Get ready! I have been pondering this one for a while, and hopefully it will get you thinking!
Why do people still continue to drink sodas and juices with more sugar or sugar substitute than brownies and ice cream?! I just don't get it. I really do not. Have you looked on the ingredient list on the back of a soda bottle, diet or regular? Have you looked at the ingredient list on a container of fruit juice? Have you ever wondered what exactly you are putting in your body?
What else do you need in this besides the juice of the fruit? Well looking at the back of Minute Maid Orange Juice for kids, a lot apparently. It's supposed to be 100% orange juice, but it contains Calcium Phosphate, Calcium Lactate, and *other ingredients not included in regular orange juice (which they clearly state on the label). If that doesn't matter to you, does it matter that it has 24 grams of sugar in 1 cup and 110 calories? Can you not just eat an orange? The average orange has about 12 grams of sugar. Why do you need to drink your calories and sugar? Save them for real food!
This Minute Maid Fruit Punch is even worse. It contains high fructose corn syrup. Do not believe those commercials that are sponsored by the Corn Refiners Association to make you think that "corn sugar" is good for you or no different than regular sugar. HCFS boosts fat-storing hormones and drives people to overeat. It is manufactured by changing the glucose in cornstarch to fructose. HFCS delivers such a big load of sugar to your liver that your liver can't keep up, so it doesn't convert it all to glucose and a lot of it gets stored as triglycerides, or fat. It's cheap and a major source of increased sugar intake in the U.S. It is also easy to put into EVERYTHING on the supermarket shelves. It's even in peanut butter for crying out loud!
Worse than fruit juice is soda. It doesn't matter that diet sodas have zero calories or zero sugars. It does matter that soda contains chemicals that harm your body. High Fructose Corn Syrup, Aspartame, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Benzoate, Phosphoric Acid, artificial colorings galore. It's purpose is to make you addicted and dehydrated. All of these can disrupt your endocrine system and cause your hormones to get out-of-whack.
- Artificial sweeteners: They are harder on our metabolic systems and can trick our brains into forgetting that sweetness means extra calories, so we eat more of it.
- Sodium/Potassium Benzoate: These are sometimes added to soda to prevent mold growth. They are also known carcinogens.
- Phosphoric Acid: This keeps soda from going flat. It also leaches calcium out of our bones, which is why sometimes you hear that too much soda consumption leads to osteoporosis.
I hope I have at least given you something to think about. This is certainly not the end of me speaking on these chemicals/ingredients. Whether you intend to drop your diet coke habit is totally up to you. But, here is one last question:
Would you rather enjoy a good, filling food or would you rather drink something that is gone in seconds and makes you crave more sugar, while doing harmful things to your body?
PLEASE save your calories for food and chemicals for science projects.
*NOTE: I am not a scientist, but a concerned consumer. I have researched these topics and have also learned about them in my class at NPTI.