The Worst Sodas

Did You Know: Philadelphia is the first major U.S. city to pass a tax on soda—1.5 cents per ounce, which is about $1 more for a 2-liter, Other cities have imposed similar taxes, including Berkeley, CA, San Francisco, Seattle, and Boulder, CO. The truth is that you don’t need to live in these locations to pay the price of drinking soda.

Although we call them “beer bellies,” new science says we ought to call our bloated midsections what they really are: soda bellies. In a study of about 1,000 adults over the course of six years, people who drank soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages gained an extra 1.8 pounds of visceral fat—the fat that sits inside your gut, damaging your internal organs and pushing your belly out into a King of the Hill–style slouch. To put that in perspective, 1.8 pounds is about how much a fetus weighs at 24 weeks. This means you can go from your lean, slim self to looking like you’re in your second trimester just by drinking a daily soda, sweetened iced tea, or fruit punch. (Talk about a punch to the gut!) But instead of carrying a bundle of joy, you’re carrying a bundle of toxic fat; visceral fat has been shown to increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, among other ills.

Why is soda so good at making us who drink it look bad? It’s the sugar. The USDA issued new guidelines in early 2016, recommending no more than 180 sugar calories per day for women (and 200 for men). This is the equivalent of approximately 45 grams of sugar—an amount that many sodas and other sweetened beverages exceed in just one can. And if it’s not sugar, then it’s an artificial sweetener, which can be 180 times sweeter than sugar and just as damaging to your waistline.


 Regular Sodas

sodas

First, I put them by calories, carbs, and sugar. Then, I examined each can’s ingredients and gave demerits to sodas with more chemicals and additives than those that were nutritionally similar. Here are regular sodas ranked from worst-to-best. (Although, “best” still doesn’t mean healthy!)


Fanta Grape

best sodas

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 180 calories, 48 g carbs, 48 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Natural Flavors, Tartaric Acid, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate (to Protect Taste), Citric Acid, Red 40, Blue 1

Liquefy a bag of Skittles and you’d still have to add 6 grams of sugar to equal the sweetness of this can of corn syrup, citric acid, and artificial colors. In fact, that bag of Skittles has the exact same ingredients, including Red 40, which Canadian researchers found to be contaminated with known carcinogens. Even without its unsettling origin story—the Coca-Cola company created Fanta to profit in Germany when Nazis forbade the importation of USA-made Coke—this would still be the absolute worst soda in America!


Stewart’s Wishniak Black Cherry

best soda stewarts black cherry

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 180 calories, 44 g carbs, 43 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, Cane Sugar, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Sodium Benzoate, Caramel Color, Red 40, Blue 1

With more sugar than seven Chewy Chips Ahoy cookies, Stewart’s Black Cherry would be a “Not That!” because of the sweetness alone—it’s the most caloric on this list. And, like many of the soda on this list, it also contains caramel coloring. This additive wouldn’t be dangerous if you made it the old-fashioned way—with water and sugar, on top of a stove. But the food industry follows a different recipe: they treat sugar with ammonia, which can produce some nasty carcinogens. A Center for Science in the Public Interest report asserted that the high levels of caramel color found in soda account for roughly 15,000 cancers in the U.S. annually. Instead, keep the soda-sipping to a minimum.


Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry

dr browns black cherryNUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 180 calories, 45 g carbs, 45 g sugar

 

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Cherry And Other Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), and Artificial Color (Red 40)

With just two fewer grams of sugar than Stewart’s Black Cherry, Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry would horrify most doctors—and not just because of the sugar. Like Stewart’s—and many of the colored sodas here—this one has the artificial color Red 40, which is it ranks lower than our next entry, despite having less sugar.


A&W Cream Soda

best sodas aw cream soda

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 170 calories, 46 g carbs, 45 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Caramel Color, Citric Acid, Yucca Extract, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Caffeine

A&W traffics heavily in the nostalgia of the roadside restaurant—the company created the nation’s first chain of them in 1923. But their cream soda is a car crash of HFCS and artificial colors and flavors. This is not your grandparent’s soda, in the worst way possible.


Mug Cream Soda

best sodas

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 180 calories, 47 g carbs, 47 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sodium Benzoate (Preserves Freshness), Citric Acid, Caramel Color, Calcium Disodium EDTA (to protect flavor)

Speaking of cream, you’d have to down 12 servings of Reddi-Wip to equal the calorie count of Mug Cream Soda (distributed by Pepsi)—and would still need to eat 12 Hershey’s Kisses on top of that to equal the sugar count. That sounds like an easy way to sip yourself to a fat belly!


A&W Root Beer

best sodas aw root beer

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 170 calories, 47 g carbs, 45 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sugar, Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Natural and Artificial Flavors

You gotta love that ingredients list: This American classic might have sugar and HFCS. Throw in two scoops of vanilla ice cream to make a Root Beer float and you have more than two days’ worth of sugar in one chilled mug.


Mountain Dew

best sodas mtn dew

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 170 calories, 46 g carbs, 46 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Concentrated Orange Juice, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Sodium Benzoate (Preserves Freshness), Caffeine, Sodium Citrate, Erythorbic Acid (Preserves Freshness), Gum Arabic, Calcium Disodium EDTA (To Protect Flavor), Brominated Vegetable Oil, Yellow 5

There’s flame retardant in your Mountain Dew. That soda with the lime-green hue (and other citrus-flavored bubbly pops) won’t keep your insides fireproof, but it does contain brominated vegetable oil, a patented flame retardant for plastics that have been banned in foods throughout Europe and in Japan. Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, which acts as an emulsifier in citrus-flavored soda drinks, is found in about 10 percent of sodas sold in the U.S. “After a few extreme soda binges—not too far from what many gamers regularly consume—a few patients have needed medical attention for skin lesions, memory loss, and nerve disorders, all symptoms of overexposure to bromine,” according to an article in Scientific American.


Mountain Dew Code Red

best sodas

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 170 calories, 46 g carbs, 46 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Orange Juice Concentrate, Citric Acid, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Sodium Benzoate, Natural Flavor, Caffeine, Sodium Citrate, Gum Arabic, Calcium Disodium EDTA, Red 40, Brominated Vegetable Oil, Yellow 5, Blue 1

As we said, Europe and Japan have already banned the flame retardant brominated vegetable oil (BVO) out of their bubbly beverages. Code Red! Dudes, to truly get a six-pack, don’t do the Dew.


Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda

best sodas

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 180 calories, 44 g carbs, 44 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Citric Acid, Caramel Color

With more calories than a Mountain Dew (though with less artificial colors, thus its better ranking), this Cream would make even Prince blush.


Dr. Brown’s Root Beer

best sodas dr browns root beer

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 170 calories, 42 g carbs, 42 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Gum Acacia, Citric Acid, Caffeine Free

You know when you add some Mentos to a two-liter Diet Coke and the whole thing explodes? (Don’t try that at home.) That’s thanks to the Gum Acacia in the candy, which also in this soda—it’s a natural emulsifier. Despite its weird name, is probably this most natural ingredient in this sugar juice.


Surge

best sodas surge

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 172 calories, 46.5 g carbs, 42 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Orange Juice Concentrate, Potassium Benzoate (To Protect Taste), Potassium Citrate, Caffeine, Calcium Disodium Edta (To Protect Taste), Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Carob Bean Gum, Blue 1

It’s not uncommon for “sodium and potassium benzoate are added to some diet soft drinks and fruit drinks. Unfortunately—especially because Surge contains OJ—”they can form benzene, which is a carcinogen when combined with vitamin C, the ascorbic acid in juice or soda.


Mello-Yello

best sodas melo yello

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 170 calories, 47 g carbs, 47 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Concentrated Orange Juice, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Calcium Disodium Edta (To Protect Taste), Potassium Citrate, Caffeine, Yellow 5, Carob Bean Gum

This soda is sweetened with inflammatory HFCS which makes for a shocking sugar count. It’s also colored with Yellow 5, a food dye that’s been linked to hyperactivity in children. Luckily, this soda used to contain the preservative sodium benzoate, a potentially cancer-causing substance but has since been removed.


Sunkist

best sodas sunkist

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 170 calories, 44 g carbs, 43 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Modified Corn Starch, Natural Flavors, Caffeine, Ester Gum, Yellow 6, Red 40

What do you get when you combine carbonated water with High Fructose Corn Syrup and a host of hard-to-pronounce chemicals? This citrus-inspired sip. It gets its alluring orange color from Yellow 5 and Red 40. A Neurotherapeutics journal study linked Yellow 5 and Red 40 to hyperactivity in children.


Barq’s Root Beer

best sodas barqs

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 160 calories, 45 g carbs, 45 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate (To Protect Taste), Citric Acid, Caffeine, Artificial, And Natural Flavors

Acacia Barq’s Root Beer falls toward the middle of the pack regarding carbs, sugar and has a slightly less horrifying chemical profile than its competition. It’s better than A&W Root Beer but slightly worse than Mug.


Fanta Orange

best sodas fanta orange

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 160 calories, 45 g carbs, 44 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (To Protect Taste), Natural Flavors, Modified Food Starch, Sodium Polyphosphates, Glycerol Ester Of Rosin, Yellow 6, Red 40

I don’t know about you, but after a long day of hard work and play, I like to sit back and relax and crack open a can of Glycerol Ester Of Rosin. The wood resin is added to many fruit sodas to help the fruit-flavored oils mix better with the water. While it’s not necessarily harmful, let us repeat: you’re drinking oil and water, sold to you by Coke.


Orange Crush

best sodas

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 160 calories, 43 g carbs, 43 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Natural Flavors, Ester Gum, Yellow 6, Red 40

Orange Crush has the same nutritionals as the next soda, Mug’s Root Beer, but we’re docking it points for the Yellow 6, which, as I’ve said, is crushing stuff.


Mug’s Root Beer

best sodas mugs

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 160 calories, 43 g carbs, 43 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate (preserves freshness), Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Modified Food Starch, Calcium Disodium EDTA (to protect flavor), Quillaia Extract

Quillaia extract? The best (and worst) part of researching these sodas in the Eat This, Not That! Food Lab is coming across the weird ingredients soda manufacturers (in this case, Pepsi) add to their concoctions. Quillaia is another tree bark, and it helps your root beer foam up. Be more scared of the sugar here—you’re basically drinking four root beer-flavored Dum Dums mixed with additives.


Wild Cherry Pepsi

best sodas

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 160 calories, 42 g carbs, 42 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Sugar, Phosphoric Acid, Natural Flavor, Caffeine, Citric Acid

Nothing wild here—just the same ingredients as most sodas, and as much sugar as more than three cups of cherries (without containing any real cherries… SHOCKER)!


Crush Grapefruit

best sodas

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 160 calories, 43 g carbs, 43 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Tartaric Acid, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Acacia Gum, Red 40, Blue 1

Our childhood nostalgia is crushed: This kid-favorite brand has no actual grapefruit. On the bright side, it has no BVO.


Mist TWST (formerly Sierra Mist)

mist twist

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 150 calories, 39 g carbs, 39 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Clarified Lemon Juice Concentrate, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Potassium Sorbate and Potassium Benzoate (preserves freshness), Calcium Disodium EDTA (protect flavor)

When it was called Sierra Mist, it was sweetened with sugar and stevia. Now, after being rebranded to Mist TWST, this soda is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup with no natural sugar in sight. This tacked on an additional 30 calories and 10 grams of sugar—far from the pre beverage that we used to rank #1 on this list.


Stewart’s Root Beer

best sodas root beer

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 150 calories, 38 g carbs, 38 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, Cane Sugar, Caramel Color, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Citric Acid, Quillaia Extract, Gum Acacia, Yucca Extract

If you wouldn’t eat three and a half bowls of Apple Jacks then you should stay away from this root beer. That’s the sugar equivalent of what’s in a 12-ounce can.


Cherry Coca-Cola

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 150 calories, 42 g carbs, 42 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Natural Flavors, Caffeine

As we come near the top ten, you’ll notice the oils and artificial flavors disappearing and see some of the most popular sodas for what they really are: carbonated water, HFCS, some acids and little else. This classic—once made with real cherry juice—is, unfortunately, a variation on a common blend. It’s like finding out your cool dad worked in accounting all along.


Pepsi-Cola

best sodas pepsi

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 150 calories, 41 g carbs, 41 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Sugar, Phosphoric Acid, Caffeine, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor

The perennial #2 in the cola wars carries 5 grams more sugar than a 3 Musketeers bar and 1 gram more carbs. Let that sink in: One of America’s most popular sodas has that much sugar. Instead of drinking this, make a weight loss smoothie!


Pepsi Real Sugar

best sodas

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 150 calories, 40 g carbs, 40 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, Sugar, Caramel Color, Phosphoric, Acid, Caffeine, Natural Flavor

Sugar is the master of disguise. Maltodextrin, brown rice syrup, dextrose, sucrose—it’s got more alter egos than the Avengers. But its most well-known costume, as you know after reading this far, is High Fructose Corn Syrup. Pepsi’s hoping you forget it’s all the same sweet stuff, heavily marketing this new brand formulated with sugar and no HFCS. But in a 2014 review of five studies comparing the effects of sugar and HFCS, there was no difference found in changes in blood glucose levels, lipid levels, or appetite between table sugar consumption and HFCS consumption. In other words, your body can’t tell one from the other—they’re both just sugar.


Pibb Xtra

best sodas

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 140 calories, 39 g carbs, 39 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Sorbate And Potassium Benzoate (To Protect Taste), Artificial And Natural Flavors, Caffeine, Monosodium Phosphate, Lactic Acid, Polyethylene Glycol

A “spicy” cherry soda found mostly in the South—or in Coke Freestyle machines—Pibb Xtra contains propylene glycol, a preservative, thickening agent, and stabilizer, also used as antifreeze to de-ice airplanes, as a plasticizer to make polyester resins, and found in electronic cigarettes. The soda ranks well because of its calorie count, but we can’t recommend you drink it!


7Up Cherry

best sodas 7up cherry

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 140 calories, 39 g carbs, 38 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Citric Acid, Filtered Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Natural Flavors, Potassium Benzoate (preservative), Red 40

No caramel color—ranking goes up! Red 40—ranking goes down.


Coca-Cola Classic

best sodas coca cola

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 140 calories, 39 g carbs, 39 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Natural Flavors, Caffeine

The company itself is responsible for the HFCS-filled Sprite, Barq’s, Fanta, Dr. Pepper, Fuze Tea, Powerade, Monster energy drinks and more—not to mention the sugary VitaminWater. Yet the company’s flagship drink is less harmful than most of the soda’s on this list. That doesn’t mean you should drink it. It means you shouldn’t drink soda. For a healthier buzz without the preservatives, drink tea.


7Up

best sodas 7up

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 140 calories, 39 g carbs, 38 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Filtered Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Potassium Citrate, Natural Flavors, Calcium Disodium EDTA (to protect flavor)

The best part of clear sodas: no caramel color. Worst part: They’re still sodas, and otherwise contain the same ingredients as the rest. This classic, now distributed by the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, has lost market share since its 80s heyday but remains a crisp drink that’s not much better than a Coke.


Sprite

best sodas sprite

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 140 calories, 38 g carbs, 38 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate (To Protect Taste)

Promoted by the coolest athletes, Sprite has the marketing down—and a calorie count slightly lower than the other citric sodas on this list. But we can’t imagine LeBron and friends guzzling a can of carbonated corn syrup before a game.


Canada Dry Ginger Ale

best sodas canada dry

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 140 calories, 36 g carbs, 35 g sugar

INGREDIENTS:*Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Natural Flavors, Caramel Color

Our moms used to give this to us when we had a tummy ache. Now as adults, we get a tummy ache looking at it. Blame Canada. Their tagline is “Real Ginger, Real Taste” but the main ingredients here are carbonated water and HSFC, which won’t help you lose your belly! But with lower calories than the rest, it ranks well on this ignominious list.


Dr. Brown’s Cel Ray

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 140 calories, 34 g carbs, 34 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Extract of Celery Seed with other Natural Flavors, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative) and Caramel Color

The healthiest-sounding soda on this list nearly is. But unfortunately for the fans of Jewish delis everywhere, Cel Ray blends actual celery seed extract with HFCS.


Schweppes Ginger Ale

best sodas schwepps

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 120 calories, 33 g carbs, 32 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Natural Flavors, Natural Colors

Despite being near the top of this list, this soda has as much HFCS-derived sugar as 10 croissants. At least there are any artificial flavors (nor ginger, unfortunately).


Seagram’s Ginger Ale

best sodas seagrams

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 100 calories, 26 g carbs, 26 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate (To Protect Taste), Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate (To Protect Taste), Ginger

This is the #2 least-worst soda, with a big caveat: “High fructose corn syrup, which has been shown to increase appetite and, over time, leads to health problems such as obesity and diabetes,” Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., founder of The NY Nutrition Group says. Yeah, yeah, you knew it was bad, but hear us again: HFCS is bad! Still, Seagram’s Ginger Ale has a lower calorie count than most.

And coming in at #1

Coca-Cola Life

coca-cola life

NUTRITION (PER 12 FL OZ): 90 calories, 24 g sugar

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, Cane Sugar, Caramel Color, Natural Flavors, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Benzoate (To Protect Taste), Caffeine, Stevia Leaf Extract

Although Coke Life is sweetened with stevia, it’s certainly not a “diet” beverage. A can of this still packs 24 grams of sugar and is 90 calories. Still, that’s much less than other traditional colas on the market. And the ingredients are pretty simple, too—sweetened with cane sugar and stevia, there’s no HFCS, which is a bonus. At less than 100 calories a can, this is definitely the best of the regular sodas (although it that still doesn’t make it healthy!)


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section. If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

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Why Too Much Sugar Is Bad for You

When it comes to sugar we are told it’s bad for us but yet here we are consuming more and more sugar. Today I discuss the nasty side of sugar and why it’s time for you to consider going totally sugar-free or the very least cutting back on your sugar intake.

From marinara sauce to peanut butter, added sugar can be found in even the most unexpected products.

Many people rely on quick, processed foods for meals and snacks. Since these products often contain added sugar, it makes up a large proportion of their daily calorie intake.

In the US, added sugars account for up to 17% of the total calorie intake of adults and up to 14% for children (total added sugar intakes).

Dietary guidelines suggest limiting calories from added sugar to less than 10% per day (What Are Added Sugars?).

Experts believe that sugar consumption is a major cause of obesity and many chronic diseases, such as diabetes.


Ways Sugar Can Cause Weight Gain

Too Much Sugar

Rates of obesity are rising worldwide and added sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened beverages, is thought to be one of the main culprits.

Sugar-sweetened drinks like sodas, juices and sweet teas are loaded with fructose, a type of simple sugar.

Consuming fructose increases your hunger and desire for food more than glucose, the main type of sugar found in starchy foods (Differential effects of fructose versus glucose).

Additionally, excessive fructose consumption may cause resistance to leptin, an important hormone that regulates hunger and tells your body to stop eating ( leptin resistance).

In other words, sugary beverages don’t curb your hunger, making it easy to quickly consume a high number of liquid calories. This can lead to weight gain.

Research has consistently shown that people who drink sugary beverages, such as soda and juice, weigh more than people who don’t (Sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain).

Also, drinking a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages is linked to an increased amount of visceral fat, a kind of deep belly fat associated with conditions like diabetes and heart disease (cardiometabolic risk).

Consuming too much added sugar, especially from sugary beverages, increases your risk of weight gain and can lead to visceral fat accumulation.

May Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease: High-sugar “diets” have been associated with an increased risk of many diseases, including heart disease, the number one cause of death worldwide (Cardiovascular Disease).

Evidence suggests that high-sugar “diets” can lead to obesity, inflammation and high triglyceride, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels — all risk factors for heart disease ( Coronary Heart Disease).

Additionally, consuming too much sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened drinks, has been linked to atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by fatty, artery-clogging deposits ( metabolic syndrome).

A study in over 30,000 people found that those who consumed 17–21% of calories from added sugar had a 38% greater risk of dying from heart disease, compared to those consuming only 8% of calories from added sugar (Added sugar).

Just one 16-ounce (473-ml) can of soda contains 52 grams of sugar, which equates to more than 10% of your daily calorie consumption, based on a 2,000-calorie “diet” (Cocoa Cola).

This means that one sugary drink a day can already put you over the recommended daily limit for added sugar.

Consuming too much-added sugar increases heart disease risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, and inflammation. High-sugar “diets” have been linked to an increased risk of dying from heart disease.

Foods with a high glycemic index, such as processed sweets, raise your blood sugar more rapidly than foods with a lower glycemic index.

Sugary foods quickly spike blood sugar and insulin levels, causing increased androgen secretion, oil production, and inflammation, all of which play a role in acne development (acne vulgaris).

Studies have shown that low-glycemic diets are associated with a reduced acne risk, while high-glycemic diets are linked to greater risk (The effect of a high-protein, low glycemic-load diet).

For example, a study in 2,300 teens demonstrated that those who frequently consumed added sugar had a 30% greater risk of developing acne (Acne: prevalence and relationship with dietary habits).

Also, many population studies have shown that rural communities that consume traditional, non-processed foods have almost non-existent rates of acne, compared to more urban, high-income areas (The blemishes of modern society).

These findings coincide with the theory that diets high in processed, sugar-laden foods contribute to the development of acne.

High-sugar diets can increase androgen secretion, oil production, and inflammation, all of which can raise your risk of developing acne.

 Increases Your Risk of Diabetes: The worldwide prevalence of diabetes has more than doubled over the past 30 years (National, regional, and global trends in fasting plasma glucose and diabetes ).

Though there are many reasons for this, there is a clear link between excessive sugar consumption and diabetes risk.

Obesity, which is often caused by consuming too much sugar, is considered the strongest risk factor for diabetes (Risk Factors Contributing to Type 2 Diabetes).

What’s more, prolonged high-sugar consumption drives resistance to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels.

Insulin resistance causes blood sugar levels to rise and strongly increases your risk of diabetes.

A population study comprising over 175 countries found that the risk of developing diabetes grew by 1.1% for every 150 calories of sugar, or about one can of soda, consumed per day (The Relationship of Sugar to Population-Level Diabetes).

Other studies have also shown that people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages, including fruit juice, are more likely to develop diabetes (Intake of Fruit Juice and Incidence of Type 2 DiabetesAssociation between sugar-sweetened beverages and type 2 diabetes).

A high-sugar “diet” may lead to obesity and insulin resistance, both of which are risk factors for diabetes.

First, a “diet” rich in sugary foods and beverages can lead to obesity, which significantly raises your risk of cancer (Obesity as a Major Risk Factor for Cancer).

Furthermore, “diets” high in sugar increase inflammation in your body and may cause insulin resistance, both of which increase cancer risk (The Links Between Insulin Resistance, Diabetes, and Cancer).

A study in over 430,000 people found that added sugar consumption was positively associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer, pleural cancer, and cancer of the small intestine (Sugars in diet and risk of cancer).

Another study showed that women who consumed sweet buns and cookies more than three times per week were 1.42 times more likely to develop endometrial cancer than women who consumed these foods less than 0.5 times per week (Sucrose, high-sugar foods, and risk of endometrial cancer).

Research on the link between added sugar intake and cancer is ongoing, and more studies are needed to fully understand this complex relationship.

Too much sugar can lead to obesity, insulin resistance, and inflammation, all of which are risk factors for cancer.

Consuming a lot of processed foods, including high-sugar products such as cakes and sugary drinks, has been associated with a higher risk of depression (Sweetened beverages, coffee, and tea and depressionDietary pattern and depressive symptoms).

Researchers believe that blood sugar swings, neurotransmitter dysregulation and inflammation may all be reasons for sugar’s detrimental impact on mental health (Long-term inflammation increases risk).

A study following 8,000 people for 22 years showed that men who consumed 67 grams or more of sugar per day were 23% more likely to develop depression than men who ate less than 40 grams per day (Sugar intake from sweet food and beverages, common mental disorder).

Another study in over 69,000 women demonstrated that those with the highest intakes of added sugars had a significantly greater risk of depression, compared to those with the lowest intakes (High glycemic index diet as a risk factor for depression).

A “diet” rich in added sugar and processed foods may increase depression risk in both men and women.

 

 May Accelerate the Skin Aging Process: Wrinkles are a natural sign of aging. They appear eventually, regardless of your health.

However, poor food choices can worsen wrinkles and speed the skin aging process.

Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are compounds formed by reactions between sugar and protein in your body. They are suspected to play a key role in skin aging (Advanced glycation).

Consuming a “diet” high in refined carbs and sugar leads to the production of AGEs, which may cause your skin to age prematurely (The rapid increase in metabolic diseases).

AGEs damage collagen and elastin, which are proteins that help the skin stretch and keep its youthful appearance.

When collagen and elastin become damaged, the skin loses its firmness and begins to sag.

In one study, women who consumed more carbs, including added sugars, had a more wrinkled appearance than women on a high-protein, lower-carb diet (Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged women).

The researchers concluded that a lower intake of carbs was associated with better skin-aging appearance (Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging).

Sugary foods can increase the production of AGEs, which can accelerate skin aging and wrinkle formation.

 

 Can Increase Cellular Aging: Telomeres are structures found at the end of chromosomes, which are molecules that hold part or all of your genetic information.

Telomeres act as protective caps, preventing chromosomes from deteriorating or fusing together.

As you grow older, telomeres naturally shorten, which causes cells to age and malfunction (Nutrition and lifestyle in healthy aging).

Although the shortening of telomeres is a normal part of aging, unhealthy lifestyle choices can speed up the process.

Consuming high amounts of sugar has been shown to accelerate telomere shortening, which increases cellular aging (Effects of nutritional components on aging).

A study in 5,309 adults showed that regularly drinking sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with shorter telomere length and premature cellular aging ( Associations Between Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption ).

In fact, each daily 20-ounce (591-ml) serving of sugar-sweetened soda equated to 4.6 additional years of aging, independent of other variables (Soda and Cell Aging).

Eating too much sugar can accelerate the shortening of telomeres, which increases cellular aging.

 

 Drains Your Energy: Foods high in added sugar quickly spike blood sugar and insulin levels, leading to increased energy.

However, this rise in energy levels is fleeting.

Products that are loaded with sugar but lacking in protein, fiber or fat lead to a brief energy boost that’s quickly followed by a sharp drop in blood sugar, often referred to as a crash (A high sugar, low fiber meal leads to higher leptin).

Having constant blood sugar swings can lead to major fluctuations in energy levels (Effects of high sugar and high fiber meals ).

To avoid this energy-draining cycle, choose carb sources that are low in added sugar and rich in fiber.

Pairing carbs with protein or fat is another great way to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable.

For example, eating an apple along with a small handful of almonds is an excellent snack for prolonged, consistent energy levels.

High-sugar foods can negatively impact your energy levels by causing a spike in blood sugar followed by a crash.

 Can Lead to Fatty Liver: A high intake of fructose has been consistently linked to an increased risk of fatty liver.

Unlike glucose and other types of sugar, which are taken up by many cells throughout the body, fructose is almost exclusively broken down by the liver.

In the liver, fructose is converted into energy or stored as glycogen.

However, the liver can only store so much glycogen before excess amounts are turned into fat.

Large amounts of added sugar in the form of fructose overload your liver, leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition characterized by excessive fat buildup in the liver (fatty liver disease).

A study in over 5,900 adults showed that people who drank sugar-sweetened beverages daily had a 56% higher risk of developing NAFLD, compared to people who did not (39).

Eating too much sugar may lead to NAFLD, a condition in which excessive fat builds up in the liver.


Other Health Risks

Aside from the risks listed above, sugar can harm your body in countless other ways.


Research shows that too much added sugar can:

Research on the impact of added sugar on health is ongoing, and new discoveries are constantly being made.

Consuming too much sugar may worsen cognitive decline, increase gout risk, harm your kidneys and cause cavities.


How to Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Excessive added sugar has many negative health effects.

Although consuming small amounts now and then is perfectly healthy, you should try to cut back on sugar whenever possible.

Fortunately, simply focusing on eating whole, unprocessed foods automatically decreases the amount of sugar in your diet.


Here are some tips on how to reduce your intake of added sugars:

  • Swap sodas, energy drinks, juices and sweetened teas for water or unsweetened seltzer.
  • Drink your coffee black or use Stevia for a zero-calorie, natural sweetener.
  • Sweeten plain yogurt with fresh or frozen berries instead of buying flavored, sugar-loaded yogurt.
  • Consume whole fruits instead of sugar-sweetened fruit smoothies.
  • Replace candy with a homemade trail mix of fruit, nuts and a few dark chocolate chips.
  • Use olive oil and vinegar in place of sweet salad dressings like honey mustard.
  • Choose marinades, nut butters, ketchup and marinara sauce with zero added sugars.
  • Look for cereals, granolas and granola bars with under 4 grams of sugar per serving.
  • Swap your morning cereal for a bowl of rolled oats topped with nut butter and fresh berries, or an omelet made with fresh greens.
  • Instead of jelly, slice fresh bananas onto your peanut butter sandwich.
  • Use natural nut butters in place of sweet spreads like Nutella.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages that are sweetened with soda, juice, honey, sugar or agave.
  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, focusing on fresh, whole ingredients.

In addition, keeping a food diary is an excellent way of becoming more aware of the main sources of sugar in your diet.

The best way to limit your added sugar intake is to prepare your own healthy meals at home and avoid buying foods and drinks that are high in added sugar.

Focusing on preparing healthy meals and limiting your intake of foods that contain added sweeteners can help you cut back on the amount of sugar in your “diet”.

Eating too much added sugar can have many negative health effects.

An excess of sweetened foods and beverages can lead to weight gain, blood sugar problems and an increased risk of heart disease, among other dangerous conditions.

For these reasons, added sugar should be kept to a minimum whenever possible, which is easy when you follow a healthy “diet” based on whole foods.

If you need to cut added sugar from your “diet”, try some of the small changes listed above.

Before you know it, your sugar habit will be a thing of the past.


 Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section. If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

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Zero Sugar For Health

Every new year, you’re bombarded with an endless amount of dos and don’ts to eating healthier and becoming the best version of yourself. And typically, there’s one thing that’s always at the top of the naughty list: sugar. But while it’s been demonized for years, it’s actually not quite the monster it’s made out to be. And that brings up the big question: do you really need to quit sugar completely in order to eat healthier?

Because of all the negative headlines, it’s easy to get triggered every time you see the word “sugar.” It’s the ingredient that’s been said to be responsible for the obesity epidemic, and experts have said it’s as addictive as drugs, after all. Here’s the deal, though: In reality, not all sugar is horrible, and thinking so could actually do more harm than good for your health.


All Sugar Isn’t Created Equal

It might come as a surprise, but it’s actually best not to cut sugar completely out of your diet. Even though the world has been trained to see a candy bar and a bowl of strawberries as equally horrible when it comes to their high amounts of sugar, they impact your body in very different ways.

There are two types of sugar: naturally-occurring sugar and added sugar. When we talk about limiting sugar for overall health, we’re really concerned about sugar that’s added. Naturally-occurring sugars—like those found in fruit and even vegetables like sweet potatoes—are important parts of a healthy, balanced “diet” and provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

In fact, getting your daily intake of naturally-occurring sugar is crucial for all the cells and organs in your body: “Our body needs glucose—a simple sugar—which is the only form of energy it can burn. Glucose comes from carbohydrates found as natural sugars in fruit, dairy, vegetables, and as starches in grains. The key is to eat foods that are natural and unrefined to get the healthy sources of carbohydrates and the ‘sugars’ our body needs.

Sugar in bowl and spoon

But while you want those wholesome sources on your plate, Danchi says added sugar should be limited to no more than 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons for men. That’s not just sugar you’re personally adding into your meals, either: It’s also the sugar that companies sneak into processed foods, like pasta sauces, bread, and salad dressing. So yes, checking nutrition labels is actually super important.

Added sugar is refined, provides zero nutrition, and is inflammatory to the body. Inflammation is the body’s normal response to an injury, virus, or bacteria, and unhealthy dietary ingredients like added sugar can cause a chronic state of inflammation that damages cells and is in the seedbed for diseases like Alzheimer’s, hypertension, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Aside from playing a role in chronic diseases, eating high amounts of added sugar can also cause obesity and dental problems. But there’s a daily allotment for a reason: You don’t need to completely forbid yourself from it in order to stay healthy.


How To Actually Eat Healthier—(Some) Sugar, Included

Humans aren’t perfect, and treating yourself to a little sugar isn’t going to kill you. But cutting back to those smaller portions—and instead, swapping in foods that provide sweetness naturally—certainly helps you improve your health overall.

When you limit added sugars, you’re taking in more of your diet from foods that can provide a benefit to your health. An orange, for example, contains naturally-occurring sugar, fiber, vitamin C, and other nutrients. But you’re not getting those added benefits from table sugar.

Really, the best way you can better your overall health is to simply eat more vegetables and fruit. Yep, the same thing your mom always told you growing up that no kid ever wanted to hear.

A good rule of thumb is to eat a whole, natural, plant-based diet 80 to 90 percent of the time with healthy fats and low amounts of animal fats and refined foods. Avoiding sugary drinks and daily desserts on the day to day—but enjoying the special celebration food in small portions and only on occasion—is a great and workable strategy.

With a sugary treat every so often—aka not at every meal—you’ll keep yourself sane. Because while some sugar can be part of the big bad, it can certainly be part of a healthy diet as well.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section. If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

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Most Popular Fruits In America

Ladies and Gentlemen, I can’t believe that I forgot to post yesterday my streak has ended at 9 months (insert sad face). I’ll be honest It did slip my mind because I have been doing home Improvements or a.k.a my days are spent In a Lowe’s or Homedepot and the nights are spent doing those said home Improvements. So with that being said the most popular fruits In America is going up today and saturday, I will do two blog posts to catch up.

Fruits are an important part of the human diet. They contain vitamins and other nutrients that help keep the body healthy. Because of their nutritional benefits, fruit consumption has grown over the years. The consumption of fruits varies in different parts of the world with some fruits being consumed around the world while some being restricted to certain areas because of their limited availability. Some of the fruits that are most consumed in the world are as discussed below.


Most Popular Fruits of the World

Tomatoes

Although tomatoes are considered as a vegetable in culinary communities, by botanical/scientific descriptors of fruits and vegetables, tomatoes are classified as a fruit. By that description, tomatoes hold the title for the world’s most consumed fruit! In fact, tomatoes are considered a must-have in most households around the world. The annual production of tomatoes stands at 170.75 million metric tons. Tomatoes are produced through normal farming, but mostly through irrigation and greenhouses. Tomatoes can be consumed raw or cooked. In addition, several metric tons of tomatoes are processed to form sauces, most of which are used to make pizzas and pasta.


Bananas

Banana is almost everyone’s darling across the world. The annual consumption of bananas stands at 114.13 million metric tons. They are mostly consumed ripe in most parts of the world. However, raw bananas are also cooked in some parts of the world. Bananas are also used to make flavors that are used to bake cakes. They are a preferred fruit because of their availability all year round and their high nutritional value.


Watermelons

Annual consumption of watermelon in the world is at 111 million metric tons. Watermelons are readily available in most parts of the world, even in dry area where most fruits would not thrive. Watermelons grow well in mild conditions and only take a few months to mature. Besides, as cultivating watermelon is less labor intensive than other fruits, farmers prefer it over other crops. The watermelon’s sweetness and nutritional value make it among the most preferred fruits.


Apples

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, they say. Apple is the fourth most consumed fruit in the world with an annual consumption of approximately 84.63 million metric tons. Apples are not produced in most parts of the world. However, the top world’s producers like China, the US, Turkey, and Poland export their surplus production to the countries whose production cannot sustain the consumption demand. Apples are preferred for their nutritional value. They can be consumed raw or cooked, or as apple juice. Apples are also good antioxidants.


Grapefruits

Grapefruits are the fifth most consumed fruit in the world. The annual world’s consumption of grapefruits stands at 83.97 million metric tons. The nutritional value of grapefruit makes it among the topmost consumed fruits. It is rich in vitamin C. Besides nutritional value, grapefruits are also consumed in most parts of the world due to their medicinal properties. Grapefruit can be consumed as a fruit or as a juice.


Top Producers and Exporters of Fruits

Other fruits that are consumed widely around the world include grapes, oranges, mangoes, and pineapples. In 2014, Asia produced over 370 million metric tons of fruits, making it the leading global fruit supplier. Africa, South America, and Europe produced 90 million, 79 million, and 73 million metric tons respectively. Some of the top fruit exporters include Netherlands, Guatemala, South Africa, Spain, Ecuador, Costa Rica, the US, and Mexico.


The Most Popular Fruit in the World

In A Chart

Rank Fruit Produced Million Metric Tons
1 Tomatoes 170.75
2 Bananas 114.13
3 Watermelons 111
4 Apples 84.63
5 Grapefruit 83.97
6 Grapes 74.5
7 Oranges 70.86
8 Mangoes 45.23
9 Plantains 30.67
10 Tangerines 29.87
11 Pears 25.8
12 Pineapples

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section. If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

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Paleo “Superfoods”

In today’s post, I talk about some “superfoods” that you might think is but really aren’t.

I like the idea behind the paleo “diet”. It seems sensible to try to emulate the “diet” our ancestors ate while we were evolving.

However… even though I like the idea, I don’t like the way the “diet” is prescribed in many cases. It seems to have gone beyond just science and started becoming more about ideology. There are many modern foods that are healthy but actively discouraged on the paleo “diet”. I think this is a huge mistake.

Nutrition should be about science and doing what works best for the individual, NOT ideology. Humans evolved eating a variety of foods and our genes have changed (not much, but some) since the paleolithic period. I think the idea of a paleotemplate is more reasonable.

That is, eat the foods humans evolved eating, then add the modern foods that you like, tolerate and science has shown to be healthy.

Here are 4 foods that technically aren’t paleo, but are still super healthy.

1. Full-Fat Dairy Products From Grass-Fed Cows

One of the pillars of a strict paleo diet is the elimination of all dairy products.

I think this is a mistake… because plenty of people can tolerate dairy just fine.

Although a large part of the world is lactose intolerant, many populations have acquired an enzyme to break down and make full use of lactose, the main carbohydrate found in milk (Milk).

Full-fat dairy products are particularly healthy, as long as they come from grass-fed cows. This includes foods like butter, cheese, and full-fat yogurt.

Full-fat dairy contains bioactive fatty acids like butyrate, which is potently anti-inflammatory (234).

Best of all, full-fat dairy products are loaded with Vitamin K2, a powerful but often ignored nutrient that regulates calcium metabolism in the body.

Most importantly, Vitamin K2 helps to keep calcium inside our bones and outside of our arteries (56).

Studies have shown that Vitamin K2 is highly protective against fractures (lowering the risk by 60-81%) and cardiovascular disease (78). The Rotterdam study showed that people who had the highest K2 intake had a 57% lower risk of heart disease and a 26% lower risk of death from all causes, over a 7-10 year period (9).

In countries where cows are largely grass-fed, consuming full-fat dairy products is linked to major reductions in the risk of heart disease (101112). One study from Australia showed that those who ate the most full-fat dairy had a 69% lower risk of dying from heart disease than those who ate the least (13).

A lot of people are concerned that because full-fat dairy is high in fat and calories, that it can cause weight gain. However… the evidence disagrees. In fact, eating dairy fat is linked to a reduced risk of obesity in numerous studies (14).

That being said, there are some people who can’t tolerate dairy. If you get some sort of negative reaction from eating dairy products, then by all means avoid them. But for people who do tolerate and enjoy them, then there is absolutely no scientifically valid reason to avoid quality dairy products from grass-fed cows.

Unprocessed, full-fat dairy products from grass-fed cows are incredibly healthy. They are high in important vitamins like Vitamin K2, as well as beneficial fatty acids like butyrate.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is one of those rare indulgent foods that happen to be incredibly healthy and nutritious. Derived from cocoa beans, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants in the world. One study showed that cocoa was even higher in antioxidants than blueberries and acai berries (15). Dark chocolate is very high in fiber and minerals like magnesium, iron, copper, manganese and various others (16).

One problem with chocolate, in general, is that it often contains some sugar. However, if you choose dark chocolate with 70-85% (or higher) cocoa content, then the sugar amount will be minimal and the benefits will far outweigh the negatives.

There have actually been numerous studies on the health benefits of dark chocolate and cocoa, especially for heart and brain function (1718).

Dark chocolate and cocoa can lower blood pressure, raise HDL cholesterol and protect LDL particles from oxidative damage (19202122).

There are also studies showing that dark chocolate can reduce insulin resistance, a major risk factor for metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and heart disease (2324).

In some studies, people who eat the most cocoa and dark chocolate have a 50-57% lower risk of heart disease, which is an insanely high number (2526).

Of course, these types of studies are observational in nature and can not prove that the chocolate caused a reduction in risk.

But given the confirmed effects on important risk factors like blood pressure, insulin resistance and LDL oxidation, I find it plausible that dark chocolate and cocoa could, in fact, reduce heart disease risk (27).

That being said, the benefits of dark chocolate don’t end with the heart. There are also studies showing that it can cause major improvements in brain function (at least in the elderly) and give the skin natural protection against sunburn (2829).

Dark chocolate wasn’t available in the paleolithic period, but it’s still one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Just make sure to choose quality, organic dark chocolate with a high cocoa content… and don’t eat a lot of it, think of it more as a supplement.

One or two squares per day or a few times per week should be enough.

Dark chocolate is a “modern” food, but numerous studies show that it has powerful health benefits, especially for heart health.

White Potatoes

The original paleo diet book took a hard stance against potatoes.

I don’t think this makes a lot of sense… because potatoes are a root vegetable that was available in the paleolithic period.

Some other versions of paleo, like the Perfect Health Diet, actively encourage foods like potatoes, which they refer to as “safe” starches.

Potatoes are actually incredibly nutritious. A single potato contains lots of Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron and various other nutrients (30).

Really… potatoes contain almost every nutrient we need in some amount, including a decent amount of protein with all the essential amino acids. There have even been accounts of people living on nothing but potatoes for long periods of time, without any apparent negative effects on health.

Another important feature of potatoes is that they may just be the most fulfilling food in existence. In fact, they score higher on a scale called the satiety index than any other food tested (31). What this means is that by eating potatoes, you will feel naturally full and end up eating less of other foods instead.

If you want to make your potatoes even healthier, you can allow them to cool after cooking them. This greatly increases the resistant starch content, which is an indigestible type of starch that functions like soluble fiber (3233).

The only problem with potatoes is the high carb content, so people who are on a very low-carb diet may want to avoid them.

But for people who are active and metabolically healthy, potatoes are pretty close to being nature’s perfect food. It makes absolutely no sense why they shouldn’t be allowed on a paleo diet. They’re as “real” as a food can get.

White potatoes were discouraged in the original version of the paleo diet. However, they are incredibly healthy, highly nutritious and among the most fulfilling foods in existence.

Coffee

Despite having been demonized in the past, studies have now shown that coffee is actually very healthy.

It is loaded with antioxidants… people who eat a Western diet actually get more antioxidants from coffee than fruits and vegetables, combined (343536).Studies have consistently linked coffee consumption to a lower risk of many diseases, especially type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and liver diseases (37383940).

Not only that, but numerous studies suggest that people who drink coffee live longer than people who don’t (4142).

Coffee is actively discouraged in the original paleo diet book, although others like The Primal Blueprint (my favorite version) to allow for coffee. Although some people are overly sensitive to caffeine, most people can tolerate coffee just fine.

As long as you don’t drink too much and don’t drink it late in the day (which can have negative effects on sleep), then there is absolutely NO reason to avoid coffee if you enjoy it.

Coffee was probably not consumed in the paleolithic period (neither was tea, for that matter), but it’s still very healthy and incredibly enjoyable.

Just make sure to choose quality coffee and don’t put sugar in it.

Some Thoughts

The truth is, we don’t even know exactly what our paleolithic ancestors ate and there is also no “one” type of paleo diet.

What people ate varied greatly between regions, depending on the food that was available at the time. Some ate a high-carb diet high in plants, others a low-carb diet high in animal foods.

The one thing I do know for certain is that paleolithic humans didn’t eat anything made in a factory. This includes refined sugar, refined grains, trans fats, veggie oils and any sort of processed food that is impossible to make naturally.

Humans evolved eating real food… plain and simple. That’s what we should be focusing on. It is a good idea to consider the foods humans evolved eating because it is likely that these foods will be both safe and healthy for our bodies. But there are plenty of “modern” foods that are healthy too. Just because it’s new, doesn’t mean it’s bad.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

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Vital Proteins’ Collagen Peptides

 

If you’re into the keto diet, looking for a way to build muscle, or simply just want to lose some weight, the supplementation of collagen peptides could do wonders to help you achieve your goals.

Collagen has been one of the most raved about structural proteins in recent times when it comes to skincare, beauty, health, and performance. But, with the sales pitches coming from almost every angle, it’s hard to know what’s true and what’s not.


What Is Collagen and Why You Need It

Put simply, collagen accounts for approximately a third of your body’s protein composition. It plays an important role in the formation of your skin, bones, muscle, tendons, and ligaments and is found in your cornea, blood vessels, and teeth. It has so many scientifically proven health benefits which you can read more here.

In plain English, it’s the glue that holds everything together. It’s also why the word collagen derives from the Greek word “kólla” which means glue.

Those who are looking to build muscle or to increase mass and strength, a 2015 study showed that consuming collagen peptides while doing strength training increased muscle mass and strength .

For beauty purposes, consumption of collagen supplements helps improve skin elasticity, appearance, and minimize lines and wrinkles. Not only does it promote more youthful skin, but collagen also enhances the strength of your hair particles as well as your nails and joints (2)

For weight loss purpose, collagen also helps you reach your goals by helping you feel fuller for longer when compared to whey, soy, and even casein (4).

For keto “diet” enthusiasts, collagen peptides work very well when combined with the keto diet as it has a very low amount of calories and carbs.

For example, Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (Unflavored) only has 70 calories for each serving (two scoops). So if you are looking for low carb protein powder to make your keto-friendly protein shakes, collagen powder is an excellent choice.


The Difference Between Collagen Protein and Other Types of Protein

The main difference between collagen and other proteins is the amino acid profile. Collagen has more essential amino acids such as alanine, arginine, proline, and hydroxyproline that make collagen unique in terms of how they benefit parts of your body such as hair, nail, ligaments, joints, tendons, skin, and digestion.


Vital Proteins’ Collagen Peptides

With so many collagen protein options to choose from, it’s common sense to pose the question of why you should choose Vital Proteins over other brands. What makes it one of the best collagen supplements out there?

In short, Vital Proteins’ collagen is grass-fed, pasture-raised, gluten-free, dairy-free and non-GMO. It’s Kosher and Whole 30 approved as well as being keto friendly.

It is unflavored and versatile so basically, you can use in any drink, dish and recipes that you wish to without destroying its taste and flavor. Another bonus is that this collagen is super soluble and easy to mix in both hot and cold liquids.

Many women in the keto community love this product and they use it every day and notice incredible results with their hair, nail, and skin. They experience healthier hair with less breakage and split ends.

If you are experiencing hair loss on a low carb ketogenic “diet”, maybe it’s not because of the diet itself, but could be due to many factors. One of the factors could be because your body is craving collagen. As we mentioned earlier, collagen makes up almost 30% of the protein content in our bodies. If you don’t consume enough of it, you might experience skin, hair and nails issues.

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Based on our experience coupled with facts gathered from the manufacturer themselves and the reviews from the health and fitness community, here’s a list of Pros and Cons of going with Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides.


The Pros

 Grass-Fed Cows

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides “are sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hides”. I’d like to draw emphasis to the fact that the cows are grass-fed which always triumphs over grain-fed cows based. Grass-fed beef contains more cancer-fighting antioxidants and is also higher in Vitamin A and E (5).

To put it simply, grass-fed cows contain up to five times more omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed cows which is the key to reducing inflammation and aids in lowering the risks of chronic diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids are also critical in improving cognitive and behavioral function which impacts your overall well-being and physical abilities (678).

The fact that Vital Proteins’ Collagen is derived from grass-fed cows definitely wins a thumbs up from us in that arena.


 Bioavailability

If you don’t know what bioavailability means, it’s essentially the ability for your body to digest and absorb a solution quickly in order to maximize the benefits obtainable from that solution.

Based on my experience, I found it extremely easy to dilute the powder with cold water without leaving any nasty powder clumps in the mixture which goes to show how soluble it is.

The recommended dosage is 1 to 2 scoops of Vital Proteins into 8 ounces of any liquid to be consumed twice a day.

Having gone with the unflavored option, our liquid of choice to mix the powder with is coffee in the morning and a smoothie in the afternoon. The powder dissolved quickly and smoothly and there is no noticeable taste difference in both coffee or smoothie, which is a huge perk.

You can make your milkshake or protein shake by simply adding  1-2 scoops of this to your milk (or milk of choice). If you’re on keto, add 1 scoop of collagen in your coconut milk or almond milk. Optional choices are ice, sweetener, etc…

The unflavored collagen makes it so easy to add it to any other liquids without a noticeable change in flavor. If you like your coffee black, adding this wouldn’t change your coffee’s taste at all.


 Free from Gluten, rBGH, GMO, Dairy, and Ractopamine

If you’re looking to lose weight or to build a leaner and more toned figure, gluten is not your best friend. The fact that Vitals Protein is gluten-free makes this supplement highly attractive from all angles be it weight loss or muscle building.

It’s also nice to know that a collagen peptide supplement that derives from bovine hide does not contain artificial hormones that can be damaging to our health!


Contains Arginine and Alanine

If you’re looking to build muscle mass, the fact that this product contains Arginine and Alanine is a huge plus compared to other collagen proteins.

Arginine is critical in protein synthesis which supports the development of muscle mass and acts as a treatment for several health issues such as congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and erectile dysfunction (9).

Alanine is crucial as an aid to increasing carnosine in your body which acts as a powerful antioxidant. The more alanine in your system, the higher your acid-buffering capacity becomes thus allowing your muscles to push your workouts and training harder due to a slower lactic acid release in your muscles (10).


The Cons

The only downside to Vital Proteins I can think of is it’s a little bit more expensive compared to other collagen products. It is understandable because Vital Proteins use the best quality bovine hide collagen peptides to make their products. If you value quality and the amazing benefits of this product, I think the price isn’t an issue.

Also, if you are a vegan or vegetarian, collagen peptides are not for you unfortunately because they are sourced from grass-fed bovine.


How To Use Collagen:

Stir into hot/cold water or other beverages.

Add to coffee for extra creaminess and frothiness.

Add to smoothies and shakes as a protein booster

Add into any desserts and baking recipes


The Conclusion

If you’re looking for a high-quality collagen peptide supplement, we highly recommend Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. If you’re like many people, you will notice its benefits when you commit to a consistent intake of the supplement over a period of 6-8 weeks. You will appreciate the results witnessed after. Give it a try today!


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

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