Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Stats on soft drinks . . .

One of those surprising (or perhaps not-so-surprising) articles.
  • "Twenty-one percent of all the sugar in the American diet comes from soft drinks."
  • "Drinking one soft drink per day increases the risk of Metabolic Syndrome by 44%" [Metabolic Syndrome involves abnormal weight gain, significant increases in circulating triglycerides and increased fat deposits, especially around the belly. --JAH]
  • "Drinking one soft drink per day increases a child's risk of becoming obese by 60%."
  • "Just one extra can of soda per day can add as much as 15 pounds to your weight over the course of a single year.
  • . . . And more.

One of the issues I've been reading about more lately has to do with the particular harm caused by HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup). Dr. Joseph Mercola writes,
Fructose, as opposed to glucose, is particularly damaging to your body due to the way it’s metabolized. The entire burden of metabolizing fructose falls on your liver, which creates a number of waste products and toxins, including a large amount of uric acid, which drives up blood pressure and causes gout.
--That's what Mercola writes. But is it true?

Becky Hand, a Licensed & Registered Dietitian, suggests that there is no reason to be more concerned about HFCS than regular table sugar.
At least for the past five years, I have been providing accurate nutrition education by stating, “We are eating too much of the sweet stuff, no matter what the source.”
research has shown that there are no significant differences between HFCS and sugar (sucrose) when it comes to the production of insulin, leptin (a hormone that regulates body weight and metabolism), ghrelin (the "hunger" hormone), or the changes in blood glucose levels. In addition, satiety studies done on HFCS and sugar (sucrose) have found no difference in appetite regulation, feelings of fullness, or short-term energy intake.
[B]oth HFCS and table sugar (sucrose) enter the bloodstream as glucose and fructose—the metabolism of which is identical. There is no significant difference in the overall rate of absorption between table sugar and HFCS, which explains why these two sweeteners have the same effects on the body. [Emphases added--JAH]
Hand claims she is "set[ting] the record straight after reviewing not just one research study but all of them."


Hand wrote her article in 2009.

If she reviewed "all" the literature, then why was Bill Sanda able to write, in February 2004 that, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 2002 Vol. 76, No. 5, 911-922, "Glucose is metabolized in every cell in the body but all fructose must be metabolized in the liver." Moreover, "The livers of test animals fed large amounts of fructose develop fatty deposits and cirrhosis, similar to problems that develop in the livers of alcoholics."

There is more. I'll let you read Sanda's article for yourself. But, before you get into all the technical details (including the detailed footnotes), I encourage you to read the highly accessible article by Dr. Mercola.

For more on the same general subject, I also recommend

--Missing Link Between Fructose, Insulin Resistance Found

--Sugar May Be Bad, But This Sweetener is Far More Deadly, Part 1

--Sugar May Be Bad, But This Sweetener is Far More Deadly, Part 2 (or, This Common Food Ingredient Can Really Mess Up Your Metabolism)

--The Real Dangers of Soda to You and Your Children


--Sugary Sweet Drinks Bring on Chronic Disease Later in Life
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