits supermarket shelves.)
A shocking investigation has also revealed that some of the best known brands of apple juice contain arsenic.
American apple juice is made from apple concentrate, 60% of which is imported from China. Other countries may use pesticides that contain arsenic, a heavy metal known to cause cancer and heart disease.
Findings of a Consumer Reports investigation about arsenic and lead levels in apple juice and grape juice have prompted the organization to call for government standards to limit consumers’ exposure to these toxins.
Fruit juices of any kind are rarely 100% juice and specific additives to extend shelf life can be hazardous to your health and your family.
7. Any Artificially Sweetened Beverage
Aspartame and sucralose are still used in hundreds of artificially sweetened drinks including cocktails, milks, juices, cold coffees and sodas. If you see either of these two ingredients in any beverage, please do not consume it. They are two of the most toxic sweeteners in the world.
Monsanto, the creator of Aspartame knows all about the dangers. They fund the American Diabetics Association, the Conference of the American College of Physicians and Congress.
When aspartame is ingested into the digestive tract, it breaks down into numerous other poisons. The intact Aspartame molecule and its diketopiperazine form are vastly worse poisonings than any of the other poisonings which arise from it during digestion, and liver processing of the digestive blood, which is delivered directly to the liver via the portal vein. The other poisonings, as mentioned, are indeed horrendous but Aspartame from gum is far worse, making even the smaller amounts contained in chewing gum strikingly dangerous and damaging.
Aspartame, via ingestion into the digestive tract, is made into some ten other poisonings by the digestive processes, and then excepting that which is delivered directly to the pancreas, they are transported straight to the liver via the portal vein, where they then are very partially dealt with, and partially reprocessed. Afterwards, they are sent in somewhat lesser concentration to the entire body, lessening the amount which eventually goes to the brain.
A report from scientists at Duke University demonstrated that the artificial sweetener Splenda (sucralose) and its key component sucralose pose a threat to the people who consume the product.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 11 to 27 percent of ingested sucralose is absorbed by the human body (FDA 1998). Research published by the manufacturer of sucralose (Roberts 2000) shows that when 8 healthy male adults where given sucralose (in 1 mg/kg amounts), between 10.4% and 30.6% of the sucralose was absorbed. In addition, 1.6% to 12.2% of the sucralose accumulates in the body.
Splenda/sucralose is simply chlorinated sugar; a chlorocarbon. Common chlorocarbons include carbon tetrachloride, trichlorethelene and methylene chloride, all deadly. Chlorine is nature’s Doberman attack dog, a highly excitable, ferocious atomic element employed as a biocide in bleach, disinfectants, insecticide, WWI poison gas and hydrochloric acid.
In test animals Splenda produced swollen livers, as do all chlorocarbon poisons, and also calcified the kidneys of test animals in toxicity studies. The brain and nervous system are highly subject to metabolic toxicities and solvency damages by these chemicals. Their high solvency attacks the human nervous system and many other body systems including genetics and the immune function. Thus, chlorocarbon poisoning can cause cancer, birth defects, and immune system destruction. These are well known effects of Dioxin and PCBs which are known deadly chlorocarbons.
Natasha Longo has a master’s degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.