Drinks – The Good, The Bad and The Downright Ugly
What drinks are good for you? And which aren’t? And what hidden little nasty extras do you get with your can of soda?
But first, I want to cut to the chase – what drinks should you be choosing?
Water, sparkling water (both with fresh lemon juice as a healthy option), kombucha, Kevita, freshly made vegetable juices*, freshly made fruit juices*, freshly made smoothies.
Soda and diet drinks
Why are they harmful: Aspartame, caramel coloring. Brominated vegetable oil, Sodium benzoate, and Yellow Dye #5.
Caramel Colouring. Ridiculously unecessary yet a potentially lethal carcinogenic chemical called 4-methylimidazole (4-MeI). In California any drink with over 29 micrograms of 4-Mel has to come with a cancer warning
Brominated Vegetable oil : Orignially used as a flame retardant and is banned in Europe and Japan. Do you really want to drink flame retardant?
Aspartame: I hate it! – BUT – the FDA still approves of it and I guess they have better info on it than I do. I do know that when I drank Diet Coke (1 bottle a day) I used to get a lot of headaches. I blamed it on the aspartame. But maybe it was the caramel coloring. I do know, that as soon as I stopped drinking Diet Coke the headaches disappeared. Coincidence? I think not!. Aspartame is also supposed to overload your liver.
Sodium Benzoatel: Used as a preservative. On its own, possibly not harmful. Mixed with vitamin C, potentially harmful as that can form benzene, which can cause blood cancers.
Yellow dye #5: Banned in some European countries, yellow dye #5, also knows as tartrazine, can potentially cause allergic reactions such as asthma in people and also hyperactivity.
In addition, reports have stated that diet drinks actually make you increase weight, they also affect your mood and bring on depression . Diet drinks have also been shown to alter the good bacteria in your gut in a negative way.
And if you opt for the non-diet soda drinks? – then just look at the picture above! Along with also the chemical nasties, you get a HUGE amount of refined sugar hitting your blood stream, your body, your brain, YOU!.
* When making your own fresh juices or veggie juice, it’s always a good idea to use as much of the whole fruit or vegetable as possible (ie skin with fruit and the whole veggie for the vegetable juice) to allow for maximum nutrients and also for fibre.
These have fallen under the ugly label, because I think most people now know that sodas are bad for them, but when they buy a smoothie or a juice, there is an expectation that it will be healthy.
Smoothies: Not all smoothies are UGLY! However – check the label!! Check the ingredients! A good healthy smoothie should have fresh or frozen fruit and yoghurt or milk and the even healthier ones may have a nutrient boost like chia seeds included. However, some smoothies are made with artificial fruit flavourings, milk powder and have high calorie sweetened additions like peanut butter or ice cream. A lot of store bought smoothies also use fruit purée which means you miss out on some of the nutrients and get a higher dose of sugar. So best option? -make your own. Second best option- check the ingredients!
Juice boxes and juices: Same as for smoothies -check the ingredients! – the vast majority of juice boxes have water as the first ingredient followed by sugar! (So far no juice!) As mentioned above, if you are going to have fruit juice, have it fresh and include the skin and the pulp so you have maximum nutrients and fibre and minimum sugar.