Discomfort Foods For Your Thoughts
Almost everybody loves eating chocolates and drinking soda. Years of evolution has predisposed humans to prefer sweet, sugar-loaded foods because these provide huge bouts of instant energy that prehistoric man needed to survive their hostile environment.
But this evolutionary adaptation has backfired in modern man, and is now taking its toll on our health. Millions of people all over the world now suffer from obesity and diabetes. So it's about time we get the low -own on sweet treats, particularly chocolates and soda, which have driven our sugar cravings out of control.
THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Dark chocolate - Premium-grade dark chocolate contains antioxidants called flavonoids that help maintain the health of our blood vessels and heart. It has no added milk fat, only a much healthier fat from cocoa butter, which naturally comes from cocoa beans.
Cocoa butter contains stearic acid, oleic acid and palmitic acid, which alter cholesterol only minimally.
Milk chocolate - Probably the most popular type of chocolate, milk chocolate has less antioxidant properties and more added fat and sugar. However, its added milk may enrich it with calcium.
White chocolate - White chocolate does not contain chocolate liquor, which is why some do not consider it as chocolate. It is a mixture of cocoa butter, sugar, milk and vanilla flavoring. It does not provide any antioxidant benefits.
A 20-ounce bottle of soda contains 250 calories and is equivalent to pouring 17 teaspoons of sugar straight into your body! lf you don't watch it, this instant dose of empty calories can set you up for mood swings, energy dips and weight gain, among other things.
Tooth decay. Not only does soda contain high- fructose corn syrup (i.e., sugar), additive dyes, and sometimes caffeine, but it also contains acids such as carbonic and phosphoric acid. These acids dissolve the calcium in teeth, making them prone to cavities. Acid can also come from bacteria turning sugar into acid. Diet sodas are no exception because they still contain the same acids as regular sodas, and you will be at equal risk when you drink it together with a carbohydrate-rich snack or meal. The sugar-acid combination is bad for your teeth.
* Fragile bones. Although scientists have yet to prove that the phosphoric acid in soft drinks causes calcium to leach from the bones, a study done on adolescent girls shows that soda drinkers are more prone to bone fractures than non- soda drinkers. A sensible explanation is that soda replaces other calcium-rich beverages such as milk, and this is what contributes to the overall calcium deficiency.
Drinking carbonated beverages can cause gas and stomach irritation, especially in those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. Increased risk of diabetes. As previously mentioned, sodas are loaded with sugar and empty calories, which often lead to weight gain and therefore, a higher risk for diabetes.
In addition, a study from the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that the easily absorbable sugar in drinks should be a cause for concern. Sodas and other energy-providing drinks may lead to an over-consumption of energy that would lead to obesity and weight gain.
Another study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology in 2004, showed that high-fructose corn syrup affects the levels of leptin (a hormone responsible for feeling full) in the blood. This suggests that beverages containing large quantities of high-fructose corn syrup often leave you wanting more, eating more-and eventually weighing more and being at risk of diabetes.
POPPIN VS. MUNCHIN
Why drink when you can eat? It's been scientifically proven that eating solid foods makes you feel more satisfied than drinking a beverage with the same amount of calories, especially if they're empty calories. Check out how much more nutritious foods you can enjoy for the same 250 calories in a single 20-ounce bottle of sugar-loaded soda:
* 80 baby carrots
* 4 large Red Delicious apples
*15 cups of air-popped popcorn
GUILT FREE GULPS
You can do a lot for your health just by replacing soft drinks with better alternatives. Kick your soda poppin habit with these healthier thirst-quenchers.
*Plain or flavored water
*Plain or flavored seltzer
*Milk (definitely the healthy option)
* Coffee (without the cream, please)
* Skim latte, skim cappuccino and skim cafe au lait
* Low-fat hot cocoa
Also, do your kids a favor by not introducing them to softdrinks early in life. Encourage them to drink more milk and fruit juices to help them cope with the demands of their growing years.
About the Author: About the author: Manolito Montala is a CAD Engineer and a webmaster and one of his interests is collecting filipino recipes and vegetarian recipes which can be found in Filipino Vegetarian Recipes.Com. You can also visit his site in http://www.filipinovegetarianrecipe.com