Grandma: "I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like Read more
Never in the last two decades of my career as a physician would I have imagined that we would be using the same mask to see patients all day and then sterilizing/recycling them at the end of the day. Read more
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With the scare of COVID here in the USA now, I wanted to post a little info about boosting immunity to prevent contracting the virus. Here are some important facts about Covid-19
It is spread by contact with Read more
This cold and flu season is still upon us and unfortunately, many patients are still being plagued by these nasty viral symptoms. Here are a few tips to try if you feel like you are coming down with something.
Of Read more
Sherry has a great story. She has been diabetic for years and she has made some massive changes!
"I have been on a lifestyle change. It has been a year following a ketogenic food plan. When I started this journey Read more
Many of you may know Erin-- the fabulous Pharm D that worked in our office a few years back. Erin is a phenomenal gal and we embarked on the journey into natural medicine around the same time. As we both Read more
Ok–I’m going to admit a deep dark secret now that I have finally kicked the habit. Up until about 5 months ago, I was drinking up to four diet mountain dews a day!! I popped one first thing in the am. I then cracked another for my 45 minute commute into work. Of course, when I got to work, I needed something to sip on and help me get started. And last but not least, lunchtime required another hit of the vice because I would be starting to drag. I wasn’t worried about the sugar because it was DIET. What I didn’t realize was that the artificial sweeteners + aspartame + caffeine was even worse for me. I watched the documentary “Hungry for Change” and was flabbergasted that what I had been doing was so incredibly toxic to my body. No wonder I felt like crap! I can honestly say that it took some time and effort to wean the habit. I started by telling myself that I could have 20 cans a day as long as I drank a glass of water between doses of my chemical romance. That helped me wean down to 1-2 a day. After months of affirmations in my mirror, (I am not an addict. I am healthy and alive) replaced the drug with unsweetened iced tea. I only have one glass (maybe two on a particularly busy day) of tea that I make at home without any artificial ingredients. I have to admit–I really don’t miss the stuff. If I can do it–you can too. I wish I could get a five month sober medal just to represent my strength!! Maybe I’ll start a DEW-Aholic group!! Watch this cute little animated video that highlights some of the dangers of this addictive drug.
There is no controversy over the fact that childhood obesity is a huge problem in the United States. More than enough data and research has been done to prove that 1 in 5 American children will be obese by 2020 if the current trends continue. These are the facts, but what can we do to change things? There are many possible actions but it all starts at the home level. We can be more successful as parents by leading by example. For instance, making my girls watch “Forks Over Knives” and “Hungry For Change” was a real battle; they did however get some subliminal messages from watching those two documentaries. I noticed they replaced the traditional peanut butter cracker after school snack with fruit. They get more messages from me as they see me painfully wean my diet mtn dew consumption. Changing a lifestyle and years of bad habits isn’t easy. My theory is that if I change myself gradually, they will also. Research shows that replacing sugar-sweetened beverages in schools could reduce obesity by 12 kcal/day, as long as children didn’t consume any extra sugary drinks outside of school. So that is my call to action, I have to eliminate the sugar at home first. There aren’t any distinct answers in how to change the diet of the country and healthcare on average. But, it starts with us! Let’s do this Marines. Let’s work to educate ourselves on whole foods and nutrition. Lead by example.
T. Colin Campbell does a nice 18min presentation that you can watch here:
Reference: Wang YC, et al “Reaching the Healthy People goals for reducing childhood obesity: closing the energy gap” A, K Prev Med 2012
“They may be free of calories, but not of consequences.”
In one study, people who drank two or more diet sodas a day had five times the increase in waist circumference over a 10-year period compared to people who didn’t drink any diet soda.
I think this topic is extremely relevant for summer time. Sodas and sodas mixed with alcohol are a summer time staple for many people. I respect people who don’t let their diet or nutrition plan interfere with their social life. I think there is something to be said about having a healthy balance between eating well, watching what you drink and socializing. Food and drink should never control your life. With that being said, there is a difference between smart choices and misinformed choices. The best example I can think of is people who buy diet soda or have diet soda with alcohol because they are “watching their weight.”
Artificial sweeteners in diet soda could have the effect of triggering appetite but unlike regular sugars they don’t deliver something that will squelch the appetite
Sweeteners can inhibit brain cells that make you feel full. So while you may be saving calories in comparison with regular soda the artificial sweeteners will trigger your appetite and cause you to overeat in some other fashion.
Psychological licensing effect -If a person thinks that they are doing something that is benefiting them, they will be more prone to do something that may be potentially harmful, creating some sort of psychological balance. For instance, many people will work out for an hour or more, and then eat something unhealthy because “they earned it.” The same effect can be seen with diet sodas. People may think that diet sodas are more healthy, and they therefore drink more diet soda than they normally would. This will increase any negative effects beyond what they may expect from an infrequent consumption of cola.
Artificial sweeteners trigger byproducts in our gut called “short chain fatty acids” which can decrease satiety signals. (The component that relays messages to your brain to tell if you are full are interfered with as a byproduct of artificial sweeteners.)
What To Drink Instead
Honestly, the only things I ever recommend that people drink are water, black coffee, tea, unsweetened almond milk, and alcohol in moderation. If these don’t satisfy your cravings than opt for something that doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, or large amounts of sugar.
1. 100 percent pure juice from fresh fruit, not from concentrate, with no additives of any kind. ( I always recommend whole fruits over juices but there can be some compromise.)
2. Fresh Vegetable Juice (Again, I always recommend whole vegetables but juicing vegetables can be a great alternative.)
3.100 percent pure fruit smoothie. ( I don’t trust any commercial smoothie joints just because you can never be sure what kind of sweeteners they use but do-it-yourself smoothies make for a great snack and thirst quencher.)
The jury is out. Diet soda is not a healthy alternative to regular soda. Not to say you should revert back to drinking regular soda where you know the sweetness you taste is actually real sugar and sugar additives. This is by no means better than artificial sweeteners. In my mind they are equally as bad and the decision on which to choose is a coin toss. My suggestion is to play it safe and avoid all sodas and opt for water.
Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments or questions.
Now that I have sparked your curiosity by telling you the true story of a food additive allergy (See blog “When I let go of who I am…), I am starting a 10 part series on Food Additives and the health consequences that accompany them.
I am starting my favorite obvious offender Red Dye # 40 because I have seen this mutant troll ruin the lifes of an undeserving woman and her family for 7 years! This devious bandit is hiding undercover in more foods than you can possibly imagine, including something that I am serving my family for dinner tonight, Pillsbury crescent rolls.
Red Dye #40 debilitates the immune system -I believe it’s the Michael Jordan of disease-causing food additives.
Food coloring dates back to Ancient Egyptian writings as early as 1500BC. In the late 1800’s chemically synthesized color additives were derived from coal and metal based compounds and actually contained some poisons (arsenic). They used color to mask poor product and spoiled stock from improper storage technology. Documented injury and death from the tainted colorants demanded the necessity for “The Pure Food and Drug Act” passed in 1906. This Act allowed the government to scrutinize the use of color additives.
By 1938, the FDA had successfully brought colorants under stricter control by naming and assigning numbers to them. F for food use, D for drug use, and C for cosmetic use. Hence Red Dye # 40 (FDC) is the most commonly used food, drug, and cosmetic additive. 3 million pounds of this dye were manufactured in the year 1992 alone. Today, it is by far the most commonly used colorant and hence–my new nemesis. I will say that FDC yellow # 5, the second most commonly used dye, will be put on hold because of its marriage Diet Mtn Dew, (my personal Bad Romance”). Yellow Dye #5 causes adrenal tumors in rats! More to come, I’ll have to go to an AA meeting or take abusive relationship course before I face the reality that I am emotionally dependant on this toxic relationship. “Hi everyone, I’m Angela, and I’m a Diet Mtn. Dewaholic” The first step is acceptance.
Next blog if you are interested: The Foods that Contain Red Dye # 40 —Warning, it will be painful.