How To Quit Soda For Good

It’s no news that soda can derail your fitness goals. What increases the risk of weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease? If you guessed soda, you’re spot on. (Did the headline give it away?) According to a Journal of the American College of Cardiology report, the bubbly beverage really does live up to its villainous reputation. And if you think you’ve got nothing to worry about because you only sip a can or two per day, you’ve got things all wrong. Researchers had found that drinking just one serving of pop a day can increase the risk of fatal heart disease or heart attack by a whopping 35 percent. No fizzy drink is worth that risk—which is why you should seek out soda alternatives ASAP.

However, diet soda drinkers aren’t safe either, mainly because the beverages are filled with potentially carcinogenic chemicals like caramel coloring (which is present in the regular varieties, too) and artificial sweeteners. “Even though diet drinks are calorie-free, they cause insulin to be released in your gut because their artificial sweeteners are sweet like sugar,” says registered dietitian Miriam Jacobson. “Insulin is your body’s primary fat-storage hormone, so consuming it will cause the body to hold onto any extra fat.”

While your go-to source of hydration throughout the day should be water, it can be tough to go cold turkey if soda’s been a part of your routine for a while. While coffee, detox water, and tea can make the transition to a soda-free life easier, sometimes you just want to grab something with a bit of fizz or flavor that’s ready-to-drink. Thankfully there are tons of new healthy soda alternatives flooding the market that fit that very description, and I’ve got the scoop on the best of them (or so I think).


Spindrift

Spindrift half and half

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Nutrition, per can: 2-17 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0-20 mg carbs, 0-2 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

There are nine different flavors of Spindrift sparkling soda, all of which contain between zero and two grams of sugar. Eight of such flavors all embody delicious fruits, with fruit puree sweetening the fizzy drink. The flavor that sticks out among its counterparts is the Half & Half variety, which is a sugar-free lemonade and iced tea mixture. Fresh lemon juice and brewed black tea are splashed in carbonated water to achieve a refreshing drink.


Pepsi Bubly

Bubly sparkling water

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Nutrition, per can: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

Bubly is Pepsi’s sparkling water brand, and the cheerful cans aren’t the only thing that’ll make you smile. The line comes in 12 different flavors, including grapefruit, apple, orange, and cherry just to name a few. Replace a sugary soda with this carbonated beverage, and your flat belly goals won’t seem as unattainable.


Polar Seltzer

Polar seltzer

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Nutrition, per bottle: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

Do you know what the difference between club soda, seltzer, and sparkling water is? Believe it or not, the words are not interchangeable even though there are only very slight differences between the three. Seltzer has roots in Germany and, at the time, was pulled from a natural spring. While that may not be the case for all seltzer waters you see on the market today, Polar Seltzer water offers a long list of different, refreshing flavors, none of which cost you any calories.


Humm Kombucha

Ginger juniper kombucha

Courtesy of Humm

Nutrition, per can: 25 calories, 0 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 5 g sugar

Added sweeteners: Agave nectar

Kombucha is the bubbly, antioxidant-rich, and probiotic-infused drink that serves as a great alternative to soda. Soda falls under a category of food and drinks called empty calories because it literally provides zero nutritional value, but costs you a good amount of calories and tacks on an inordinate amount of added sugar. Thankfully, Humm, based out of Bend, Oregon, recently released a lower-sugar kombucha, with two flavors including Ginger Juniper and Raspberry Hops.


La Croix Sparkling Water

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Nutrition, per bottle: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

Sure, the cans may look like something that’s filled with the latest boozy drinks coveted by festival-going college kids, but ask anyone who’s tried a can of the stuff (both young and old) and they’ll tell you: LaCroix sparkling water is straight up delicious. The bubbles are light and frothy and the flavor is just intense enough to be pleasing. It’s really no wonder that the drink has assumed a cult-like following.


Bai Lemonade

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Nutrition, per bottle: 5 calories, 5 mg sodium, 6-9 g carbs, 1 g sugar

Added sweeteners: Erythritol, stevia extract

The bulk of Bai’s beverages are made with white tea extract (which has been shown to break down fat) and various fruit extracts, and they’re all addictively delicious. Some of our favorites are the lemonade varieties. Burundi Blueberry, Limu Lemon, and São Paulo Strawberry Lemon make us feel like we’re drinking a far healthier version of a summery lemonade.


Perrier Sparkling Water

Perrier sparkling water

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Nutrition, per can: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

Perrier has been around since 1863, making it the longest standing company on this list. Today, the sparkling mineral water company produces eight different flavors of sparkling water, including green apple, peach, and even a hybrid of lemon and orange cleverly called, L’Orange. You won’t miss the sugar in these bubbly beverages.


Sparkling Bitters

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Nutrition, per bottle: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

While the name may be a bit off-putting (who wants to drink something bitter?!), don’t let that scare you away from this trendy elixir. This drink is made by blending sparkling water with the highly concentrated liquid extractions of herbs, roots, and fruit. (If you’re into craft cocktails, you’ve likely had bitters in boozy drinks like the Manhattan and the Sazerac.) Think of these bottles as the cooler younger sibling of tired seltzer.


Runa Zero Energy Drinks

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Nutrition, per bottle: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 1 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

If you want something that’s totally free of calories and sugar, Runa has got you covered. The company boasts six different flavors of energy drinks, three of which fall under the Zero energy drink category. The blood orange, watermelon, and lime varieties all have zero calories and sugar. What separates this energy drink from others, though, is that they’re all made from guayusa leaves—a plant that’s native to the Amazon rainforest with double the antioxidant capacity as green tea. They also all have 150 mg of caffeine, which is much more than the typical 95 mg a standard 8-ounce cup of coffee houses.


Upruit Sparkling Cold-Brew Coffee

Upruit sparkling cold brew coffee

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Nutrition, per can: 45-60 calories, 5-10 mg sodium, 12-15 g carbs, 9 g sugars

Added sweeteners: Maple syrup

Perhaps the best way to receive a burst of energy instantly (and in a healthy manner) would be to drink a cup or two of coffee. Ditch the added sugar-filled can of soda and opt for a can of Upruit’s naturally flavored sparkling cold-brew instead! We love this drink because you get that desired fizzy of texture along with 100 mg of caffeine, which is equivalent to what you would get in a cup of coffee. The only added sweetener in these drinks is maple syrup, but even then the 11-ounce drink has nearly 4.25 times less sugar than what a 12-ounce can of Sprite contains at 38 grams.


Tickle Water

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Nutrition, per bottle: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

It may be the first-ever sparkling water for kids, but even we are big Tickle Water fans. One staffer who tried the stuff said the cola flavor tasted “like sparkling water with a splash of Coke” but still thought it was a great soda alternative despite the less-intense flavor.


Vertical Maple Water

Nutrition, per container: 15 calories, 10 mg sodium, 3 g carbs, 3 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

Before Maple tree sap is boiled down to the consistency and sweetness of pancake syrup, it’s far thinner and less sugary. So, a handful of companies began pasteurizing and bottling the stuff, which they’ve aptly named maple water. It’s more or less like water, but it’s slightly thicker and carries a hint of sweetness. It carries a bit of added nutrition, too. A bottle provides 30 percent of the day’s manganese, a trace mineral that staves off disease-causing free radicals, reduces inflammation, and helps to maintain proper nerve function. According to the company’s website, Vertical Water is 100 percent pure and is the only U.S.-sourced maple water that is Non-GMO Project Verified.


Hint Kick

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Nutrition, per bottle: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

Hint Water may not be carbonated, cola-flavored, or sold in 64-ounce Big Gulps, but these new(ish) flavored bottled waters do have 60 milligrams of caffeine derived from coffee beans. That’s more than you’ll find in Diet Dr. Pepper (41 mg) or Mountain Dew (54 mg), so you’re sure to get the jolt your of energy your body needs—without having to down a bunch of chemicals or brew up a cup of coffee. Try the Lemon Cayenne Hint Kick (and don’t overdo it, since caffeine can dehydrate you), and you’ll probably never go back to Coke again.


Wtrmln Wtr

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Nutrition, per bottle: 60 calories, 0 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 12 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

One of her albums may be called Lemonade, but Beyoncépromotes another kind of drink, too. Queen B has invested in WTRMLN WTR, a pressed juice with just three ingredients: watermelon flesh and rind, and lemon. Not only is it light and refreshing, but it’s also a functional beverage to boot. In a study of Spanish athletes, researchers found that watermelon juice can diminish post-workout soreness, likely thanks to its high potassium and magnesium content, two electrolytes that aid hydration, muscle relaxation, and restorative sleep. Sure the sugar count in the beverage is higher than in some flavored waters, but all of the sweet stuff comes from fruit. Simply put: Don’t sweat it.


Sparkling Live Drinking Vinegars

Nutrition, per bottle: 15 calories, 0 mg sodium, 3-4 g carbs, 2-5 g sugar

Added sweeteners: Stevia

By combining carbonated water, apple cider vinegar (ACV), coconut, whole fruit juice concentrate, and stevia, Sparking Live has created a gut-happy beverage that’s light in calories yet full of flavor. For years, health foodies and svelte celebs have said that ACV is their flat belly secret—and research published in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology, Biochemistry explains why. In the study, participants who were given two tablespoons of ACV over a 12-week period lost more weight, body fat, and inches from their middle section than participants that were given just one tablespoon or a placebo. While the results were not terribly dramatic (they only lost about 3.7 pounds), the participants were not given an exercise or diet regimen to follow, which would have helped them shed additional weight.


Zevia Sodas & Energy Drinks

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Nutrition, per can: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: Stevia

This small company, founded by soda-loving parents who wanted something healthier for their children, distributes a variety of classic flavors, from cola to ginger ale to grape, without using artificial sweeteners or colors. Depending on which you pick, some of these sodas have a touch of caffeine. The flavor Dr. Zevia, for example, packs 42 milligrams of caffeine, which is about a little less than half of what a cup of joe would offer. The strawberry flavor, however, doesn’t have a single trace of caffeine, which makes it an ideal option for those later afternoon soda cravings without having to jeopardize your sleep.


Bai Bubbles

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Nutrition, per bottle: 5 calories, 10-40 mg sodium, 9-11 g carbs, 1 g sugar

Added sweeteners: Erythritol, stevia extract

Bai Bubbles, which comes in flavors like Guatemala Guava, Jamaica Blood Orange, and Bolivia Black Cherry, are sweetened with fruit juice, erythritol, and stevia and powered by 45 milligrams of caffeine, thanks to the tea and coffee fruit. They’re delicious enjoyed straight-up or as a mixer.


Sparkling Ice

Sparkling ice

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Nutrition, per bottle: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

There are 16 different flavors of Sparkling Ice, all of which pack various different vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A and D and even biotin. These beverages are both fantastic on their own and also make for great mixers!


S. Pellegrino

S. pellegrino water

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Nutrition, per bottle: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

This classic sparkling drink is made purely from natural mineral water. Similar to Perrier, S. Pellegrino has been around for more than 100 years, with its foundations beginning in Italy in 1899. Pop open a bottle of this smooth, fizzy, no-calorie refreshment.


Detox Water

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Nutrition, per bottle: 30 calories, 29 mg sodium, 9 g carbs, 8 g sugar

Added sweeteners: Organic agave nectar, organic stevia

By adding fruits that have detoxifying properties in their flesh and peels to water, you can sip your way slim with the right kind of detox water. What could be more awesome than that? Well, Detox Water comes close by taking the legwork out of the equation. To create their signature beverages, the drink combines water, agave, fruit juice flavors, and aloe vera (a potent skin firmer and fat burner), stevia and vitamins (like 14-18 percent of your day’s vitamin B6 and B12). While it’s more caloric than making a batch of detox water at home, it’s not a bad runner-up if you don’t have time to make it yourself.


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.


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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.

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⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Bloglovin’ :Amanda Explains It

Bumble Bizz: Amanda

Poshmark: AmandaLei

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Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂


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 ❤️️

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

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Bloglovin’ :Amanda Explains It

Bumble Bizz: Amanda

Poshmark: AmandaLei

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

 


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 ❤️️

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

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

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Benefits of Potatoes

Potatoes are a versatile root vegetable and a staple food in many households.

They are an underground tuber that grows on the roots of the Solanum tuberosum plant(Potatoes and human health).

Potatoes are relatively cheap, easy to grow and packed with a variety of nutrients.


Here are 7 health and nutrition benefits of potatoes

 Packed With Nutrients

Roasted Potatoes in Oven Dish

Potatoes are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals.

One medium baked potato (6.1 ounces or 173 grams), including the skin, provides (Nutrition Facts & Calories):

  • Calories: 161
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Protein: 4.3 grams
  • Carbs: 36.6 grams
  • Fiber: 3.8 grams
  • Vitamin C: 28% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 27% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 26% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 19% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 12% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 12% of the RDI
  • Niacin: 12% of the RDI
  • Folate: 12% of the RDI

The nutritional content of potatoes can vary depending on the variety and how they are prepared. For example, frying potatoes adds more calories and fat than baking them.

It’s also important to note the skin of the potatoes contains a great amount of the vitamins and minerals. Peeling potatoes can significantly reduce their nutritional content (Potatoes and human health)

Potatoes are packed with vitamins and minerals, though the variety and preparation method can affect the nutritional content.


Contain Antioxidants

Potatoes are rich in compounds like flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acids (Antioxidants in potato).

These compounds act as antioxidants in the body by neutralizing potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals. When free radicals accumulate, they can increase the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer (Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress).

For example, a test-tube study found that the antioxidants present in potatoes may suppress the growth of liver and colon cancer cells (proliferation of human colon and liver cancer cells).

Studies have also found that colored potatoes like purple potatoes can have three to four times more antioxidants than white potatoes. This makes them potentially more effective at neutralizing free radicals (Antioxidant Contents and Antioxidant Activities of White and Colored Potatoesflavonoids and phenolic acids ).

However, most of this evidence is from test-tube studies. More human-based research is necessary before making any health recommendations.

Potatoes are a good source of antioxidants, which may reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. However, more human-based research is required before making any recommendations.


Potatoes contain a special type of starch known as resistant starch.

This starch is not broken down and fully absorbed by the body. Instead, it reaches the large intestine where it becomes a source of nutrients for the beneficial bacteria in your gut ( complex carbohydrates in the gut).

Research has linked resistant starch to many health benefits, including reducing insulin resistance, which, in turn, improves blood sugar control.

In an animal study, mice fed resistant starch showed reduced insulin resistance. This means their bodies were more efficient at removing excess sugar from the blood (starch can improve insulin sensitivity ).

A study of people with type 2 diabetes found consuming a meal with resistant starch helped better remove excess blood sugar after a meal (Blood Glucose Regulation).

In another study, ten people were fed 30 grams of resistant starch daily over a four-week period. Scientists found that resistant starch reduced insulin resistance by 33% (Insulin-sensitizing effects of dietary resistant starch).

Interestingly, you can also increase the resistant starch content of potatoes. To do this, store boiled potatoes in the fridge overnight and consume them cold ( cold storage of potatoes lowers postprandial glycaemic).

Potatoes contain resistant starch, which may help reduce insulin resistance. In turn, this can help improve blood sugar control.


May Improve Digestive Health

The resistant starch in potatoes may also improve digestive health.

When resistant starch reaches the large intestine, it becomes food for beneficial gut bacteria. These bacteria digest it and turn it into short-chain fatty acids (human colonic function).

Resistant starch from potatoes is mostly converted into the short-chain fatty acid butyrate — the preferred food source for gut bacteria (human microbiomes to dietary supplementationshort chain fatty acids).

Studies have shown that butyrate can reduce inflammation in the colon, strengthen the colon’s defenses and reduce the risk of colorectal cancer (Potential beneficial effects of butyrate).

Moreover, butyrate may aid patients with inflammatory bowel disorders, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and diverticulitis (inflammatory bowel diseases).

That said, most of the evidence surrounding butyrate is from test-tube or animal studies. More human-based research is necessary before making recommendations.

Resistant starch in potatoes is a source of nutrition for beneficial gut bacteria. They convert it to the short-chain fatty acid butyrate, which has been linked to reduced inflammation in the colon, improved colon defenses and a lower risk of colorectal cancer.


 Naturally Gluten-Free

The gluten-free “diet” is one of the most popular diets worldwide. It involves eliminating gluten, which is a family of proteins found in grains like spelt, wheat, barley, and rye.

Most people do not experience adverse symptoms from consuming gluten.

However, people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity can experience severe discomfort when consuming foods that contain gluten. Symptoms include sharp stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, bloating and skin rashes, just to name a few (Celiac diseaseDiagnosis of gluten related disorders).

If you follow a gluten-free “diet”, then you should consider adding potatoes to your “diet”. They are naturally gluten-free, which means they won’t trigger uncomfortable symptoms.

While potatoes are gluten-free, many common potato recipes are not. Some potato dishes that contain gluten include certain au gratin recipes and potato bread.

If you have celiac disease or a non-celiac gluten sensitivity, be sure to read the full list of ingredients before eating a potato dish.

Potatoes are naturally gluten-free, which makes them an excellent food choice for people with celiac disease or a non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

 Incredibly Filling

Aside from being nutritious, potatoes are also incredibly filling.

In one study, 11 people were fed 38 common foods and asked to rate foods based on how filling they were. Potatoes received the highest fullness rating of them all.

In fact, potatoes were rated as being seven times more filling than croissants, which were ranked as the least filling food item (A satiety index of common foods).

Foods that are filling may help you regulate or lose weight, as they curb hunger pains (Protein, weight management, and satiety).

Some evidence shows that a certain potato protein, known as potato proteinase inhibitor 2 (PI2), can curb appetite. This protein appears to enhance the release of cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone that promotes feelings of fullness (Health-beneficial properties of potatos).

Studies have shown that potatoes are among the most filling foods. They may increase the levels of fullness hormones, such as cholecystokinin (CCK).


 Extremely Versatile

Not only are potatoes healthy, but they are also delicious and versatile.

Potatoes can be prepared in many ways, including boiled, baked and steamed. However, frying potatoes may dramatically increase their calorie content if you use a lot of oil.

Instead, try slicing potatoes and then roasting them in the oven with a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of rosemary.

Make sure not to remove the skin of the potatoes, as most of the nutrients are located there. This will ensure you receive the maximum amount of nutrients from the potato.

Potatoes are delicious, versatile and easy to add to your “diet”. Try boiling, baking or steaming them and consuming them with the skin intact.

Potatoes are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which make them very healthy.

Studies have linked potatoes and their nutrients to a variety of impressive health benefits, including improved blood sugar control, reduced heart disease risk and higher immunity. They may also improve digestive health and combat signs of aging.

Potatoes are also quite filling, which means they may help you lose weight by curbing hunger pains and cravings.

All in all, potatoes are a great addition to your “diet” in moderation. They are also naturally gluten-free, which means they can be enjoyed by almost everyone.


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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Worst Things About Chocolate

Sorry, but filling your sweetie up with gross additives and tons of nutrient-deficient calories doesn’t sound so sexy to me does it sound sexy to you? Although it’s true that dark chocolate is full of anti-inflammatory antioxidants and has been shown to provide mental and cardiovascular benefits, these bonuses don’t extend to the low-quality candies you mindlessly pick up in a drugstore on your way home from work.

It may appear like a well-intentioned gesture, but your loved one isn’t going to be happy with you once they read these nasty facts about certain Valentine’s Day candies. My vote that you stick to the flowers, spa treatments, and homemade cards instead.

Most of It Is Made With Alkalized, or “Dutch,” Chocolate

cocoa spice

Cocoa powder is naturally acidic, and this can be a major flavor turnoff for many people’s palates. Thus, most American candy manufacturers process their cocoa with alkali, a process known as alkalizing or “Dutch processing” the chocolate. This results in a more mild-tasting, neutral cocoa. There’s just one problem: this technique significantly reduces levels of the main antioxidant that lends its anti-inflammatory properties to chocolate. And when we say significantly, I’m talking a nearly 90 percent decrease in these flavanols, according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. So don’t try to justify another piece by referencing chocolate’s known benefits.


Sorry, but Chocolate Is Probably Not an Aphrodisiac

couple in bed sad

Unless you’re eating super dark chocolate, which may help turn you on, don’t rely on that box of wax-coated chocolates to be a libido-booster. Most factory-made chocolates are low in the antioxidants that can increase your energy and sexual desire, and chocolate isn’t the magical aphrodisiac we think it is. In fact, according to a 2006 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, when adjusted for age, women who reported high chocolate consumption had similar levels of sexual desire and satisfaction than those who reported low chocolate consumption.


White Chocolate Is Barely Even Chocolate

various chocolates

White chocolate is a little like white, refined flour: they’re both over processed and devoid of nutrients. The only “chocolate” part of white chocolate is cocoa butter (the rest of the treat is milk solids, milk fat, and a sweetener), and even that ingredient typically loses any traces of antioxidant properties during a “deodorizing” step. Without the dark cocoa solids, white chocolate doesn’t contain any antioxidant flavanols or gut-healthy prebiotics, which help reduce inflammation and fight weight gain. It also lacks the ability to stimulate the euphoria-inducing chemicals that real chocolate does, including serotonin.


Chocolate Triggers Loss of Consumption Control

godiva chocolate heart valentines box

Don’t worry, you’re not alone in feeling out of control when gifted a chocolate box. It’s a combination of construction and the nature of chocolate itself. First, the variety of flavors entices you to try each one and eat more than you had planned. Second, the combination of sugar and cocoa in chocolate make it hard to stop yourself from going back for seconds. According to a 2011 Drexel University study, this dynamic duo is extremely addictive, and just tasting chocolate can trigger feelings of euphoria, just like addictive drugs can. As a result, you may feel a loss of control when gifted with a box. Even if a food is considered healthy, portion control is still key.


You May Get a Stomachache

woman holding stomach

You didn’t plan for this to happen, but as we just explained, it’s almost too easy to overeat those creamy chocolates. Whether it’s because they’re bite-size, downright delicious, or we get caught up in the holiday-esque moment of Valentine’s Day, many of us can miss certain satiety cues that we’ve eaten enough. As a result, you could suffer from the post-overindulgence stomach ache of pain, gas, and indigestion.


You Might Experience Acid Reflux if You Eat Too Much

man holding chest in pain

It’s unfortunate but true. Chocolate is one of a group of foods that causes your lower esophageal sphincter (a muscle that normally works to keep the acid down in the stomach) to relax. As a result, it causes the acidic stomach contents to travel back upwards and gives you a burning sensation in your chest, aka heartburn. It’s all thanks to two compounds in chocolate, caffeine, and theobromine, which weaken your lower esophageal sphincter. Something tells me having chest pains wasn’t on your checklist of sexy V-day activities.


You’re Eating More Sugar Than Chocolate

sugar spoon

After looking at all the popular Valentine’s Day candy sold in drug stores, we found that the average serving size of chocolate contains over 21 grams of sugar. Although serving sizes range from one piece to three, when I took a look at nutritional information per gram of candy, most pieces of chocolate were made up of more than 50 percent sugar. In other words, you’re eating more sugar than you are chocolate. That’s not so sweet if you ask us.


High-Sugar Chocolates Can Harm Your Immunity

sugar sick valentines

Since chocolate is so bitter, manufacturers love adding sugar to it. But sometimes, they go a bit overboard. Consider this: If you eat just 10 pieces of Ghirardelli’s Dark & Strawberry squares (three times the recommended serving size, but hey, it could happen), you’ll be consuming just shy of 100 grams of sugar. It sounds extreme, but a 2015 study found that consuming this amount of sugar could drastically decrease the number of white blood cells (your immune system’s first responders) in your body. Even if you don’t eat a whopping 100 grams in a single sitting, just eating the three squares will set you back 29 grams of sugar or 58 percent of your recommended daily intake of added sugars per day. Too much of the sweet stuff can lead to issues that range from dental cavities to insulin resistance and metabolic disease.


You’ll Consume a Lot of Calories

woman eating chocolate bar

Thanks to being high in fat and sugar, chocolate is usually very high in calories. And you know the drill: eat more calories than you burn and you can pack on the pounds. That being said, one day of indulgence isn’t likely to break your clean-eating streak.


You May Be Consuming a Carcinogen

palm fruit oil

Palm oil, a vegetable oil that contains mostly saturated fats but also polyunsaturated fats, comes from the palm fruit. Although a well-researched 2015 review published in the journal World Journal of Cardiology found that palm oil can be consumed as part of a healthy, balanced diet without concern of its limited effects on cholesterol levels, a different conclusion was reached by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA, similar to the U.S.’s FDA). In May 2016 and after reviewing a study published in the world-renowned journal Nature earlier that year, the organization claimed that palm oil “generated more of a potentially carcinogenic contaminant [palmitic acid] than other vegetable oils when refined at temperatures above 200 degrees Celsius.” The EFSA did not recommend consumers to stop eating it—yet—and are now looking into the potential risks.


Or a Banned Substance

chocolate candies

A few V-day heart-shaped boxes (like those from Russel Stover and Elmer) still list partially hydrogenated oil (PHO) among their long list of artificially-manipulated ingredients. In this case, you can see the heart-shaped box as a sign that you should watch your heart health. PHO is a type of man-made trans fat that the FDA has banned from being used in our food beginning in 2018.


You’re Not Eating Quality

hershey chocolate valentines day triple

If your standards are high for your partner, you should at least maintain those high standards for the candy you’re about to gift him or her. Candies like York Peppermint Patty Hearts and Hershey’s XOXO bars contain an ingredient called PGPR in their bite-size candy bars. Instead of using high-quality cocoa butter as a fat and emulsifier, lower-grade candy bars use PGPR (Polyglycerol polyricinoleate): a yellowish, viscous liquid of fatty acids. It’s cheaper to manufacture the candy with this ingredient than to use the real stuff, so the quality gets sacrificed for quantity in this situation. 


You Could Be Eating Insects or Mouse Poop and Hair

mouse eating

Excuse my language, but yes, the FDA actually allows mouse poop in your food—although, they do use a pretty scientific term for it, “mammalian excreta.” According to their guidelines, trace amounts of the brown stuff, up to 10 mg per pound, can be found in cocoa beans. At least you can take solace in knowing there are over 450,000 milligrams in a pound, so that’s a very small fraction. Additionally, you’re only allowed a single rodent hair per 100 grams. That’s comforting—I guess. Want to be grossed out even more? The FDA has a pretty lax upper limit on insect pieces: 60 insect pieces per 100 grams of chocolate. Apparently, an average chocolate bar contains 8 insect parts. Yuck. Part of this gross fact makes sense, though, since cocoa beans are harvested and then fermented on-site outside in large wooden vats.


Your Sugar-Free Chocolate Can Be a Laxative

bathroom stall

Think you’re safe having just one more of those sugar-free chocolates? Think again. Because chocolate is already high in calories thanks to the energy-dense cocoa butter or vegetable oils added to emulsify the cacao solids into a creamy bar, many manufacturers opt to include zero-calorie sweeteners like maltitol. When eaten in excess (which can be likely when you think a food is “healthier” for you since it doesn’t have sugar), this sugar alcohol effectively acts as a laxative and can cause stomach pain, excessive internal gas, and flatulence. That just put a damper on your night.


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⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

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Springtime Health

Before I start today’s post I just want to say congratulations to the Superbowl champs New England Patriots!!!!!!!!!!!

Spring Is 24 days away. With the change of season comes the impulse to clean and replace the old with the new. But spring doesn’t just have to be about cleaning and reorganizing – it’s also a great way to start healthy new habits and break the old. Here are a few tips to get a head start in your spring health!

Always speak with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or exercise regimen.  

Here Are Some Ways That You Can Spring Into Health

 

Start an Exercise Routine – The weather is warm and the days are longer which makes it a perfect combination to get active outside. The American Heart Association recommends that individuals do moderate exercise for at least 150 minutes per week, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise.

  1. Revamp Your Diet with Fresh Fruits and Vegetables – Take advantage of the variety of vegetables available during spring. A healthy diet includes adding vegetables and fruit every day. Vegetables like broccoli, green beans, leafy greens, zucchini, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, and tomatoes are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Try to eat about 3 to 5 servings every day. Fruit is also a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You should try to eat about 2 to 3 servings of fruit each day. It goes without being said that it’s OK to indulge in the occasional ice cream cone. Although, frozen yogurt would be a healthier alternative.
  2. Drink More Water – As the heat kicks into high gear it is harder to stay hydrated and more important to drink more water . Drink plenty of water before going outside and have plenty on-hand to stay hydrated. If you aren’t a fan of water, try one of our recipes for Cucumber Water—it makes a great party beverage for those hot days!
  3. Cut Out the Night Cap – If one of your habits is having a drink before bed, or having a few at dinner, you may want to reconsider your next glass of Merlot. Alcohol not only causes dehydration but is also associated with sleep disorders, high blood pressure and certain types of cancer. It is recommended that women limit themselves to one drink per day, and men up to two alcoholic beverages each day.
  4. Check-In for a Check-Up – You may have chalked up some symptoms and illnesses to the winter blues, but now that it is spring, its time to get back to the doctor for a head-to-toe check up! A periodic well-exam for all ages is not just about good medical care, but it also gives you the opportunity to learn more about beneficial health habits, counseling and community support services as well as an overall view of the best ways to take care of yourself and your family for a lifetime. Your doctor will let you know how often they need to test for high blood pressure, diabetes, other diseases, and cancer screenings.
  5. Protect Your Skin – It’s going to get hot, the sun is shining, and your skin needs protection. Not only do men and women need to regularly moisturize their skin, but also protect it from the harsh rays of the sun. If you’re outside, make sure to use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher that protects against UVA and UVB rays. It doesn’t hurt to throw on a pair of sunglasses and a hat as well!
  6. Renew Relationships – It’s time to get out of the house and visit with your friends and family. Research has shown that good, strong relationships benefit your overall health and happiness. Spend the day with people you love, and schedule regular outings to enjoy the great spring weather.


 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⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

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Easy Exercises

I know the title says Easy Exercises. I want to tell you that this post is part of my lazy or a.k.a easy something series. This series is designed for busy people who may not have the time to work out or eat right or just, in general, take better care of their health in the easiest but most effective way possible.

If you missed yesterday’s post click here and if you have any questions about the ketogenic “diet”, health, fitness or nutrition you can reach me at any of the links plus my email that I left at the end of today’s post.

Exercise sounds great and all, but when it comes to actually have to do it, that’s another story. Because most of the time, if you’re lazy, you can’t be arsed. It’s either too cold to run outside, too hot to run outside, too windy to run outside, or you can’t afford a gym membership.

And especially when you’re just starting off your pursuit of being an exercise queen, your fitness doesn’t tend to be tip-top. It takes some getting there. So we’ve compiled the lazy girl’s guide to getting yourself fitter, without it feeling like a complete ball ache.


Stick to 10s

Try to do just 10 push-ups and 10 sit-ups every day, even if they aren’t consecutive. Because something is better than nothing, and after a while, when you feel yourself finding the sets of 10 too easy, you can up it at your own pace.


Stand up at least every hour

We’ve all read about how sitting all day is bad for you, being hunched over a keyboard and not even getting out for lunch because we’re too busy. But enough is enough! Make a conscious effort to get up at least once an hour – go to the toilet, make a round of tea, or even just go and say hello to a colleague. Yeah, that’s right, having a chat at work is good for your health and wellbeing.


Walk for at least 20 minutes a day

It’s no longer the bleak mid-winter, which means no excuses to get public transport literally everywhere you go. Use the legs you were given and get moving; even just 20 minutes a day will be an improvement for your health. It’s easy to fit it into your daily schedule, and won’t have you gasping for breath. Jump on the bandwagon started by charity Living Streets, which is encouraging people to #Try20 by walking for just 20 minutes per day for a month to see how much difference it makes to both health and happiness. This is the perfect excuse to get a dog, really.


Don’t even leave the house

Yup, you read that right; you don’t even need to leave your house, or even the sofa, to get a solid workout in. There are many accessible exercises and home workouts you can do from your living room, that won’t require you to make the commute to the gym. Do some tricep dips and some lunges, and work those abs – all from the comfort of your own home.


Use Tabata

If you only have five minutes, download the Tabata timer app for a super speedy workout. Guiding you for 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off makes for a great high-intensity workout that has both fitness and weight-loss benefits. Run for 20 seconds and then walk for 10, or skip for 20 and lay down for 10. You can do burpees, mountain climbers or even the plank (if you’re brave enough), Tabata training will raise your metabolism and heart rate immediately and you should start seeing the benefits in no time.


Switch off

It’s not all about exercise – our daily lives have a real impact on our health and wellbeing. Getting enough sleep is crucial to being fit, and the 628482 devices you own which distract you on the daily aren’t helping.  So power down all the technology you’ve got coming out your ears at least an hour before going to sleep, and you should find you start to have a better rest.


Don’t worry about how long your work out lasts

The quality of your workout doesn’t depend on how long it is, which is quite frankly music to our ears. Any exercise is great and the most important thing when first starting out is to just get moving in the first place. Don’t try and climb a mountain before you can even walk, if you know what we mean. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t do a full hour, or if you couldn’t run for as long as you wanted (ahem, only managed to run around the block once). The fact is, you’re doing something, and that’s what that matters.

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 Run for just one song

Instead of being too ambitious and then feeling awful when it doesn’t all come together, tell yourself to run just the length of one song. Make it a good one and you won’t even notice when the 3.5 minutes are over. So basically, download Beyoncé’s new album and you’ll find yourself volunteering for the marathon no problem.


Spend time in bed

Let’s face it; some forms of exercise can be fun and sex is one of them. Research conducted by scientists from the University of Quebec in Canada found that sexual activity can be just as effective at burning energy as moderate intensity exercises. GREAT stuff. Women can burn up 90 calories during a sex session, which is just under half the amount you would burn in a 30-minute jog. I think I know which one you’d rather pick…


 Work out during the adverts

Lazy people like to watch TV. So why not combine this with exercise, and time your mini-workouts to be just as long as the ads. Unless you’re watching Netflix, of course, where there are no adverts. If you do a five-minute circuit of lunges, burpees, jogging, skipping and squats during the ads, then you can reward yourself by lounging on the sofa and finding out if Britain really does have talent. Leave the Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer, though, if you want to make any kind of difference.


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⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

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Bone Broth (Updated)

Last week I fell ILL with a stomach bug. It didn’t matter what I tried to eat It just well… You know.. I drank bone broth and if you read the post you’ll know that drinking bone broth has tons of benefits. I was ILL for days and then when I drank bone broth I felt better within hours.
Why Haven’t You Tried Bone Broth Soup Yet?

Bone broth has received some major buzz lately and it’s certainly for good reason. This stock is special because it contains a good amount of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, amino acids, and many other nutrients.

I suggest that one of the best components of bone broth is its rich collagen content, which can be beneficial to our joint and skin health. “Collagen is made up of different amino acids and is considered one of the most abundant proteins in humans. Consuming collagen is also beneficial for our joints,  especially since it makes up a large portion of them.

With this in mind, it’s worth mentioning that big soup brands like Pacific Foods are definitely getting in on the bone broth action, as the brand has recently released an organic bone broth soup line that features spins on old-time classics such as Pacific Foods Organic Chicken Noodle Soup With Chicken Bone Broth.

And unlike some cans of chicken noodle soup which are jam-packed with unpronounceable ingredients and tons of sodium, Pacific Foods keeps things simple with organic ingredients and a relatively reasonable sodium content (430 mg). So how do Pacific Foods keep up with chicken noodle soup from competitors like Progresso? Keep reading to find out more.


Pacific Organic Chicken Noodle Soup With Chicken Bone Broth

Pacific foods organic bone broth chicken noodle soup

1 CUP SERVING: 100 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 430 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 7 g protein

When compared to the Progresso Traditional Chicken Noodle soup that the two products do not differ much nutritionally. However, that Pacific Foods soup contains less sodium than the Progresso version. In addition, there is slightly more iron, calcium, and vitamin A in the Pacific Foods soup, which can likely be attributed to the bone broth as well as the fresh vegetables.


Progresso Traditional Chicken Noodle

Progresso chicken noodle soup

1 CUP SERVING: 110 calories, 2.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 690 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 7 g protein

While Davidson explains that this Progresso soup uses chicken stock, she notes that this is essentially bone broth. This is why the protein content is identical in both soups, she says, along with the fact that they both use chicken meat as well.

In conclusion, when it comes to these two products, Davidson tells us that they don’t differ much because chicken stock is still bone broth, technically. “If you were to compare this soup to a vegetable stock, then you would notice more of a difference.

That being said, Pacific Foods new line of bone broth soups are still a lower-sodium alternative that contains skin-nourishing collagen! (This bone broth-based soup has 280 milligrams less sodium than Pacific Foods’ Original Chicken Noodle Soup.)

If chicken noodle soup isn’t your thing, Pacific Foods also offers Curry Chickpea (8 grams protein), Hearty Italian Vegetable (9 grams protein), and two 10 grams protein per serving soups: White Bean Kale & Millet and Caribbean Black Bean.

Buy a 12-pack of Pacific Foods Organic Bone Broth Chicken Noodle Soup: $4.74 each, Amazon


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⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Bloglovin’ :Amanda Explains It

Bumble Bizz: Amanda

Poshmark: AmandaLei

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Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

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Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

Lazy Ways To Lose Weight

The one thing I can be when it comes to working out or any type of physical exercise is lazy. Long hours each day is taxing I can’t imagine any amount of time at the gym and restrictive “diets” are tough to maintain when you want to lose weight. Grocery and bill budgets and busy schedules might not allow us to attend a gym sesh every morning and eating organic food and green juices (yeah right). Although exercise is important for good health, there are easy ways to lose weight without stepping foot into your local gym. Don’t get demoralized! Only a few slight changes to your daily routine can be enough to slim down:

If you missed yesterday’s post you can Click Here

And if you want to buy and pruvit products (not sponsored or affiliated) with the company and I DO NOT make a commission if you buy anything. Here is Katherine’s pruvit link ( this is the person that I buy all of my keto products from). 


 Use Smaller Plates

It’s natural to want to fill up your plate, but by using a smaller one, you can fill your plate and still cut down on the amount of food you end up eating. You actually trick your mind into thinking you ate more than you did since your plate looks so full.


 Take The Stairs

It may seem daunting, but taking the stairs instead of an elevator can tone your tush in no time. It’s strength training without actually hitting the gym, so opt for stairs the next time you need to head up a few flights!


 Don’t Eat in Front of the TV

When you’re distracted, you’re not paying attention to how much food you’re consuming. Researchers have found that watching TV or watching a movie at home while eating leads to higher calorie consumption since you’re eating without thinking. Be especially mindful while snacking so you can avoid packing on extra pounds.


Drink “Skinny Cocktails”

Happy hours and boozy brunches are fun but they can lead to over-indulging on high-caloric cocktails. Try these calorie-cutting hacks for healthier cocktails instead!


Get More Sleep

Studies have shown that lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, a slower metabolism, and an increased risk of obesity and diabetes. So, clock in an extra few hours of shut-eye to ensure you keep your waistline slim and your energy up.


 Don’t Deny Yourself Sweets

Denying yourself your favorite snack will only make you crave it more. We always want what we can’t have!. Instead of cutting out sweets entirely, allow yourself to indulge in that fun-size bag of Doritos or two scoops of gelato once a week. That way, you won’t binge on your favorite treats if you fall off the wagon once or twice (which, by the way, you shouldn’t beat yourself up about — it happens). 


 Down a Glass of Water Before Meals

It’s easy to confuse hunger with thirst, so drink a glass of water before a big meal to ensure you’re not simply thirsty. A glass of agua will make you feel fuller so you won’t eat as much during your meal.   


 

Learn to Love Green Tea

Save those Frappuccinos for an occasional treat and learn to love the green stuff — no, not money, teaGreen tea is known to reduce belly fat, boost metabolism and help digestion, so drink up!


Limit Going Out to Dinner to Eat

Unlimited breadsticks, anyone? It’s nice to treat yourself to a meal out with friends every once in a while, but restaurant portions are always much bigger than anything you would normally make at home. Save the night’s out for special occasions so you can indulge within reason.


Eat Sitting Down

Studies have found that eating while standing up is not only bad for digestion, it actually leads you to consume more calories. When standing up, you eat food more quickly, so you’re more likely not to realize how full you’ve actually become. Take a few minutes to sit down and enjoy your meal.


 Don’t Drink Your Calories

You might be sabotaging your own diet plan without even realizing it! Drinking high-calorie beverages might not seem like a big deal at the time, but at the end of the day it adds up. Your morning Starbucks latte has an average of 265 calories, your afternoon soda has 227, and your evening ice tea has 180. When all is said and done, you’re approaching nearly 1000 calories in drinks alone! One of the easiest ways to lose weight is to replace your sugary beverages with water.


 Walk Everywhere

 If you just can’t seem to squeeze in a workout sesh at your gym, torch a few extra calories by choosing to walk as much as you can. Take a walk around the office at lunchtime, or skip the bus and walk to work. Walking increases cardiovascular health and strengthens muscles. Studies have even shown that it may even be just as good for you as running!


Ditch the Sweatpants

News Flash: You know those glorious, ultra-comfortable, 10-year-old pair of sweatpants you love so much? They are not your friend. Sweatpants are the most forgiving piece of clothing out there — which is why we love them when we feel bloated before our periods, but not so much when we’re minding our weight. Jeans, on the other hand, will tell you right away if you’re bursting with food and help you say “no, thanks!” to seconds.


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⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Bloglovin’ :Amanda Explains It

Bumble Bizz: Amanda

Poshmark: AmandaLei

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂