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Is It Time To Re-Think What You Drink?

Most people who are watching their weight tend to obsess about the type of food they consume without considering the number of calories, or nasty chemicals that may be lurking in the beverages they drink every day. Carbonated drinks come in many guises, all cleverly packaged to make them appear like a healthy choice. Here are some examples commonly seen on the supermarket shelves:

"Natural" artificially sweetened fizzy drinks, containing ingredients like apple and elderflower.
"Diet" drinks to help maintain a calorie controlled diet.
"Sports" drinks to give you energy.

Believe it or not, none of these soft drinks are very good for you.

Most carbonated soft drinks contain artificial sweeteners to appeal to consumers, leading people to believe that they are a good choice if you're trying to lose weight. However most people are unaware that chemicals like aspartame, saccharin and xylitol that are frequently used to give drinks their sweet taste, can have unexpected side effects for dieters, and may not be as calorie friendly as the adverts would have you believe.

Recent studies at Purdue University have shown that contrary to popular belief these so called "diet drinks" can actually contribute to weight gain. This is because they disrupt your body's ability to count calories, and contribute to an increased appetite.

It works like this...

The chemicals in artificially sweetened drinks trick your brain into thinking you've consumed calories when in fact, you haven't. At the same time, your pancreas releases insulin, an important hormone directly related to the process of accumulating body fat. This means that although you'll feel satisfied in the short term, you won't feel full, so your brain gives you the signal to overeat. It isn't just the diet drinks that can catch you out. Drinking low fat, or skimmed milk isn't necessarily much better. That skinny latte you thought was a healthy option, may also be tricking your brain in a similar way to the zero calorie sodas.

Here's how:

Drinking a large, full fat, milky coffee or hot chocolate makes you feel full. Drink the same version but with low fat skimmed milk, and you don't get the same feeling of satisfaction, so you'll soon have the desire to consume more.

It's simple, if you don't feel full or satisfied, you'll end up eating more.

Scientists are slowly beginning to realise that listening to your body, and eating nutritious food in as close to a natural state as possible, is much better for your health than obsessively counting calories. The message seems to be that trying to eat less makes you eat badly. Avoid opting for the processed or refined version of your food. This way you'll be less likely to crave sugar and fat and more likely to provide your body with the nutrition that it needs.

For more advice on diet and nutrition, or to make an appointment with one of our trained naturopathic practitioners, call the clinic today on 07 5562 5211 to see how we can help.

29 November