Obesity is a problem that millions of people have to deal with in the world today. Doctors will try their best to put people on low-fat diets, but considering how people still struggle with their obesity, it makes you think twice about it. I have often wondered if the fat in our diet is really behind the obesity epidemic, so it was time for a biology refresher.
Taking a Look at the Way the Body Works
Our body loves glucose and it uses it for energy. Every cell in the body can metabolize glucose and it burns easily without toxic leftovers. Glucose can even let your brain know when you’re full but the issue is not in glucose, but in fructose. It is found in sucrose and the liver metabolizes it. It is recognized as an alcohol but it doesn’t have the same effects. As the liver converts it to bad fats, it enters the body without telling your brain to stop eating. That is why we can chug multiple glasses of soda and never feel full.
The Problem with Fructose
Fructose is something that is often found in processed foods. It is even found in foods that are ‘low-fat’. When it is used as an additive, it helps foods that would otherwise taste horrible, since they are lacking fat, to be palatable.
Interestingly, fructose is also found in fruit but it is combined with fiber so absorption is very low. That isn’t the case with processed foods that rarely ever have fiber.
The Benefits of Replacing Fructose
It is possible to remove much of the fructose from our diet and one of the best places to start is with soda. Any type of fizzy drink is horrible for your health and should be replaced with something else, such as lemon juice in water. When you do it, the results are easy to see.
You may also want to try adding some green tea to your diet. It contains theanine, which stimulates the alpha waves and acts as a medicine. If you need a sweetener, use a natural sweetener, such as Stevia.
The Real Problems with Soda
Did you realize that every day, the world is buying some 1.6 billion servings of Coke? That is true, even though Coke is a proven harmful item to add to your diet. Don’t believe me? Check out this time-based breakdown of how Coke affects the human body.
1. Within 10 minutes
After drinking Coke you are loading up your system with 10 teaspoons of sugar, the normal recommended daily allowance. It hits your body all at once and because of certain additives, including phosphoric acid, your body doesn’t even recognize it.
2. Within 20 Minutes
After your body has been exposed to the sugar rush, your insulin levels spike. There is enough sugar in your system now to allow your liver to convert it to fat very quickly. Research has been done on mice and when fructose is in the liver, it converts the majority of it to fat and creates insulin resistance. This is an issue that leads to obesity and type II diabetes. It can also cause heart disease and cancer.
3. Within 40 Minutes
The caffeine contained within Coca-Cola is absorbed within 40 minutes. Your pupils dilate and your blood pressure begins to go up. At that point, your liver releases the fat into your body all at once. The adenosine receptors in the brain keep you from getting sleepy.
4. Within Five Minutes
Your brain releases dopamine. It creates a psychostimulant effect that works similarly to heroin. At this point, you probably feel extra energy.
5. Within 60 Minutes
The phosphoric acid that you consumed with Coca-Cola now works its way into the lower intestines. It binds to calcium, magnesium and zinc. Your metabolism starts to drop and if you included any artificial sweeteners, calcium will be dumped into the urine.
6. After 60 Minutes Have Passed
Caffeine will contribute to excess urination. Any of the calcium, zinc and magnesium that have bonded and were headed for your bones are now ejected through the urine. It also removes sodium, water and electrolytes from your system. According to research, the output of urine along with sodium chloride, calcium, magnesium and water is higher in the two hours after consuming caffeine compared to other beverages.
7. When the Effects Start to Die down
Caffeine doesn’t last forever and as it slowly goes away, it also pulls the energy out of your body. The diuretic effect associated with caffeine has also caused your body to be depleted of calcium and salts that may have made your bones and teeth stronger.
A Word from the Research
Coke might be tasty but it is not harmless. Harvard conducted research that showed that only one can of coke daily could increase your risk of heart problems by 20%. Regular consumption might lead to obesity. It also promotes inflammation throughout the body. 43,000 men were analyzed, including the former president of Coca-Cola, Sandy Douglas. He drinks less than one can per day.
What Can Be Done?
Moderation is really the key but it is also the problem. 48% of Americans who were surveyed in a Gallup poll admitted that they drank soda regularly. The average intake was 2.6 glasses every day. Limiting yourself as to how much you have on a daily basis can help to improve your health and allow you to avoid some of the negative consequences associated with it.