Tag Archives: Juice

Diet Soda May Hurt Your Diet

Somehow, I have a feeling this post will strike an unpleasant chord with many readers, as I know people who take their diet soda very seriously. I am not one who has ever been a soda addict, caffeine addict or sugar addict (at least not in drink form).  Ideally, I would try to stick to water, but I find myself drinking ice tea or low-fat chocolate milk (post-workout) and even the occasional coffee.  I try to stay as far away from soda as I possibly can for countless reasons.  Mainly, I don’t get any satisfaction from drinking the bubbly, sugary drink with artificial colors and flavors.  If anything I feel more sluggish and my stomach is upset from the carbonation.  I end up more thirsty than I was before indulging in the beverage and since my stomach is filled with so much air, eventually I’m back to being hungry too.

The main complaint I have with diet soda is their claim that it makes you think it is somehow “healthy” because the word “diet” comes before it.  The fact is diet soda still has artificial sweeteners which, although haven’t been proven to be harmful, are still best avoided.  Just because the FDA hasn’t stepped in doesn’t mean the product is a good one!  Saccharine was banned in Canada and other countries because lab tests with animals found that it was linked to bladder cancer; the FDA has chosen to remove warning labels due to inconclusive evidence as to the effect it has on humans.  Aspartame is a high profile, artificial sweetener that is highly controversial.  Aspartame was discovered as a sweetener while researching anti-ulcer drugs.  The scientist spilled some on his hands and realized it had a sweet flavor, so now it’s in many diet drinks, water packets and other sugar-free items.  There are many, many names for aspartame and claims have been made that it contributes to anything from cancer to psychiatric problems in humans.  The jury is still out on this one as well, but in my opinion it isn’t worth the risk.

Another point to be made is studies have found that people who drink diet soda are not healthier in any way.  Reducing the food energy intake of sugar in soda doesn’t imply that person will have a lower food intake overall or lead to weight loss.  An independent study also found that 48% of the 9,000 people in their test group were at higher risk for weight gain and elevated blood sugar levels.  The diet soda merely increased the person’s desire for sweet foods.

 

Homemade Sparkling Water Spritzer

Overall, I think it is best to avoid soda in general.  If you have to have it every once in a while that’s fine and dandy, but don’t justify your indulgence by telling yourself it is “healthy” and do your best to try and limit your intake as much as possible.

 

Best idea for soda drinkers?  Create your own soda!  Combine sparkling water (not club soda-too much sodium) and your favorite 100% fruit juice.  This is a great way to wean you off of the artificial crap and still get a taste of the bubbly stuff.  Sparkling water is hydrating and the NYTimes reported it can help keep calcium in your bones.

For a drink like this, pour glass half full with 100% juice of your choice and half full of sparkling water.

To make things more fun or fancy, try using frozen berries or fruit instead of ice cubes!!

Fancy Schmancy Fruit Cubes


Packing On the Liquid Pounds

Packing on the Liquid Pounds

Packing on the Liquid Pounds

Frappacinos, lattes, milkshakes, soda, energy drinks and the list goes on and on and on.  All of these liquid caloric black holes that suck us in with their deliciousness. We drink them without even thinking about it. Even when we are trying to be healthy, we focus too much on what we are chewing and not enough on what we are drinking.  When we are on the go, we reach for smoothies to tide us over instead of actual food.  Sure, they are easy to prepare and portable.  Still, none of these are healthy choices or choices that you should substitute for a meal.

Why aren’t these beverages a good choice for someone who is trying to watch their caloric intake? First off, these drinks aren’t full of nutrients.  Most are full of sugar or high fructose corn syrup.  According to CNN, a seemingly healthy smoothy can pack 300 calories into your body.  That’s quite a bit, especially if it accompanies a regular full calories lunch.  And even on its own, most smoothies you get are not full of nutrients that you need to keep you feeling full.  So yes, maybe you’ll drink that smoothie and on its own it seems ok.  But by 2:30 in the afternoon you’re hungry again and reaching for more and more food.

The fact of the matter is drinking your calories isn’t even a satisfying way to get your nutrition.  According to scientists, there isn’t the same psychological cue associated with drinking as there is with eating.  Which is why you are still hungry after drinking that full-fat latte.

Here is some information from CNN.com

A Meal in Itself

Just Say No

75 percent of U.S. adults are projected to be overweight or obese by 2015, according to researchers. Americans consume anywhere from 150 to 300 more calories than they did three decades ago and half of those calories come from liquid. A new study out of John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health finds that reducing liquid calories, especially from sugar-sweetened drinks such as punches, fruit juices and sodas, helps people lose weight and keep it off.

So instead of having a soda, drink water.  Water has no calories and keeps you hydrated without added sugar.  If you are hungry, have a nutritional snack like a piece of string cheese or a handful of almonds.  Have a healthy lunch instead of a smoothie.  If you are going to make smoothies anyways, make them at home with little to no sugar. Use real or frozen fruit and plain non-fat yogurt. Add healthy nutrients like protein powder and flax seed meal.  These will keep you full and will add healthy calories instead of empty calories into your diet.  Still, it’s always better to have a meal than drink your calories for the day in one beverage.

Healthy Smoothie Recipe

Try One of These Instead

Banana-Strawberry Fruit Smoothie Recipe
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 6 strawberries, frozen
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. skim milk powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp. high- quality protein powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp. flax oil (optional)

In a blender, process all the ingredients until thoroughly mixed and serve.