February 15, 2017

The Horrible Effects of Soda on your Health

In the United States, the average person drinks 57 gallons of soda per person every year [1]. Sugary drinks have many negative effects on a person’s health. Soda has an extremely high sugar content, which causes frequent changes in blood sugar levels and stress on your pancreas to produce insulin. Drinking soda is pleasing because it causes your body to produce dopamine which “stimulates the pleasure centers of [the] brain… just like a low-grade line of cocaine” [1].

Furthermore, the consumption of sugary drinks like soda has a direct link to obesity. A typical soda bottle contains about 15 to 18 tea spoons of sugar and over 240 calories. The matter is compounded after consumption of a soft drink, as people tend to still be hungry. This is the definition of “empty calories” because people do not feel full from drinking a soda, unlike if they were to consume 240 calories of food. Since these people will likely consume food as well, the extra calories only add to the obesity epidemic. Harvard researchers have found out that for “each additional 12 ounce soda children consumed each day, the odds of becoming obese increased by 60%” [2]. Additionally, they concluded that increased sugar intake in the form of liquids also increases the chances of heart attacks and has a significant impact on an individual’s cardiovascular health.

Most soft drinks also contain corn syrup, which is high in fructose. Intake of this substance causes greater chances of metabolic syndrome, heart attacks, and diabetes. Soda consumption also limits the availability of potassium due to the increased intake of sodium preservatives. Therefore, this may increase the risk of asthma and eczema [1]. With all these risks, an innocent can of sugary soda with dinner may lead to many more problems.
[1] Soft drink Dangers: 8 Ways Soda Negatively Affects Your Health. Olson, Samantha. Medical Daily. Retrieved From: http://www.medicaldaily.com/pulse/soft-drink-dangers-8-ways-soda-negatively-affects-your-health-319054

[2] Sugary drinks and Obesity Fact Sheet. Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health. Retrieved from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/sugary-drinks-fact-sheet/

April 15, 2010

“An Apple a Day…”


Ever heard the old phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Well, it’s not as far fetched as you may think. Apples have numerous health benefits that people overlook all the time. Benefits of eating apples include:

Strengthening Bones
An element called boron is a component of apples. Boron aids tremendously in strengthening bones. Apples can also help prevent osteoporosis for occurring in women.

Avoiding Alzheimer’s
A study on mice was done at Cornell University located in Ithaca, New York. It was found that mice with diets focused on apples did better than mice who had a regular diet. This is because of quercetin which is a plant pigment in apples.

Lower Cholesterol
Apples have a large impact on lowering cholesterol. For example, a single apple can reduce cholesterol up to 8%. A component of apples called pectin has the ability to lower Low- density Lipoprotein (LDL) which is basically “bad cholesterol”.

Fewer Chances of Getting Diabetes
Statistics say that “Women who eat at least one apple a day are 28% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.” This is because of the soluble fibers in apples. Not only that, but for people that currently have diabetes, apples can reduce the need of
insulin.

Losing Weight
Apples have a large quantity of fiber in them. This fiber keeps you full for a long period of time without consuming many calories. Perfect for losing weight. Apples also help maintain a healthy lifestyle because of the numerous nutrients in them.

There are many ways to enjoy apples and incorporate them into dishes. For example, you could make apple pie, apple crisp, fruit salad, or just eat it raw. Try it! “An apple a day [really does keep] the doctor away!”