Artificial sweetener ‘is safe’


Artificial sweetener

The artificial sweetener aspartame is safe and poses no threat to health, European food regulators conclude.

The European Food Safety Authority brought forward its review, planned for completion by 2020, at the request of the European Commission.

Since it came into use in the 1980s, a number of medical studies have questioned aspartame’s safety.

The EFSA says it left “no stone unturned” during its full risk assessment.

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Aspartame has been the sweetener with the biggest ‘conspiracy theory‘ stories ever- ranging from behaviour issues in children to liver damage and cancer – all totally disproven, yet again, by this detailed scientific review”

Catherine Collins Principal Dietitian at St George’s Hospital NHS Trust

As well as looking at the available clinical evidence, the EFSA said it listened to stakeholders and considered over 200 comments submitted to its online public consultation.

Full assessment

Aspartame, which sometimes appears on labels as E951, and its breakdown products are safe for human consumption at current levels of exposure, says the EFSA.

Approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar, the low-calorie sweetener is used in many foods and soft drinks.

An Acceptable Daily Intake, or ADI, is set at 40mg per kg of body weight per day.

This is equivalent to 2800mg for an average British adult. For an average 3-year-old child the amount is around 600 mg.

The only exception is for people suffering from a rare genetic disease phenylketonuria who cannot safely consume aspartame.

For most products containing aspartame, consumption would need to be exceptionally high and regular over a person’s lifetime, in order to exceed the ADI.

Dr Alicja Mortensen, who chaired the EFSA’s aspartame review panel, said: “This opinion represents one of the most comprehensive risk assessments of aspartame ever undertaken.

“It’s a step forward in strengthening consumer confidence in the scientific underpinning of the EU food safety system and the regulation of food additives.”

Catherine Collins, Principal Dietitian at St George’s Hospital NHS Trust, welcomed the findings, saying: “Aspartame has been the sweetener with the biggest ‘conspiracy theory’ stories ever- ranging from behaviour issues in children to liver damage and cancer – all totally disproven, yet again, by this detailed scientific review.”

Sucralose’s Splenda Harms Vastly Underestimated.


A new, in-depth review on the synthetic sweetener sucralose (marketed as Splenda), published in the journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, is destined to overturn widely held misconceptions about the purported safety of this ubiquitous artificial sweetener.

Found in tens of thousands of products and used by millions of consumers around the world, sucralose’s unique ability to dissolve in alcohol and methanol as well as water, makes it the most versatile and therefore most widely used artificial sweetener in production today. And yet, its popularity is no indication nor guarantee of its safety, as is evidenced by the widespread use of other artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which while being safety approved in 90 nations around the world, has been linked to a wide range of serious health conditions including brain damage.

But the tide may be turning…

Already this year, the Center for the Public Interest in Science downgraded Splenda from “safe” to “caution,” citing their need to evaluate a forthcoming Italian study linking the artificial sweetener to leukemia in mice as a basis for their decision.

Another recent human study linked Splenda to diabetes-associated changes, calling into question its value as a non-calorie sweetener for those suffering with, or wishing to prevent, blood sugar disorders.

The new study, however, may be the most concerning yet to surface in the peer-reviewed literature. Titled, “Sucralose, a synthetic organochlorine sweetener: overview of biological issues,” it reveals an extensive array of hitherto underreported safety concerns, not the least of which is the formation of highly toxic chlorinated compounds, including dioxins, when Splenda is used in baking, an application which its manufacturer, McNeil Nutritionals (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson), actively encourages it to be used for. [see: Cooking and Baking: SPLENDA®]

A Dizzying Array of Splenda (Sucralose) Safety Concerns That Have Never Been Adequately Tested

The study argues that, despite its widespread approval and use, further scientific safety research is warranted due the following significant findings:

  • “Sucralose alters metabolic parameters and its chronic effects on body weight are unknown”: both animal and human research indicates sucralose may raise blood sugar and insulin levels, indicating it may have diabetogenic properties.
  • “Sucralose alters P-gp and CYP expression”: While classified as a food additive, sucralose’s organochlorine structure indicates it interferes with a wide range of organochlorine class drugs, and activates detoxification pathways and enzymes, in a manner similar to these xenobiotic chemicals.
  • “The metabolic fate and health profile of sucralose metabolites are currently unknown”: Contrary to statements in the research literature that sucralose passes through the body in the feces ‘unchanged,’ metabolites have been detected in the urine and feces of both animals and humans, the nature and health consequence of which have never been studied
  • “Sucralose alters indigenous bacterial balancein the GIT”: Sucralose (delivered as Splenda) has been found to reduce the number of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointesintal tract (e.g., lactobacilli, bifidobacteria), while  increasing the more detrimental bacteria (e.g., enterobacteria). One study found the adverse effects on flora did not return to normal (baseline) after a 3-month recovery period. Sucralose also altered the pH of the gastrointestinal tract.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly:

  • “Numerous toxicological issues regarding long-term exposure to sucralose are unresolved”: 1) DNA damage (genotoxicity), and possible adverse epigenetic alterations. 2) The generation of toxic compounds during baking, including chloropropanols, 1,6-DCF and dioxins. 3) The bioaccumulation of sucralose and/or its metabolites 4) The interaction between sucralose and/or its metabolites with drugs have not yet been studied or evaluated

Cancer-Causing Dioxins and Dioxin-Like Compounds Formed When Splenda (Sucralose) Is Cooked.

Sucralose's (Splenda) Harms Vastly Underestimated: Baking Releases Dioxin

As the reader can plainly see, the picture is a complex one, and there are more unresolved questions than answers. But perhaps the most concerning issue addressed in the report is the ‘Safety of Sucralose That Has Been Heated.’ According to the paper, historically, sucralose was reported to be heat stable at temperatures used in cooking. But they cite a number of reports from independent laboratories showing that sucralose undergoes thermal degradation when heated. One study showed that the stability of sucralose decreased as the temperature and pH increased, with the breakdown process commencing at 119 degrees Celsius and temperatures of 180 degrees Celsius causing its complete degradation at all pH levels with the release of chloride ions.  Additionally, they refer to research showing that sucralose can break down into the following concerning compounds when heated:

  • Chloropopanols are generated when sucralose was heated in the presence of glycerol. Chloropopanols are a group of contaminants that include known genotoxic, carcinogenic and tumorigenic compounds.
  • Other chlorinated compounds formed when sucralose is heated in the presence of food include dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans, dioxin-like polychlorinated bisphenyls and polychlorinated naphthalenes.

Chlorinated compounds like dioxins and DDT are notorious for being both highly toxic and resistant to breaking down once released into the environment, which is why they are classified as ‘persistent organic pollutants.’ Splenda was launched in 2000 with tagline “Made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar,” until it retired this slogan in 2007 after settling with its rival, Merisant Co., the maker of Equal, who accused the makers of Splenda of intentionally confusing consumers into thinking its product was more natural and healthier than other artificial sweeteners. Long gone are the days that this artificial sweetener can be marketed as natural, safe and a healthy alternative to sugar. To the contrary, today’s research clearly indicates that sucralose is a toxic chemical that we should go to great lengths to avoid exposure to rather than something we should intentionally add to our food. You will also find a growing body of research that indicates that sucralose not only does not break down in the environment, but survives water treatment plant purification techniques, with the inevitable consequence that it is accumulating in concentrations in our drinking water and the environment that may adversely impact humans and wildlife alike.

The discovery that thermal breakdown through cooking can lead to the formation of highly toxic and equally persistent chlorinated compounds, including dioxins, should raise a series of red flags for consumers, manufacturers and regulators as the information becomes more widespread. A cursory perusal of the World Health Organization’s description of ‘Dioxins and their effects on human health,’ which lists it as belonging to the “dirty dozen” of the world’s most dangerous pollutants, will see what is at stake here.

The Acceptable Daily Intake of Splenda (Sucralose) May Have Been Set 100’s of Times Too High To Ensure Safety

Lastly, an equally concerning issue addressed by the paper is the problem of the acceptable daily intake (ADI). The FDA approved an ADI for humans of 5 mg/kg/day in 1998 based on toxicity studies in rats by determining a no-observed-effect level (NOEL) of 500 mg/kg/day, and then applying a 100-fold safety factor. Since then, research has emerged showing that the NOEL in the microbiome (‘gut bacteria’) of rats for Splenda is actually as low as 1.1 mg/kg/day – 454 times lower than first determined – and 3.3 mg/kg/day for changes in intestinal P-gp and CYP – 151 times lower than first determined. Therefore, if the biological effects of sucralose in rats and humans are the same, or similar, then significant effects would be expected in humans far below the ADI.

For additional research on sucralose’s adverse health effects, visit our research page that collates peer-reviewed research on its toxicological properties. Also, for research on natural sweeteners not associated with these adverse effects, take a look at the following alternatives:

Is Fructose As Addictive As Alcohol?


Fructose, which literally means “fruit sugar,”* sounds so sweet and innocent. And indeed, when incorporated into the diet in moderate amounts in the form of fruit – always organic and raw, when possible – it’s about as pure and wholesome as as a nutrient can get.

Toxic Fructose Addiction: The 800 Ounce Gorilla In The Room

Not so for industrially processed fructose in isolate form, which may be as addictive as alcohol,[i] and perhaps even morphine [ii] [iii]and which according to USDA research published in 2008 into major trends in U.S. food consumption patterns, 1970-2005, we now consume at the rate of at least 50 lbs a year — the ‘800 ounce gorilla’ in the room.[iv]

Our dietary exposure to fructose, of course, is primarily through either sugar (sucrose), which is a disaccharide comprised of 50% fructose and 50% glucose by weight, or through high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is mostly a 55% fructose and 45% glucose blend of monosaccharides, but goes as high as 90% fructose and 10% glucose in HFCS-90 form.  Pasteurized fruit juices are another concentrated source of fructose, but increasingly even pasteurized fruit juice is being adulterated with additional sugar or HFCS for reasons that have mostly to do with protecting the manufacturer’s bottom line.

Because high-fructose corn syrup contains free-form monosaccharides of fructose and glucose, it cannot be considered biologically equivalent to sucrose, which has a glycosidic bond that links the fructose and glucose together, and which slows its break down in the body. The attempt by the HFCS industry to re-label their product as “corn sugar,” which was recently denied by the FDA,[v] belies their anxiety about the differences, and also reveals growing awareness among the public of isolated fructose’s inherently toxic properties.

The reality is that fructose can cause far more damage than glucose, and we must look beyond caloric equivalences to understand this. While in times of need (e.g. starvation, post-workout glycogen depletion), fructose is as effective as glucose in replenishing glycogen stores, in “hypercaloric” states of excess consumption, it can lead to a process known as glycation whereby a sugar binds with protein or lipid molecules, often resulting in damage to cells and tissues.

For example, in vitro studies show that fructose damages proteins seven times more rapidily than glucose through a process known as protein fructosylation, which is when a sugar undergoes a Malliard reaction with a protein, which basically results in the caramelization (browing) of blood and tissue contents, “gumming up the works.” For example, if you try baking a pastry made with fructose, instead of white sugar, it will brown much more rapidly as a result of this Malliard reactivity.

Fructose actually shares great resemblance to alcohol (ethanol), such as being capable of stimulating dopamine production in our brain, as well as sharing similar metabolic pathways and effects on the liver (e.g. fatty liver). Their great similarities make even more sense when you consider that fructose can easily be converted into ethanol with a pinch of yeast in order to make alcoholic beverages.

So toxic is “purified” fructose that here at GreenMedInfo we have indexed research on over 70 adverse health effects associated with its excessive consumption, which include:

  • Insulin Resistance (32 studies)
  • Fatty Liver (22 studies)
  • Obesity (13 studies)
  • Metabolic Syndrome (19 studies)
  • Hypertension (10 studies)
  • Elevated Uric Acid (9 studies)
  • Elevated Triglycerides (14 studies)
  • Belly Fat (2 studies)
  • Cardiovascular Diseases (4 studies)
  • Liver Stress (6 studies)
  • Pancreatic Cancer (2 studies)
  • Leptin Resistance (2 studies)

To view the first hand research on 70+ forms of fructose toxicity click the hyperlink.

Like many foods consumed en masse, which may have a lesser known dark side (e.g. wheat), our global fixation on fructose may reveal something about it’s hitherto under appreciated addictive properties.

Fructose’s Drug-like Hold On Our Bodies 

Fructose addiction and alcoholism, in fact, share a number of parallels. In an article titled, “Fructose: metabolic, hedonic, and societal parallels with ethanol,” published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in 2010, Robert H. Lustig, MD broke new ground by identifying the great similarities between these two substances.

Rates of fructose consumption continue to rise nationwide and have been linked to rising rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Because obesity has been equated with addiction, and because of their evolutionary commonalities, we chose to examine the metabolic, hedonic, and societal similarities between fructose and its fermentation byproduct ethanol. Elucidation of fructose metabolism in liver and fructose action in brain demonstrate three parallelisms with ethanol. First, hepatic fructose metabolism is similar to ethanol, as they both serve as substrates for de novo lipogenesis, and in the process both promote hepatic insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and hepatic steatosis. Second, fructosylation of proteins with resultant superoxide formation can result in hepatic inflammation similar to acetaldehyde, an intermediary metabolite of ethanol. Lastly, by stimulating the “hedonic pathway” of the brain both directly and indirectly, fructose creates habituation, and possibly dependence; also paralleling ethanol. Thus, fructose induces alterations in both hepatic metabolism and central nervous system energy signaling, leading to a “vicious cycle” of excessive consumption and disease consistent with metabolic syndrome. On a societal level, the treatment of fructose as a commodity exhibits market similarities to ethanol. Analogous to ethanol, societal efforts to reduce fructose consumption will likely be necessary to combat the obesity epidemic.

While the parallel between fructose and alcohol consumption may seem strange, the intimate connection between what we eat and our psychological health is beginning to gain wider recognition, especially considering new research linking aggression to trans fatty acid consumption, episodes of acute wheat mania, and the widespread presence of opiates in common foods

It may come as a surprise to many, but there is a fructose-opiate infatuation deeply embedded within mammalian biology, which has been the subject of scientific investigation since the late 80’s. A study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology in 1988 found that both glucose and fructose were capable of antagonizing morphine-induced pain killing effects, likely due to the direct opioid effects of these sugars or their metabolic byproducts on the central nervous system. In fact, the researchers found that fructose was more potent than glucose in accomplishing these effects.

Could the narcotic properties of fructose, or one of its metabolic byproducts, explain why we would consume such vast quantities of something so inherently harmful to our bodies?

As it turns out, not only has fructose’s manifold toxic properties been studied, but researchers have also investigated what natural substances reduce fructose’s adverse effects.

GreenMedInfo contains research on 21 natural compounds with fructose toxicity attenuating action, including

·         Berberine

·         Fish Oil

·         Astaxanthin

·         Bitter Melon

·         Chlorella

·         Coconut Water

·         Garlic

·         Ginger

·         Holy Basil

·         Quinoa

·         Resveratrol

·         Spirulina

To view them all, you can visit our Fructose-Induced Toxicity page.

Ultimately, avoiding fructose in any other than its naturally embedded form in the intelligent and infinitely complex structures of food, e.g. fruit, is ideal. Food cravings for sweets, after all, may conceal unmet emotional or spiritual needs, so sometimes it is best to search deeper within for the answers. Or, using natural non- or low-calorie sweeteners like xylitol or steviamay also take the edge off an intense sweet tooth.

But, beyond the increasingly obvious adverse effects of isolated fructose to human health, is the “hidden” damage that fructose does to environmental/planetary health. This is because fructose from HFCS is invariably produced from genetically modified (GM) corn, which requires massive environmental inputs of harmful pesticides, glyphosate, gene products with the ability to transfer horizontally, and other unsustainable practices. The “hidden tax” of fructose consumption is the accelerating, GM-mediated destruction of the biosphere; a biosphere, mind you, without which human health and human existence, is not possible. 

*Fructose: derived from Latin fructus (“fruit”) + -ose (“sugar”).


[i] Fructose: metabolic, hedonic, and societal parallels with ethanol. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Sep ;110(9):1307-21.  

[ii] Antagonism of the morphine-induced locomotor activation of mice by fructose: comparison with other opiates and sugars, and sugar effects on brain morphine. Life Sci. 1991 ;49(10):727-34.

[iii] Antagonism of antinociception in mice by glucose and fructose: comparison of subcutaneous and intrathecal morphine. Eur J Pharmacol. 1988 Feb 9 ;146(2-3):337-40.

[iv] USDA Economic Research Service, Dietary Assessment of Major Trends in U.S. Food Consumption, 1970-2005

[v] Packaging Digest, FDA rejects renaming of high-fructose corn syrup, 6/7/2012

 

Saccharin And Sugar Found More Addictive Than Cocaine.


Sugar and artificial sweeteners are so accessible, affordable and socially sanctioned, that few consider their habitual consumption to be a problem on the scale of say, addiction to cocaine.  But if recent research is correct their addictive potential could be even worse.

Sugar and Saccharin More Addictive Than Intravenous Cocaine?

Almost 40 years ago, William Duffy published a book called Sugar Blues which argued that refined sugar is an addictive drug and profoundly damaging to health.  While over 1.6 million copies have been printed since its release in 1975, a common criticism of the book has been that it lacked sufficient scientific support.

Today, William Duffy’s work is finding increasing support in the first-hand, peer-reviewed and published scientific literature itself. Not only is sugar drug-like in effect, but it may be more addictive than cocaine.  Worse, many sugar-free synthetic sweeteners carry with them addictive properties and toxicities that are equal to, or may outweigh those of sugar.

Back in 2007, a revealing study titled, “Intense sweetness surpasses cocaine reward,”  found that when rats were given the option of choosing between water sweetened with saccharin and intravenous cocaine, the large majority of animals (94%) preferred the sweet taste of saccharin.[i] This preference for sweetness was not attributable to its unnatural ability to induce sweetness without calories, because the same preference was found with sucrose; nor was the preference for saccharin overcome by increasing doses of cocaine.

Research: Sugar and Saccharine Found As Addictive As Cocaine

A common argument against the relevance of animal studies like this to human behavior is that rats differ too profoundly from humans. However, even insects like forager bees have been found to respond in a similar way to humans when given cocaine, experiencing an overestimation of the value of the floral resources they collected, with cessation of chronic cocaine treatment causing a withdrawal-like response.[ii]

Researchers believe that intense sweetness activates ancient neuroendocrine pathways within the human body, making obsessive consumption and/or craving inevitable. The authors of the cocaine/saccharin study summarized this connection as follows:

Our findings clearly demonstrate that intense sweetness can surpass cocaine reward, even in drug-sensitized and -addicted individuals. We speculate that the addictive potential of intense sweetness results from an inborn hypersensitivity to sweet tastants. In most mammals, including rats and humans, sweet receptors evolved in ancestral environments poor in sugars and are thus not adapted to high concentrations of sweet tastants. The supranormal stimulation of these receptors by sugar-rich diets, such as those now widely available in modern societies, would generate a supranormal reward signal in the brain, with the potential to override self-control mechanisms and thus to lead to addiction.

In a previous article, “Is Fructose As Addictive As Alcohol?”, we looked at the addictive properties of isolated fructose in greater depth, including over 70 adverse health effects associated with fructose consumption. It appears that not only does fructose activate a dopamine- and opioid-mediated hedonic pathway within the body, but like excessive alcohol consumption, exacts a significant toll on health in exchange for the pleasure it generates.

The drug-like properties of common beverages and foods, have been the subject of a good deal of research over the past few decades. Wheat and related grains, for instance, are a major foodsource of opioid peptides. These pharmacologically active compounds, also found in milk,coffee and even lettuce, may even explain why ancient hunters and gatherers took the agrarian leap over 10,000 years ago.  Likely, the transition from the Paleolithic to Neolithic was motivated by a combination of environmental pressures and the inherently addictive properties made accessible and abundant due to the agrarian/animal husbandry mode of civilization. For more on this, read our essay “The Dark Side of Wheat.”

As far as synthetic sweeteners, an accumulating body of toxicological research indicates they have a wide range of unintended, adverse health effects beyond the aforementioned problem of addiction.

This is why high fructose corn syrup is dangerous.


High Fructose Corn Syrup, also known as HFCS, glucosefructose syrup, glucose syrup, fructose syrup, glucose/fructose, high-fructose maize syrup or corn sugar is a corn-based sweetener that is used in thousands of food products including sodas, soft drinks, fruit juices, ice cream, candy, baked goods, cookies, ketchup, soups, salad dressings, breads, crackers, etc.

HFCS is a mixture of fructose and glucose, and is used by food companies because it is cheaper than sugar and gives food products a longer shelf life.

HFCS is responsible for a host of health problems such as obesity, high cholesterol, insulin problems, Type 2 diabetes, liver damage, hypertension, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, migraines, ADHD, etc.
HFCS is often contaminated with mercury which can lead to brain damage.

Here is a great video about the dangers of HFCS:

Corn, the source of high fructose corn syrup, is now often genetically modified, which causes many serious health problems.

Glucose is used as fuel and metabolized by the cells in the body. In contrast, fructose can only be metabolized by the liver which turns fructose into fat. When consuming fructose, 30% will be stored as fat… Fructose, in contrast to glucose, has no effect on appetite, which results in overeating and obesity.

The fructose found in fruit and in some vegetables is actually quite healthy as it contains fiber, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and beneficial phytonutrients. In contrast, the fructose found in HFCS contains no nutrition and actually pulls nutrients from the body! HFCS hinders the absorption of minerals such as magnesium, copper and chromium and affects the receptors of insulin, leading to Type 2 diabetes. In addition, HFCS causes high cholesterol and impairs the immune system.

The food industry is trying to convince us that High Fructose Corn Syrup is natural, equal to sugar and therefore perfectly safe.

Do no longer believe the lies of the food industry and the ‘mainstream’ media. Contrary to what so-called ‘health experts’ claim, HFCS is not safe!

Avoid HFCS for 60 days and discover how your health will improve dramatically!

Other forms of fructose to avoid: crystalline fructose, chicory, inulin, iso glucose and Agave syrup, a highly processed sweetener that is nearly all-fructose.

Also avoid energy and sports drinks because they are loaded with sugar, chemical additives and artificial sweeteners.

Healthier HFCS alternatives:
Organic raw cane sugar, maple syrup, coconut nectar, palm sugar, raw honey and Stevia, the low calorie, all natural sweetener used in Paraguay for centuries.

Source: rawforbeauty.com

 

Sugar Substitutes—What’s Safe and What’s Not.


Story at-a-glance

  • Sugar substitutes can be divided into four general categories: artificial sweetener, sugar alcohols, natural sweeteners, and dietary supplements such as Stevia and Lo Han
  • Artificial sweeteners can actually be far worse for you than sugar and fructose, and scientific evidence backs up that conclusion
  • Furthermore, numerous studies show they increase weight gain and worsen insulin sensitivity to a greater degree than sugar
  • Natural sweeteners such as honey and agave may seem like a healthier choice, but not only are they loaded with fructose, many are also highly processed
  • In moderation, some sugar alcohols can be a better choice than highly refined sugar, fructose or artificial sweeteners. Of the various sugar alcohols, xylitol is one of the best. When it is pure, the potential side effects are minimal
  • Three of the best sugar substitutes are all-natural Stevia from the whole plant, Lo Han Guo, and dextrose (pure glucose). Contrary to fructose, glucose can be used directly by every cell in your body and as such is a far safer sugar alternative.

Artificial Sweetener

With all the dire health effects associated with refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), many wonder what, if anything, is actually safe to use to sweeten your foods and beverages.

It’s certainly a good question. You do have to be cautious when choosing an alternative, as many sweeteners that are widely regarded as “healthy” are, in reality, anything but. A previous National Geographic article1 set out to compare eight different sugar substitutes, which fall into four general categories:

  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Sugar alcohols
  • Natural sweeteners
  • Dietary supplements

Sadly lacking from their review are any notations about adverse health effects of many of the sugar substitutes tested.

Despite copious scientific evidence of harm, artificial sweeteners, for example, are promoted in the featured article, and by “experts” in general, as safe because they “pass through your body undigested.” Needless to say, safety concerns will be front and center in this article.

The Case Against Artificial Sweeteners

Sweetener lesson 101: Avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague. While the mechanisms of harm may differ, they’re all harmful in one way or another. This includes aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), sucralose (Splenda), saccharin(Sweet’N Low), acesulfame potassium, neotame, and others.

Twenty years ago I wasn’t sure, but now there’s little doubt in my mind  that artificial sweeteners can be far worse for you than sugar and fructose, and there is plenty of scientific evidence to back up that conclusion. In fact, there’s enough evidence showing the dangers of consuming artificial sweeteners to fill an entire book — which is exactly why I wrote Sweet Deception.

Aspartame is perhaps the most dangerous of the bunch. At least it’s one of the most widely used and has the most reports of adverse effects. There are also hundreds of scientific studies demonstrating its harmful effects.

This is why it’s so frustrating to see big companies like Coca-Cola Company purposely deceive you on this issue, which is exactly what they’re currently doing with their “public service” announcement-type ads, in which they “affirm” aspartame’s safety and benefits.

Center for Science in the Public Interest’s (CSPI) Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson issued the following statement in response to Coca-Cola’s new ad:2

“Aspartame has been found to cause cancer3leukemia, lymphoma, and other tumors—in laboratory animals, and it shouldn’t be in the food supply. We certainly want Coca-Cola to shift its product mix toward lower- and no-calorie drinks, but aspartame’s reputation isn’t worth rehabilitating with this propaganda campaign.

The company would be better off phasing out its use of aspartame and accelerating its research into safer, natural sweeteners such as those extracted from the stevia plant.”

Don’t Fall for Coca-Cola’s Deceptive “Public Announcement” Ads

Besides pulling the wool over your eyes with regards to the lack of overall safety of aspartame, I think the FTC would be warranted to sue Coke and the other diet soda manufacturers for fraudulent advertising, seeing how:

    1. There’s no scientific evidence showing that the use of diet sodas actually lead to weight loss.

On the contrary, studies have repeatedly shown that artificial sweeteners cause greater weight gain than regular sugar.4 Studies have also repeatedly linked artificial sweeteners with increased hunger. For example, one study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior in 19885 found that intense (no- or low-calorie) sweeteners can produce significant changes in appetite. Of the three sweeteners tested, aspartame produced the most pronounced effects.

    1. Scientific evidence shows that aspartame actually worsens insulin sensitivity to a greater degree than sugar.

This is quite the blow for diabetics who obediently follow the recommendation to switch to diet sodas to manage their condition. Unfortunately, in large part due to misleading and deceptive advertising, many doctors and registered nutritionists are still under the illusion that artificial sweeteners are a safe and effective alternative for their diabetic patients.

Artificial sweeteners also appear to cause many of the same health effects associated with high sugar consumption.  Most recently, a report published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism6 highlighted the fact that diet soda drinkers suffer the same exact health problems as those who opt for regular soda, including excessive weight gain, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke.7, 8 According to the authors:

“This paper… considers the hypothesis that consuming sweet-tasting but noncaloric or reduced-calorie food and beverages interferes with learned responses that normally contribute to glucose and energy homeostasis. Because of this interference, frequent consumption of high-intensity sweeteners may have the counterintuitive effect of inducing metabolic derangements.”

So the very reason anyone would consider using diet instead of sugared sweeteners has no basis in fact. Anyone using them would get the same problems as using regular sugar and expose themselves to the well documented risks of artificial sweeteners.

Be Critical of “All Natural” Sweetener Claims

With artificial sweeteners are out of the picture, let’s look at some all-natural sweeteners. Natural sweeteners such as honey and agave may seem like a healthier choice, but not only are they loaded with fructose, many are also highly processed. In that regard, you’re not gaining a thing. The health effects will be the same, since it’s the fructose that causes the harm.

Agave syrup can even be considered worse than HFCS because it has a higher fructose content than any commercial sweetener, ranging from 70 to 97 percent depending on the brand. HFCS, in comparison, averages 55 percent fructose. What’s worse, most agave “nectar” or agave “syrup” is nothing more than a laboratory-generated super-condensed fructose syrup, devoid of virtually all nutrient value.

Honey is also high in fructose, averaging around 53 percent, but contrary to agave it is completely natural in its raw form,and has many health benefits when used in moderation. Keep in mind you’re not likely to find high quality raw honey in your local grocery store. Most of the commercial Grade A honey is highly processed and of poor quality. All in all, it’s important to realize that regardless of the source (be it HFCS, honey or agave), refined fructose:

  • Tricks your body into gaining weight by fooling your metabolism, as it turns off your body’s appetite-control system. Fructose does not appropriately stimulate insulin, which in turn does not suppress ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) and doesn’t stimulate leptin (the “satiety hormone”), which together result in your eating more and developing insulin resistance.
  • Activates a key enzyme that causes cells to store fat; this is the so-called “fat switch” revealed in Dr. Richard Johnson’s book by the same name.
  • Rapidly leads to weight gain and abdominal obesity (“beer belly”), decreased HDL, increased LDL, elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure—i.e., classic metabolic syndrome.
  • Is broken down in your liver just like alcohol, and produces many of the side effects of chronic alcohol use, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Interestingly enough, research has shown that soft drinks increase your risk of NAFLD independently of metabolic syndrome9.
  • Over time leads to insulin resistance, which is not only an underlying factor of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but also many cancers.

What About Sugar Alcohols?

Sugar alcohols can be identified by the commonality of “ol” at the end of their name, such as xylitol glucitol, sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, glycerol, and lactitol. They’re not as sweet as sugar, and they do contain fewer calories, but they’re not calorie-free. So don’t get confused by the “sugar-free” label on foods containing these sweeteners. As with all foods, you need to carefully read the food labels for calorie and carbohydrate content, regardless of any claims that the food is sugar-free or low-sugar.

One reason that sugar alcohols provide fewer calories than sugar is because they’re not completely absorbed into your body. Because of this, eating too many foods containing sugar alcohols can lead to abdominal gas and diarrhea. It’s also worth noting that maltitol, a commonly used sugar alcohol, spikes blood sugar almost as much as a starchy new potato. Xylitol, in comparison, does not have a great effect on your blood sugar, so from that perspective may be a better choice.

So, in moderation, some sugar alcohols can be a better choice than highly refined sugar, fructose or artificial sweeteners. Of the various sugar alcohols, xylitol is one of the best. When it is pure, the potential side effects are minimal, and it actually comes with some benefits such as fighting tooth decay. All in all, I would say that xylitol is reasonably safe, and potentially even a mildly beneficial sweetener. (As a side note, xylitol is toxic to dogs and some other animals, so be sure to keep it out of reach of your family pets.)

Three of the Safest Sugar-Alternatives

Two of the best sugar substitutes are from the plant kingdom: Stevia and Lo Han Guo (also spelled Luo Han Kuo). Stevia, a highly sweet herb derived from the leaf of the South American stevia plant, is sold as a supplement. It’s completely safe in its natural form and can be used to sweeten most dishes and drinks.

Keep in mind that the same cannot be said for the sugar substitute Truvia, which makes use of only certain active ingredients and not the entire plant. Rebaudioside A is the agent that provides most of the sweet taste of the plant. Usually it’s the synergistic effect of all the agents in the plant that provide the overall health effect, which oftentimes includes “built-in protection” against potentially damaging effects, but what the FDA has approved as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) are just a couple of the active ingredients, including rebaudioside A used in Truvia.

In one toxicology review,10 the researchers point out that stevioside compounds and rebaudioside A are metabolized at different rates, making it impossible to assess the risk of rebaudioside A from toxicity assessments of stevioside (which has been used as food and medicine in Japan and South America for decades or longer). Additionally, in a human metabolism study, stevioside and rebaudioside A had different pharmacokinetic results. In layman’s terms, that means that your body reacts differently to the two compounds; each compound is metabolized differently and remains in your body for different lengths of time.

Truvia may turn out to be a very good substitute to sugar, but I’d have to see more details before giving it an enthusiastic thumbs-up – for the same reason the FDA uses as the basis for their refusal to consider Stevia GRAS: there’s just not enough evidence to prove its safety. Lo Han Kuo is another natural sweetener similar to Stevia, but it’s a bit more expensive and harder to find. In China, the Lo Han fruit has been used as a sweetener for centuries, and it’s about 200 times sweeter than sugar. It received FDA GRAS status in 2009.

A third alternative is to use pure glucose. You can buy pure glucose (dextrose) for about $5-7 per pound. It is only 70 percent as sweet as sucrose, so you’ll end up using a bit more of it for the same amount of sweetness, making it slightly more expensive than regular sugar—but still well worth it for your health as it does not contain any fructose whatsoever. Contrary to fructose, glucose can be used directly by every cell in your body and as such is a far safer sugar alternative.

Consider Dampening Your Sweet-Tooth…

Keep in mind though that if you have insulin issues, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or if you’re overweight, you’d be best to avoid all sweeteners, including Stevia, Lo Han and dextrose, since any sweetener can decrease your insulin sensitivity. (Most important of all, remember that this goes for artificial sweeteners too!) If you’re having trouble weaning yourself off sweet foods and beverages, try Turbo Tapping. It’s a clever use of the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), specifically designed to resolve many aspects of an addiction in a concentrated period of time.

Tell Coke They’re a Joke!

Obesity and related metabolic diseases are serious public health problems in the United States, and you are being sorely misled by companies pretending to have a solution that, in reality, only worsen the problem. I strongly urge you to let the Coca-Cola Company know how you feel by telling them to stop their deceptive marketing of soda products. Especially their fake “public announcement” ads for aspartame.

Patent confirms that aspartame is the excrement of GM bacteria.


 

In 1999, The Independent published an article entitled “World’s top sweetener is made with GM bacteria,” which revealed that Monsanto was knowingly adding aspartame to soft drinks in the United States – and that aspartame is made from GM bacteria. This report, which remains one of the earliest disclosures on aspartame in a mainstream newspaper, received little attention after its publication – possibly because its implications were underestimated at the time – and it has long been forgotten.

Since 1999, the world has become a little more attentive to Monsanto and aspartame, but ignorance still abounds about the latter’s genesis. While more and more people are starting to awaken to aspartame’s destructive effects on our health, do they know how it is actually made? Fortunately, a 1981 patent for aspartame production, once confined to the drawers of patent offices, is now available online for everyone to see – and it confirms everything that Monsanto was happy to tell us in 1999 before their meteoric growth necessitated greater prudence.

The patent, which is entitled Process for producing aspartame and is credited to Bahl, Rose, and White, summarizes the process as follows:

“The artificial sweetener aspartame, a dipeptide with the formula Asp-Phe-me, is produced using a cloned micrcorganism [sic]. A DNA which codes for a large stable peptide comprised of the repeating amino acid sequence (Asp-Phe)n is inserted into a cloning vehicle which in turn is introduced into a suitable host microorganism. The host microorganism is cultured and the large peptide containing the repeating Asp-Phe sequence is harvested therefrom. The free carboxyl group of the large peptide is benzylated and then hydrolysed to benzyl Asp-Phe dipeptides. This dipeptide is methylated and then debenzylated to form aspartame.”

Source: RealFarmacy.com

 

Splenda Causing Leukemia in Mice.


 The Center for Science in the Public Interest is urging caution in the use of the artificial sweetener Splenda.

A food safety advocacy group has downgraded its rating for sucralose, the artificial sweetener better known as Splenda, from “safe” to “caution” in its chemical guide to food additives.

The Washington-based Center for Science in the Public Interest announced Wednesday that it had long rated sucralose as “safe” but is now categorizing it with a ”caution,” pending peer review of an unpublished study by an independent Italian lab that found the sweetener caused leukemia in mice.
Previously, the only long-term animal-feeding studies were done by sucralose’s manufacturers, the CSPI said.

Other artificial sweeteners such as saccharinaspartame andacesulfame potassium have received the center’s lowest rating, “avoid.”

Rebiana, a natural high-potency sweetener obtained from the plant stevia, is considered “safe” by the CSPI, though it says the sweetener needs better testing.

Sucralose may prove to be safer than saccharin, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium, but the forthcoming Italian study warrants careful scrutiny before we can be confident that the sweetener is safe for use in food,” said CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson.

Despite concerns about artificial sweeteners, the CSPI says that drinking diet soda is better than sugar-carbonated soda, which it says “poses greater risks such as obesity, diabetes heart disease, gout and tooth decay.”

In order to avoid the risks of both sugars and non-caloric sweeteners, the CSPI is encouraging people to switch to water, seltzer water, flavored unsweetened waters, seltzer mixed with some fruit juice or unsweetened iced tea.

Sources: Raw For Beauty

Diet Soda, Aspartame Shown to Destroy Kidney Function.


In an 11-year study by scientists at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, there was a strong positive correlation found between degeneration of kidney function and consumption of aspartame-containing diet soda.

Diet Soda, Aspartame Shown to Destroy Kidney Function - Aspartame - Aspartate - Phenylalanine - Methanol
Published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, the study followed 3,318 women for a number of years as they consumed diet soda containing artificial sweeteners like Aspartame.

cientists took into account each participant’s age, blood pressure, smoking habits (when applicable), and pre-existing conditions like heart disease or diabetes, and administered food frequency questionnaires in 1984, 1986, 1990, 1994, and 1998. Two or more diet drinks daily, it was found, led to a doubled risk in fast-paced kidney decline.

A separate study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that, contrary to safety claims made by the manufacturers of aspartame, health-related concerns including non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia still abound. While study authors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School admitted that there were other variables to consider, such as the sex of the consumer in that particular case, they remained troubled by the risks associated with diet soda.

It’s worth noting that diet soda is also high in sodium—and in greater amounts than found in sodas sweetened with sugar or corn starch (which were not examined in either study).

Corruption: a Brief History of Aspartame

Is diet soda really that bad for you? This is neither the first nor will it be the last time diet soda and artificially sweetened goods will come under fire from the scientific community. The Food and Drug Administration quickly approved aspartame, called “NutraSweet,” in 1974 in use for limited foods, but only after examining studies provided by G. D. Searle Co.. Yes, the inventor of aspartame.

It was only after a research psychiatrist concluded that aspartic acid—a key ingredient in aspartame—made holes in mice brains that the FDA rounded up a task force to investigate Searle’s claims. The investigation unveiled a series of falsified claims, corrupted study results, and information that simply wasn’t there. Although the FDA moved for further investigation of Searle by grand jury, US Attorney Thomas Sullivan and Assistant US Attorney William Conlon didn’t lift a finger to help. Conlon, however, found a job at the law firm representing Searle.

Since then, the genetically modified creation, aspartame, has been implicated in a number of studies aspotentially causing tumors, seizures, brain holes, and reproductive problems. But the mainstream media won’t report on the aspartame-cancer link.

Other Sweeteners, the Good and the Bad

Other artificial sweeteners, like sucralose (supposedly “made from sugar”), have been implicated in other health problems like changing the gut flora environment and preventing proper nutrient absorption, according to the January 2008 issue of the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health.

Thus far, Stevia has drawn little fire comparative to artificial sweeteners, although excessive use might be cautioned as with anything. Stevia is, however, safer to use than artificial or GMO sugar, especially for diabetics.

Source: Nature

8 Summer Beverages to Avoid.


soda

Story at-a-glance

  • Many of the most popular “summer” drinks come with a hefty downside, like exorbitant amounts of sugar or artificial sweeteners
  • Summer drinks better off avoided include regular and diet soda, wine coolers, beer, lemonade, sports and energy drinks, and frozen coffees
  • Carbonated water with mint leaves, fresh green vegetable juice, coconut water, iced green tea and iced dark-roast organic coffee are examples of delicious summer beverages that give your health a boost

A tall, cool beverage goes hand-in-hand with a hot summer day, but many of the most popular “summer” drinks come with a hefty downside, like exorbitant amounts of sugar.

It’s alarmingly easy to sip and slurp your way through hundreds of grams of excess sugar just by enjoying a cool drink once or twice a day – and that’s only the start.

There are plenty of options to quench your thirst and even satisfy your sweet tooth that will actually support your health at the same time (I’ll get to those later), so there’s no reason to sabotage your health (and your waistline) with these dietary disasters.

8 Top Summer Beverages to Avoid

1. Soda (Regular or Diet)

Drinking soda is in many ways as bad as smoking. Most sodas contain far too much sugar, or even worse, artificial sweeteners.

For instance, the chemical aspartame, often used as a sugar substitute in diet soda, has over 92 different side effects associated with its consumption including brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders and epilepsy/seizures. Plus, each sip of soda exposes you to:

  • Phosphoric acid, which can interfere with your body’s ability to use calcium, leading to osteoporosis or softening of your teeth and bones.
  • Benzene. While the federal limit for benzene in drinking water is 5 parts per billion (ppb), researchers have found benzene levels as high as 79 ppb in some soft drinks, and of 100 brands tested, most had at least some detectable level of benzene present. Benzene is a known carcinogen.
  • Artificial food colors, including caramel coloring, which has been identified as carcinogenic. The artificial brown coloring is made by reacting corn sugar with ammonia and sulfites under high pressures and at high temperatures.
  • Sodium benzoate, a common preservative found in many soft drinks, which can cause DNA damage. This could eventually lead to diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver and Parkinson’s.

2. Wine Coolers

Wine coolers are alcoholic beverages made to taste much more like fruit juice than alcohol, which is why they’re a popular drink of choice on a warm summer day. But in order to make them taste sweet, manufacturers typically add fruit juice and sugar to the wine, which is usually the cheapest available grade. Some “wine” coolers aren’t even made from wine but the far cheaper “malt” instead.

These coolers can also contain artificial food colors, artificial flavors and even artificial sweeteners like aspartame. And, of course, they also contain alcohol, which is very similar to fructose both in its addictive properties and the kind of damage it can do to your health.

While I don’t recommend drinking alcohol (it is a neurotoxin that can poison your brain as well as disrupt your hormonal balance), if you’re going to have an alcoholic beverage, a glass of red or white wine is far preferable to a heavily (or artificially) sweetened wine cooler.

3. Beer

The “usual” problems associated with beer – its alcohol content and hefty amount of empty calories – are only the tip of the iceberg for why you should limit your consumption. It turns out that the yeast and all that’s used to make beer work together to make beer another powerful uric acid trigger.

Uric acid is a normal waste product found in your blood. High levels of uric acid are normally associated with gout, but it has been known for a long time that people with high blood pressure or kidney disease, and those who are overweight, often have high uric acid levels as well. It used to be thought that the uric acid was secondary in these conditions, and not the cause.

But research by Dr. Richard Johnson indicates that it could be a lead player in the development of these conditions, rather than just a supporting actor, when its levels in your body reach 5.5 mg per dl or higher. At this level, uric acid is associated with an increased risk for developing high blood pressure, as well as diabetes, obesity and kidney disease.

The classic “beer belly syndrome” is actually quite similar to metabolic syndrome, and includes abdominal obesity, hypertriglyceridemia (high triglycerides), high blood pressure, and even insulin resistance, so minimizing or eliminating beer consumption is also something to definitely consider when you’re watching your weight and trying to improve your health.

4. Lemonade and Fruit Juices

For many, nothing says “summer” like a cold glass of lemonade, but this, and other fruit juices, is usually just another source of sugar you’re better off without.

Lemonade is typically a concoction of sugar or high fructose corn syrup, water, and flavorings. It may or may not contain small amounts of actual lemon juice. In terms of its impact on your health, lemonade and fruit juice will act much like soda, exposing you to excessive amounts of fructose that will increase your risk of weight gain and chronic degenerative diseases. Lemonade is simply soda’s evil twin in disguise! However, if you make fresh lemonade or limeade then it is fine because these are the lowest fruits in fructose. Just be sure if you use a sweetener that you stick to stevia and avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners.

5. Sweetened Teas

Sweet tea is another popular summer beverage, and one that’s often confused as “healthy” because of the tea. While teacan be a good source of antioxidants, sweetened tea is another source of extra sugar that will decimate your health. While the actual sugar content of sweetened teas obviously varies, it’s not unusual to find sweet tea recipes that contain 22 percent sugar, which is twice the amount in a can of soda.1

In the Southern US, sweet tea is not an occasional treat, it’s more of a daily staple, making the health risks even steeper.

6. Energy Drinks

The US energy drink market is expected to reach nearly $20 billion in 2013, which is close to a 160 percent increase from 2008.2 While many choose them for the quick energy boost they provide, consuming large quantities of caffeine in energy drinks can have serious health consequences, especially in children and teens, including caffeine toxicity, stroke, anxiety, arrhythmia, and in some rare cases death. Drinking energy drinks has also been compared to “bathing” teeth in acid because of their impact on your tooth enamel.3

If a lack of energy and fatigue state is compelling you to drink energy drinks, please realize that this is likely a result of certain lifestyle choices, such as not enough healthy food, processed foods and sugar, and not enough exercise and sleep, plus an overload of stress. Increasing your energy levels, then, is as easy as remedying these factors.

7. Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are especially popular in the summer months, when many believe they are necessary to restore your electrolyte balance during exercise or other outdoor activities. They basically “work” because they contain high amounts of sodium (processed salt), which is meant to replenish the electrolytes you lose while sweating. But only a very small portion of exercisers work out hard enough that a sports drink might be necessary; typically they aren’t even necessary during amarathon, let alone during most regular workouts.4

Additionally, the leading brands of sports drinks on the market typically contain as much as two-thirds the sugar of sodas and more sodium. They also often contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or artificial sweeteners (they can lead to impaired kidney function, depression, headaches, infertility, brain tumors, and a long list of other serious health problems), artificial flavors and food coloring, which has been connected to a variety of health problems, including allergic reactions, hyperactivity, decreased IQ in children, and numerous forms of cancer.

Also, sports drinks are up to 30 times more erosive to your teeth than water. And brushing your teeth won’t help because the citric acid in the sports drink will soften your tooth enamel so much it could be damaged by brushing.

8. Frappes and Other Frozen/Iced Coffees

An iced coffee sounds innocent enough, until you start adding in the copious amounts of sweeteners (sugar, HFCS and artificial sweeteners may all apply) and flavorings that turn ordinary coffee into a treat that more closely resembles a hyped up milkshake. Some leading coffee drinks from restaurants like Dunkin’ Donuts and Seattle’s Best contain 100 grams of sugar or more, which is more than 2.5 times the amount of sugar an adult man should consume in a day!5

Delicious and Refreshing Summer Drinks That BOOST Your Health

I know what you’re thinking… you’re not going to give up the simple pleasure of enjoying a cool, tasty beverage on a hot summer day. And I should hope not! But you needn’t assume that sugar-laden soda, lemonade, sweet tea or frappes are your only options. By thinking outside the box, you can satisfy your craving for a delicious cool beverage in a way that will actually support instead of hinder your health.

Instead Of … Choose …
Soda Sparkling mineral water… spruce it up with fresh lemon or lime juice, a drop or two of natural peppermint extract, liquid stevia, cucumber slices or a few crushed mint leaves.

If you’re adventurous, there are mint-flavored chlorophyll drops on the market that can be added to a glass of water. Chlorophyll may help flush toxins out of your blood and improves your breath.

Wine Coolers A small glass of white or red wine, ideally organic and biodynamic, on occasion.
Beer Try adding whole gingerroot to chilled carbonated water for a spicy alternative.
Lemonade or Fruit Juice Here’s a recipe for a refreshing homemade fruit drink that’s actually good for you. You can even throw in frozen berries instead of ice cubes.
Another tasty option is to blend some homemade kefir with frozen blueberries, raspberries or any fruit you enjoy. Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that contains beneficial bacteria that give your immune system a boost, among many other health benefits.

To make kefir all you need is one-half packet of kefir starter granules in a quart of raw milk, which you leave at room temperature overnight.

Sweetened Tea Iced green tea is a great pick-me-up that’s high in antioxidants. Although green tea contains caffeine, it also contains a naturally calming amino acid called L-theanine, which balances out caffeine’s adverse effects.

If you want it sweet, you can add natural liquid stevia, which is an herb that has no downsides for your health.

Another option is Tulsi tea (aka Holy Basil), which has a naturally delicious taste – slightly sweet and a bit spicy.

Energy Drinks For the ultimate refreshing vitamin-rich energy drink, make up some green juice from fresh, organic veggies like spinach, parsley, cucumbers and celery.

Add a pinch of sea salt and some lemon juice for a very refreshing beverage that is heavy on nutrition and virtually guaranteed to give you lasting energy.

Sports Drinks Try coconut water, which is a powerhouse of natural electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients, and is low in sugar but pleasantly sweet.

It’s great for post-exercise rehydration, but also has anti-inflammatory properties, protects your heart and urinary tract, is a digestive tonic, improves your skin and eyes, supports good immune function, and can even help balance your blood glucose and insulin levels.

Look for a brand that has no additives, or purchase a young coconut and drain the coconut water yourself.

Frappes and Frozen Coffee Drinks Organic dark-roast coffee served over ice (without additives like milk or sugar) is refreshing and may even lower your risk for type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, stroke, and cancers of the liver, kidney and prostate.

When consumed in this healthful manner, coffeemay even lower your blood glucose level and increase the metabolic activity and/or numbers of beneficial Bifidobacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.

 

Source: mercola.com