Most people are aware that regular sodas have no place in a health-conscious diet, since most of them are loaded with unhealthy ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and artificial dyes and flavorings, many of which have been linked to long-term and sometimes serious health conditions. However, when it comes to beverages, there is more to be on the look-out for than just this drinks. Below are four beverages that have been marketed as “healthy” that are really nothing of the sort.
When America became more reluctant to drink high-sugar beverages like regular soda, the food industry responded by making an array of products containing artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin and sucralose. These products were marketed as “healthy” or “diet friendly” alternatives. However, Americans only gained weight as consumption of these products increased and many of these sweeteners have been linked to increases in weight as well an increased chance for diabetes, strokes and heart attacks.
Many Americans, fearful of the consequences of diet or regular soda, cut back on their consumption, so the soda companies responded with new lines of products based on sweetened, flavored waters or tea that consumers perceive as being more health-friendly. Unfortunately, many of these products contain combination of corn syrup and artificial sweeteners, which in combination could be even worse than either ingredient separately. These new “healthy” soda alternatives are not healthy at all.
The milk industry is also responsible for serving up unhealthy drinks – and then marketing them to children, especially in public schools. Recently, it has begun a process for FDA approval to add aspartame to its low-fat chocolate milk. It claims that is it intended to help fight obesity, but as previously stated, aspartame has actually been linked to increased weight and greater chance for diabetes and metabolic disorder.
Many people who want to be healthy will often drink juice and provide it to their children; the problem is that juices are much less healthy than people perceive it to be. Juices are full of concentrated sugars and are also highly processed and pasteurized, greatly reducing their nutritional value. Many pediatricians believe that over-consumption of juice is one of the reasons for childhood obesity, which is reaching epidemic proportions in America.
If you are really serious about your health and the health of your family, try to avoid these beverages. Encourage your children to drink water or milk or even tea that is naturally sweetened with honey and get your servings of fruit in for the day through whole, fresh fruit rather than concentrated, processed juices. In some ways, drinking healthy can be even more difficult than eating healthy, but with a little practice and a knowledge of what dangerous drinks to avoid, it can be done and the benefits are well worth it.
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