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Diet Sodas Helps You Gain Weight Instead of Losing Weight

Think you’re making a healthier choice when you reach for diet soda instead of a sugary soft drink? Think again.

Diet soft drinks may have minimal calories, but they can still have a major impact on your waistline, according to two studies presented at a meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Diego.

Researchers at the Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio tracked 474 people, all 65 to 74 years old, for nearly a decade, measuring the subjects’ height, weight, waist circumference, and diet soft drink intake every 3.6 years. The waists of those who drank diet soft drinks grew 70 percent more than those who avoided the artificially sweetened stuff; people who drank two or more servings a day had waist-circumference increases that were five times larger than non-diet-soda consumers.

The findings are in line with those of a 2005 study, also conducted by researchers at the Texas Health Science Center, in which the chance of becoming overweight or obese increased with every diet soda consumed.

“On average, for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese,” said Sharon Fowler, who was a faculty associate in the division of clinical epidemiology in the Health Science Center’s department of medicine at the time.

But how does something with no calories cause weight gain? Turns out that even if our taste buds can’t tell the difference between real and fake sugar, our brains can. Another study, also presented at the American Diabetes Association meeting on Sunday, found that after three months of eating food laced with aspartame (which is also found in many diet soft drinks), mice had higher blood sugar levels than rodents who ate regular food. According to Fowler, who worked on all diet soda causes weight gainthree studies and is now a researcher at UT Health Science Center at San Diego, the aspartame could trigger the appetite but do nothing to satisfy it. That could interfere with your body’s ability to tell when you’re full—and could lead you to eat more in general.

It happens in humans, too. A 2008 study found that women who drank water sweetened with sugar and water sweetened with Splenda couldn’t taste a difference, but functional MRI scans showed that their brains’ reward center responded to real sugar “more completely” than it did to the artificial sweetener.

“Your senses tell you there’s something sweet that you’re tasting, but your brain tells you, ‘actually, it’s not as much of a reward as I expected,'” Dr. Martin P. Paulus, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego and one of the authors of the study, told the Huffington Post. So you chase that no-calorie soda with something more caloric, like a salty snack. The sweet taste could also trigger your body to produce insulin, which blocks your ability to burn fat.

Aside from the health problems that go along with a widening waistline, diet soft drinks have also been linked to an increase in diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. One study of more than 2,500 people found that those “who drank diet soda daily had a 61 percent increased risk of cardiovascular events compared to those who drank no soda, even when accounting for smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption and calories consumed per day,” ABC News reported in February. And a 2008 University of Minnesota study of nearly 10,000 adults ages 45 to 64 found that drinking a single can of diet soda a day led to a 34 percent higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a collection of health problems that includes high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and high levels of belly fat.

“Drinking a reasonable amount of diet soda a day, such as a can or two, isn’t likely to hurt you,” writes Katherine Zeratsky, a nutritionist at the Mayo Clinic. “The artificial sweeteners and other chemicals currently used in diet soda are safe for most people, and there’s no credible evidence that these ingredients cause cancer.”

“Some types of diet soda are even fortified with vitamins and minerals,” she added. “But diet soda isn’t a health drink or a silver bullet for weight loss.”

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Almond Milk vs. Soy Milk – Which Is Better?

Almond Milk vs Soy Milk: Both almond milk and soy milk are loaded with health benefits. Each are extremely different from cow’s milk and have a lot more health benefits. Soy milk is made by soaking soybeans and grinding them into water. Most will agree that soy milk has somewhat of a “beany” taste. Almond milk on the other hand has been said to contain a “light, nutty, and crisp” taste. Fortunately, each type of milk provides roughly the same health benefits.

Almond Milk vs Soy Milk. Which is better?Soy Milk

Soy milk contains an abundance of protein and a small amount of fiber. The protein and fiber come from the soybeans it is made with. Protein is necessary for muscle mass and can also help provide a “full” feeling to prevent hunger. Fiber can also help to prevent excess hunger. It is necessary for a healthy digestive system and can also help to lower the risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

One of the most notable benefits of soy milk is that it contains isoflavones, which are natural chemicals similar to the female hormone estrogen. It has been suggested that isoflavones may help to decrease the risk of osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Soy milk also contains no lactose. Approximately 75 percent of the human population has a lactose intolerance at some point in their lives. It also contains prebiotic sugars stachyose and raffinose, which can boost immunity and decrease the amount of toxins inside the body.

Another benefit is the lack of allergies to soy milk experienced among children. In comparison, approximately 0.5 of all children have been found to be allergic to soy milk, whereas 2.5 were found to have an allergy to cow’s milk.

Almond Milk

Almond Milk is better than Soy.Almond milk is considered to be a healthy, flavorful, nutritious beverage. A lot of people drink almond milk plain or unsweetened almond milk, while others choose to use it as an extra ingredient to enhance the flavor of certain foods. One of the first benefits of almond milk is that it contains less calories than most other types of milk. It’s an effective replacement beverage, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. What’s better is that you don’t have to sacrifice flavor.

Almond milk contains an abundance of magnesium, potassium and Vitamin E, all of which are a necessary part of everyone’s diet. Magnesium is necessary for the body’s absorption of calcium, leading to healthier bones and teeth. Potassium is necessary for keeping the heart, brain and kidney tissues strong and healthy. Vitamin E is essential for helping to fight off free radicals, resulting in a lesser chance of developing deadly diseases such as cancer, as well as slowing down the process of aging.

Quite like soy milk, almond milk is also a great alternative for people who experience lactose intolerance. When people who are lactose intolerant attempt to drink regular cow’s milk, they tend to suffer from bloating, indigestion, gas and also become sick in general. Most will agree that almond milk is also tastier than regular cow’s milk, making it an even better, healthier alternative altogether. In addition, it also contains an abundance of protein, making it great for building muscle. Another benefit is that it is considered the healthiest of all other dairy alternatives, especially since it’s the lowest in sugar (lower than soy milk). Almond milk is much lower in sugar in contrast to other dairy alternatives, as it contains only 8 carbs and a total of 7 grams of sugar per serving. It helps to boost energy levels and can keep blood sugar levels from spiking, making it a delightful drink for diabetics and those who suffer from lack of energy in general. It contains 50 percent of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin E. It contains 30 percent of the daily recommended amount of calcium, as well as 25 percent Vitamin D, making it an excellent source for keeping the bones strong and the immune system healthy.

So which is better? Well in my opinin if you buy almond mik, you’ll be making a wise health decision.

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and board-certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter 

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17 Reasons To Drink More Water

Water is very essential for our body. 70% of our body is made up of water. It helps in hydration of the body. It is necessary to drink half our body weight in ounces of water a day. If you do not drink enough of water you get headache, poor concentration, fatigue, constipation and dry skin.

We should drink water on a regular bases.

  • Water helps in nearly all the body functions.
  • Water is the vital fuel of the body. It is a health drink obtained from nature. It is calorie –free, inexpensive and it is easily available.
  • Water helps in digestion and it helps in absorption of nutrients.
  • It helps in excretion of waste and toxins from the kidneys and bowels.
  • It helps to boost your brain
  • It keeps your skin glowing, skin look young.
  • It helps to prevent wrinkles.
  • It acts as a natural lubricant for joints and tissues and keeps the body supple.
  • It helps to prevent constipation.
  • It is essential for proper circulation in the body.
  • The oxygen level in the blood is more if the body is well hydrated.
  • It helps to remove the toxins from the body.
  • Water is important in regulating the body’s cooling system.
  • Water helps in digestion, nutrient absorption and chemical reactions.
  • Intake of water after exercise it helps to reduce the cardiovascular stress and improves performance.
  • Water helps to burn more fat.
  • It regulates the body temperature

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Why You Shouldn’t Drink Milk

The Truth about Dairy

According to Dr. Willett, who has done many studies and reviewed the research on this topic, there are many reasons to pass up milk, including:

  1. Milk doesn’t reduce fractures. Contrary to popular belief, eating dairy products has never been shown to reduce fracture risk. In fact, according to the Nurses’ Health Study dairy may increase risk of fractures by 50 percent!
  2. Less dairy, better bones. Countries with lowest rates of dairy and calcium consumption (like those in Africa and Asia) have the lowest rates of osteoporosis.
  3. Calcium isn’t as bone-protective as we thought. Studies of calcium supplementation have shown no benefit in reducing fracture risk. Vitamin D appears to be much more important than calcium in preventing fractures.
  4. Calcium may raise cancer risk. Research shows that higher intakes of both calcium and dairy products may increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer by 30 to 50 percent. Plus, dairy consumption increases the body’s level of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) — a known cancer promoter.
  5. Calcium has benefits that dairy doesn’t. Calcium supplements, but not dairy products, may reduce the risk of colon cancer.
  6. Not everyone can stomach dairy. About 75 percent of the world’s population is genetically unable to properly digest milk and other dairy products — a problem called lactose intolerance.

  

Based on such findings, Dr. Willet has come to some important conclusions:

  • Everybody needs calcium — but probably not as much as our government’s recommended daily allowance (RDA) and calcium from diet, including greens and beans is better utilized by the body with less risk than calcium supplements.
  • Calcium probably doesn’t prevent broken bones. Few people in this country are likely to reduce their fracture risk by getting more calcium.
  • Men may not want to take calcium supplements. Supplements of calcium and vitamin D may be reasonable for women
  • Dairy may be unhealthy. Advocating dairy consumption may have negative effects on health.

 

If all that isn’t enough to swear you off milk, there are a few other scientific findings worth noting. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently asked the UDSA to look into the scientific basis of the claims made in the “milk mustache” ads. Their panel of scientists stated the truth clearly:

  • Milk doesn’t benefit sports performance.
  • There’s no evidence that dairy is good for your bones or prevents osteoporosis — in fact, the animal protein it contains may help cause bone loss!
  • Dairy is linked to prostate cancer.
  • It’s full of saturated fat and is linked to heart disease.
  • Dairy causes digestive problems for the 75 percent of people with lactose intolerance.
  • Dairy aggravates irritable bowel syndrome.

 Simply put, the FTC asked the dairy industry, “Got Proof?” — and the answer was NO!

Plus, dairy may contribute to even more health problems, like:

• Allergies
• Sinus problems
• Ear infections
• Type 1 diabetes
• Chronic constipation
• Anemia (in children)

Due to these concerns, many have begun to consider raw milk an alternative. But that isn’t really a healthy form of dairy either …

Yes, raw, whole, organic milk eliminates concerns like pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and the effects of homogenization and pasteurization — but to me, these benefits don’t outweigh dairy’s potential risks.

From an evolutionary point of view, milk is a strange food for humans. Until 10,000 years ago we didn’t domesticate animals and weren’t able to drink milk (unless some brave hunter-gather milked a wild tiger or buffalo!).

If you don’t believe that, consider this: The majority of humans naturally stop producing significant amounts of lactase – the enzyme needed to properly metabolize lactose, the sugar in milk — sometime between the ages of two and five. In fact, for most mammals, the normal condition is to stop producing the enzymes needed to properly digest and metabolize milk after they have been weaned.

Our bodies just weren’t made to digest milk on a regular basis. Instead, most scientists agree that it’s better for us to get calcium, potassium, protein, and fats from other food sources, like whole plant foods — vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and seaweed.

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6 Tips for Dealing with Dairy

  1. Take your Cow for a Walk. It will do you much more good than drinking it”s milk.
  2. Don’t rely on dairy for healthy bones. If you want healthy bones, get plenty of exercise and supplement with 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily.
  3. Get your calcium from food. These include dark green leafy vegetables, sesame tahini, sea vegetables, and sardines or salmon with the bones.
  4. Try giving up all dairy. That means eliminate milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream for two weeks and see if you feel better. You should notice improvements with your sinuses, post-nasal drip, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, energy, and weight. Then start eating dairy again and see how you feel. If you feel worse, you should try to give it up for life.
  5. If you can tolerate dairy, use only raw, organic dairy products. I suggest focusing on fermented products like unsweetened yogurt and kefir, occasionally.
  6. If you have to feed your child formula from milk, don’t worry. The milk in infant formula is hydrolyzed or broken down and easier to digest (although it can still cause allergies). Once your child is a year old, switch him or her to real food and almond milk.

Still got milk? I hope not! Remember, dairy is not crucial for good health. I encourage you to go dairy-free and see what it does for you.

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Read More About The HarmFul Effects Of Milk

6 Reasons to Drink Water


Americans seem to carry bottled water everywhere they go these days. In fact, it has become the second most popular drink (behind soft drinks). But water lovers got a jolt recently when we heard that a new report had found that the benefits of drinking water may have been oversold. Apparently, the old suggestion to drink eight glasses a day was nothing more than a guideline, not based on scientific evidence. But don’t put your water bottle or glass down just yet. While we may not need eight glasses, there are plenty of reasons to drink water. In fact, drinking water (either plain or in the form of other fluids or foods) is essential to your health.

“Think of water as a nutrient your body needs that are present in liquids, plain water, and foods. All of these are essential daily to replace the large amounts of water lost each day,” says Joan Kolemay, RD, dietitian for the Beverage Institute, an industry group.

Kaiser Permanente nephrologist Steven Guest, MD, agrees: “Fluid losses occur continuously, from skin evaporation, breathing, urine, and stool, and these losses must be replaced daily for good health,” he says When your water intake does not equal your output, you can become dehydrated. Fluid losses are accentuated in warmer climates, during strenuous exercise, in high altitudes, and in older adults, whose sense of thirst may not be as sharp.

Here is six reasons to make sure you’re drinking enough water or other fluids every day:

1. Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids. Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.

“Through the posterior pituitary gland, your brain communicates with your kidneys and tells it how much water to excrete as urine or hold onto for reserves,” says Guest, who is also an adjunct professor of medicine at Stanford University.

When you’re low on fluids, the brain triggers the body’s thirst mechanism. And unless you are taking medications that make you thirsty, Guest says, you should listen to those cues and get yourself a drink of water, juice, milk, coffee — anything but alcohol.
“Alcohol interferes with the brain and kidney communication and causes excess excretion of fluids which can then lead to dehydration,” he says.

2. Water Can Help Control Calories. For years, dieters have been drinking lots of water as a weight loss strategy. While water doesn’t have any magical effect on weight loss, substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly help.

“What works with weight loss is if you choose water or a non-caloric beverage over a caloric beverage and/or eat a diet higher in water-rich foods that are healthier, more filling, and help you trim calorie intake,” says Penn State researcher Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan

Food with high water content tends to look larger, its higher volume requires more chewing, and it is absorbed more slowly by the body, which helps you feel full. Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans.

3. Water Helps Energize Muscles. Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. “When muscle cells don’t have adequate fluids, they don’t work as well and performance can suffer,” says Guest.

Drinking enough fluids is important when exercising. Follow the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for fluid intake before and during physical activity. These guidelines recommend that people drink about 17 ounces of fluid about two hours before exercise. During exercise, they recommend that people start drinking fluids early, and
drink them at regular intervals to replace fluids lost by sweating.

4. Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good. Your skin contains plenty of water, and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. But don’t expect over-hydration to erase wrinkles or fine lines, says Atlanta dermatologist Kenneth Ellner, MD.

“Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration,” he says. “But once you are adequately hydrated, the kidneys take over and excrete excess fluids.” You can also help “lock” moisture into your skin by using moisturizer, which creates a physical barrier to keep moisture in.

5. Water Helps Your Kidneys. Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble waste that is able to pass through the kidneys to be excreted in the urine, explains Guest. “Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of
fluids is adequate,” he says.

When you’re getting enough fluids, urine flows freely, is light in color and free of odor. When your body is not getting enough fluids, urine concentration, color, and odor increases because the kidneys trap extra fluid for bodily functions.

If you chronically drink too little, you may be at higher risk for kidney stones, especially in warm climates, Guest warns.

6. Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function. Adequate hydration keeps things flowing along your gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation. When you don’t get enough fluid, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration — and the result is constipation. “Adequate fluid and fiber is the perfect combination, because the fluid pumps up the fiber and acts like a broom to keep your bowel functioning properly,” says Kolemay.


5 Tips to Help You Drink More

If you think you need to be drinking more, here are some tips to
increase your fluid intake and reap the benefits of water:

1. Have a beverage with every snack.
2. Choose an herbal tea you enjoy; you’re likely to drink more liquids
if you like the way they taste.
3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Their high water content will add
to your hydration. About 20% of our fluid intake comes from foods.
4. Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in
your bag.
5. Choose beverages that meet your individual needs. If you’re
watching calories, go for non-caloric beverages or water.

 

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