Thursday, January 26, 2012

Say What?: Crystal Light

 
Continuing along with our specific health myths because of the spike in 'healthiness' because of NYR's I figured this was the perfect time to add this information to your pile to consider what you use to become more 'healthy'. A lot of people along with diet's and overly rigorous exercise programs start doing everything they can to cut sugar, fat, and even essential nutrients out of their intake. However, often when they go to the efforts of switching from regular to diet sodas or sugar free drinks they often put something into their body even worse than the real thing.

Did you ever wonder how sugar free drinks still taste so good? I mean, there's no way the product would stay afloat on the market if they tasted nasty. They have to be putting something in that is substituted but doesn't break down as natural sugar. My friend Emily Ferguson wanted to know specifically about the substitution in Crystal Light and the implications of its health risks. I loved that I got this idea, because I had never really thought about it because I avoid diet or sugar free drinks as a general rule.


So for the down and dirty details, "Crystal Light...depend for their low calorie content on two artificial sweeteners: aspartame and acesulfame potassium" (source)

Among other things, Aspartame's side effects include...


Abdominal Pain
Anxiety attacks
Arthritis
Asthma
Asthmatic Reactions
Bloating, Edema (Fluid Retention)
Blood Sugar Control Problems (Hypoglycemia or Hyperglycemia)
Brain Cancer 
Breathing difficulties
Burning eyes or throat
Burning Urination
Chest Pains
Chronic cough
Chronic Fatigue
Confusion
Death
Depression
Diarrhea
Dizziness
Excessive Thirst or Hunger
Fatigue
Feel unreal
Flushing of face
Hair Loss (Baldness) or Thinning of Hair
Headaches/Migraines dizziness
Hearing Loss
Heart palpitations
Hives (Urticaria)
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Impotency and Sexual Problems
Inability to concentrate
Infection Susceptibility
Insomnia
Irritability
Itching
Joint Pains
Laryngitis
Marked Personality Changes
Memory loss
Menstrual Problems or Changes
Migraines and Severe Headaches (Trigger or Cause From Chronic Intake)
Muscle spasms
Nausea or Vomiting
Numbness or Tingling of Extremities
Other Allergic-Like Reactions
Panic Attacks
Phobias
Poor memory
Rapid Heart Beat
Rashes
Seizures and Convulsions
Slurring of Speech
Swallowing Pain
Tachycardia
Tremors
Tinnitus
Vertigo
Vision Loss
Weight gain
(source)
 
Does anyone else find it slightly ironic that the additive that is being used in place of sugar to help 
reduce weight gain can actually cause weight gain as a side effect? 
 
Another little tidbit is that 10% of aspartame is Methanol also known as Wood Alcohol and can be a  
poison and can cause serious vision problems when consumed in high amounts. 
 
Aspartame may also trigger or contribute to these other diseases,
 
Aspartame may trigger, mimic, or cause the following illnesses:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Epstein-Barr
Post-Polio Syndrome
Lyme Disease
Grave’s Disease
Meniere’s Disease
Alzheimer’s Disease
ALS
Epilepsy
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
EMS
Hypothyroidism
Mercury sensitivity from Amalgam fillings
Fibromyalgia
Lupus
non-Hodgkins
Lymphoma
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) 

(source) 

In addition, aspartame is shown to lead to cancer in lab rats....does that worry you? It worries me. READ CAREFULLY: aspartame is the number one additive in over 75% of adverse reactions reported to the FDA and is present in almost all popular sugar substitutes such as NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, Equal-Measure, and other common foods such as...

Carbonated Soft Drinks (anything that advertises Diet)
Some Cereals
Chewing Gum
Fruit Spreads (jams and jellies)
Sugar free Ice Cream
Juice drinks
Maple Syrups
Pudding
Sugar Free Cookies
Sugar Free Ketchup
Fat Free Yogurt
Sugar Free Yogurt
And many many many more. 
(source)

Aspartame is actually present in over 6,000 food and drink products that are marketed world wide. So since its so widespread, what do you do to help keep it out of your foods and your families? READ THE LABELS! I will be the first to admit, I have my favorite prepackaged foods. But I don't eat them everyday, and I severely limit my consumption of them.


So obviously, drinking water sweeteners, or Diet drinks can be very unhealthy for you and even worse than a real sugar drink. A lot of people go overboard trying to change all their habits at the beginning of the year, thinking that they can make extreme changes and no harm will come of it. However, I suggest and practice rarely ever drinking soda, and I do not use any water additives except Airborne. Instead of going cold turkey from sugar and high carbs on your body to drop that beginning of the year weight, try changing a simple habit like what you drink. Until you are thru withdrawals from whatever carbonated beverage you intake I wouldn't suggest making extreme changes to your diet as well, or the lack of sugars and fats your body is used to ingesting will make your hormone and neuron impulses to and from your brain go Jackie Chan and you will cave on your diet and relapse. Big time.


Suggestions to helping water taste a little bit better than just normal water would be putting a lemon slice in (only one) or cutting some cucumber and adding that in. Personally I don't find anything more refreshing than ice cold water straight out of my Brita pitcher. If you think you're tap water tastes off, it probably is. Tap water on average has lots of additives that make it taste funky. The solution is a filter system. Either way drink lots and lots of water. 


p.s. did you know the solution to helping someone who is detoxing, dieting, recovering from illness, surgery, extreme exercise, etc. faster is to drink water to help get rid of the toxins. 


p.p.s. if you want more information of food additives to avoid, this list may interest you.

1 comment:

ashleynicole said...

Good to know! I don't really love water, but I'd much rather drink it plain than add some deathly substance to it :)