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Is Your Favorite Drink Equivalent to a Box of Ice Cream Bars?

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Is it time to re-think your drink?  Women's Health Magazine released its list of what it calls "worst drinks".  We caught up with a doctor of nutrition at Town Center Wellness in Sugar Land to get his take on it.  He says it's definitely important to read labels, to find the healthy choices!  "I think manufacturers are using a lot of buzz words right now and one of them is anti-oxidants. 

We know it's good for us - most people don't know why, but to indicate that on a bottle dictates it might be healthy!  So instead of reading a label intelligently, a lot of people just trust that buzz word on the bottle, a window dressing," says Dr. Osborne.  

   Anti-oxidants are great, but Dr. Osborne says, not if a lot of sugar has to be added, to make them taste good.  Here's a list of Women's Health Magazine's worst drinks and what foods they compare them to, as far as sugar grams is concerned.  

  •     Snapple Agave Melon Antioxidant water (20 oz) = 3 huge bowls of sugary cereal          (33 g sugar)
  •     Snapple Lemon Iced Tea (20 oz) = 6 fudge ice cream bars  (58 g sugar)  
  •     Starbuck's Coffee Frappuccino = 3 1/2 scoops of rich ice cream (46 g sugar)
  •     Sunkist (20 oz)  = 17 chocolate chips cookies (88 g sugar)
  •     Rockstar Energy Drink (16 ox) = 8 chocolate-drizzled rice crispy treats (62 g sugar)
  •     Sunny D Smooth Style (16 oz)  = 8 chocolate waffles (60 g sugar)
  •     Minute Maid Lemonade (20 oz) =     5 ice cream bars (67 g sugar)
  •     Sobe Lizard Lava (20 oz) = 11 Popcicles  (75 g sugar)     
  •     Arizona Kiwi Strawberry (23 1/2 oz) = 7 large bowls sugary cereal (84 g sugar)
  •     Nesquik Chocolate Milk (16 oz) = 4 oatmeal cream pies (60 g sugar)
  •     Naked Protein Zone Banana Chocolate (15 1/2 oz) = 5 Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches     (70 g sugar)
  •     

    You've probably heard since you were a child that sugar decays your teeth.  Dr. Osborne warns, the health risks of sugar go far beyond that.  "Sugar is a carcinogen!  If it came to the market today as a brand new food, it would probably be banned as an illegal substance, because it's such a disease-causing agent.  We know it's linked to diabetes.  We know it causes cancer and promotes cancer cell growth!  Sugar can contribute to arthritis, diabetes, it can contribute to metabolic syndrome," he says.
    He encourages his clients not to turn to artificial sweetners, to replace sugar.  "There are going to be less calories, but don't just worry about calories.  Artificial sweeteners can still stimulate the release of hormones that regulate blood sugar.  They act a lot like sugar, and can create the same diseases as sugar can, just without the calories.  They can still be as equally detrimental, especially for diabetics.  Diabetics are under the auspice they can consume diet products and contain level controls, but that's not true," explains Dr. Osborne.  
    He also encourages his patients to limit drinking juice, as he he compares most fruit juice to "sugar water".   "One of the biggest problems today:  Moms think fruit juice is a healthy alternative for children.  Most of  your fruit juice over the counter is highly pasteurized, so most of the nutritional value in the juice is destroyed by high heating, so you're left with a lot of sugar and no nutrients," says Dr. Osborne.
      So, if you're trying to protect your children's teeth and health, or get bathing suit ready this season, it's important to check out those nutrition labels, and not be tricked by flab-causing fluids.   Dr. Osborne suggests you get used to drinking good old-fashioned tap water, as he believes it's the healthiest choice.  "Make sure you have a good filter!  A lot of times, the city water filtration is not designed to pull out the petrochemicals or other things.  Forty prescription medications can be found in water in Houston, so my advice is a whole house filter.  If it's not in your budget, put something on your tap directly.  Two filters to do the best job!  One is reverse osmosis, and the other is a combination of carbon and KDF - those will pull out the pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals," he explains.  Dr. Osborne suggests you consider going one step further than just the filter on your refrigerator.  "Depending on the filter, a lot of those are generalized carbon filters.  A lot of them are going to pull chlorine out and remove malicious odors, but can't pull pharmaceuticals and other chemicals out," he explains.      
    I did leave a phone message at Snapple's Headquarters in Dallas, but have not have not had a chance to speak to them yet.
    You can check out Women's Health Magazine's "Eat This, Not That" article, by going to:  http://eatthis.womenshealthmag.com/slideshow/worst-beverages-supermarket?cm_mmc=ETNTNL-_-1230302-_-03162013-_-moreon2
    You can also get more information from Dr. Osborne at:  www.towncenterwellness.com.

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