Here is an excerpt from an article written by Dr. Bruce Fife from our issue 6 called Nature’s Soft Drink – The details are scary, thankfully there is a very healthy alternative.

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Take a glass and fill it with 10 spoonfuls of granulated sugar. No, you’re not going to make a cake, this is a visual exercise. I want you to imagine yourself “drinking” the sugar like you would a glass of water. This is how much sugar you would consume if you drank a 12-ounce serving of Coca-Cola, or any other carbonated drink for that matter. Each 12-ounce serving of soda contains the equivalent of 10 or more teaspoons of sugar (mostly in the form of high fructose corn syrup).
The thought of eating this much sugar at one time is sickening, yet every time you or your children drink a soda, this is the amount of sugar you get. If you order the large sizes often available at convenience stores and fast food restaurants you can take in two or three times this amount in one sitting. It’s no wonder that soft drinks are called “liquid candy.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that people limit added sugar to 10 percent or less of their daily calorie consumption. For example, an average adult who consumes 2,000 calories a day should limit himself to 10 teaspoons of added sugar. That’s the amount found in one average 12-ounce soft drink. We get sugar from many other sources of food throughout the day—pancakes, breakfast cereals, sweet breads, candy, snack cakes, etc. The 10 teaspoon maximum represents the amount from all sources, so even one 12-ounce drink is over the limit.
An alternative to sweetened beverages are the diet or sugar-free varieties. In place of sugar, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose are used. Artificial sweeteners, however, are no better for your health than excess sugar is. Studies have shown that these substances cause numerous health problems ranging from seizures to weight gain.
Both diet and regular soft drinks contain numerous other ingredients which can also adversely affect health such as caffeine, phosphoric acid, and sodium benzoate, to mention just a few. Soft drinks are a problem not only for what they contain, but also for what they push out of the diet. When people fill up on soft drinks they tend to eat less of the foods that supply essential nutrients. Studies show that children who consume more than 16 ounces of sweetened beverages per day have lower intakes of calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin A, and other nutrients, which increases risk of developing nutrient deficiencies.
Soft drinks contribute to a number of health problems. As soft drink consumption has increased, certain health problems have become more prevalent. Several studies have provided evidence that soft drinks are directly related to weight gain. Weight gain, in turn, is a prime risk factor for type 2 diabetes. As we get older, excess weight also contributes to heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. Studies indicate that frequent use of soft drinks increases risk of tooth decay, attention deficit disorder (ADD), osteoporosis, kidney stones, and increases susceptibility to infectious illnesses.
Sugar is one of the primary causes of tooth decay. Bacteria that feed on the sugar produce acids that erode tooth enamel allowing cavities to develop. Soft drinks promote cavities because they bathe the teeth in sugar water, weakening the enamel and encouraging bacteria growth. A recent large study of young children in Iowa found the soda consumption was the strongest predictor of the dental cavities.1
In a study on bone mass development in girls, researchers found that soft drink consumption was associated with lower bone mass.2 Girls build 92 percent of their bone mass by age 18 and begin to lose bone mass at around the age of 30. Lower bone mass increases risk of osteoporosis later in life. In another study, Harvard researchers found an association between consumption of carbonated beverages and bone fractures in teenage girls.3 Among active girls, the risk of bone fracture was almost five times greater in girls who consumed colas compared to girls who did not. Among all girls in this study, the risk of bone fracture in those who consumed carbonated beverages was more than three times that in girls who did not consume carbonated beverages.
Kidney stones are one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract. Seventy percent of those people who have had kidney stones have a reoccurrence. Studies show that soft drink consumers have an increased risk of developing kidney stones. In one study, for example, subjects who had suffered with kidney stones were divided into two groups. On group was asked to refrain from drinking sodas, while the other group had no restrictions. After three years those who reduced their consumption to less than half of their customary levels were one-third less likely to experience a recurrence of stones.4
Sodas and fruit drinks are popular, in part, because they taste good. Water, a much healthier alternative, is considered by many to be too bland. Many people have been so conditioned to drinking flavored beverages that they don’t like to drink water. Children particularly, prefer beverages of one sort or another to comparatively tasteless water. Some health specialists recommend unsweetened herbal teas or even seltzer water, but what kid is going to willingly drink these? You need a beverage that is low in sugar, has no questionable additives, supplies essential nutrients, and tastes good enough that kids, as well as adults, will enjoy drinking it.

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Excerpt from Issue 6 from ND Bruce Fife.yay-4009252