Why I Gave Up Soda

Why I Gave Up Soda was originally written for my church in May of 2012, but I needed to update it a little and repost it after watching That Sugar Film yesterday. I learned that the Coca-Cola Company funded research on fructose-containing sugar that, would you believe, showed no correlation between sugar and obesity, diabetes, heart disease...! The scientist who was interviewed in the film, John L Sievenpiper MD, states in the film that sugar isn't bad for us and in the same interview said that yes, COCA-COLA IS FUNDING THE RESEARCH, but that doesn't sway the results or findings. Yeah, okay.

In this interview, Sievenpiper says, "Let's say we took away added sugar. Well then, what're people gunna do, uh, to get that same feeling in their life that sugar gave them in terms of their values and preferences?" This makes me go, "hmmmm..." because research (not paid for by sugar-pushing companies who care nothing for the people buying their products) shows sugar is more addictive than cocaine. Here's what I heard come out of Sievenpiper's mouth:

Let's say we took away cocaine. Well then, what're the addicts gunna do, uh, to get that same feeling that cocaine gave them? 

Anyway, I get a little fired up because one of my values is justice and because of that value, I can never believe in scientific outcomes that are paid for by the big, corporate makers of poisonous drinks marketed to children and everyone else in the world. Yes, poisonous drinks (keep reading).

Why I Gave Up Soda - Authentic in My Skin

I drink soda. Okay, I should say that I drank soda until I began researching it for this article and I chose to research soda after hearing yet another person say to me, “I’ve lost such and such pounds from eating better and exercising and if drinking diet soda is my only vice, I’m okay with that.” Although I have fallen off the soda wagon (many times), it really bothers me to hear my fellow brothers and sisters work so hard to get healthy, but then keep drinking soda and think it’s okay. Dear One, let me explain that soda, diet or not, is absolutely horrendous for our bodies and we should not be okay with it being a regular part of our diets. I couldn’t say that before because I was drinking soda, too, and did not want to give it up. So I gave myself until graduation – get through finals and then quit! And to help me along, I began my soda research. Let me share with you what I’ve learned:

What's in Soda and Why?

Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) – this chemical, first patented as a flame retardant, is now used in soft drinks to prevent the soda flavoring from separating and floating. BVO is linked to the following symptoms: memory loss, nerve disorders, behavioral problems, infertility, and lesions on heart muscles over time. In addition, several neurological, psychiatric, gastrointestinal, and dermatological symptoms have been linked to BVO consumption. Although it has been known to have a variety of negative health effects, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has permitted a limited amount of this chemical to be used in soft drinks while additional studies are done.*

Phosphoric Acid – a key ingredient in soda, phosphoric acid is used in soda as a preservative, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial, slowing the growth of mold and bacteria that can develop. A flavor-enhancer, phosphoric acid also gives soda that nice acidic texture. However, PA is used to remove rust from metal and has been linked to lower bone mineral density, kidney problems, and accelerated aging (AJCN). Phosphoric acid also assists in removing enamel from your teeth.

According to a study published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice (IJCP), excess soda appears to cause blood potassium levels to fall to dangerously low levels. “Several lines of evidence suggest that the chronic consumption of large amounts of cola soft drinks may adversely affect potassium homeostasis and result in potentially severe conditions such as hypokalaemic myopathy.” This is a condition involving muscle weakness, cramps, palpitations, and vomiting that is caused by a potassium deficiency. For more adverse side effects, click the IJCP link above.

Bisphenol A (BPA) – in soda, BPA is used as a liner inside of the cans to keep the acids from reacting with the metal of the can. According to Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (formerly Breast Cancer Fund) and the International Journal of Andrology, BPA has been associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, miscarriages, breast and prostate cancer, reproductive dysfunction, metabolic dysfunction and diabetes, and neurological and behavioral disorders. Considered an endocrine disruptor (it messes with your hormones, best I can explain), Canada has banned BPA in certain food products, declaring it toxic to infants and children. And while the FDA has no plans at this time to follow suit, Campbell’s Soup is phasing BPA out of it’s products.**

4-Methylimidazole (4-MEI) – 4-what? Unpronounceable to regular people (like myself), this ingredient is the caramel coloring that makes soda brown. This ingredient contains carcinogens (which means “cancer-causing” in regular people terms) and has been added to a list of chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.

I'm not a doctor, chemist, or any sort of scientist, so I included links above for you to do your own research. However, you may not be in to that sort of thing so here are just a few more studies/details for you:

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) – There are many articles on the AJCN website pertaining to studies on the effects of soda on the body. Some results conclude that the consumption of added sugars (caloric sweeteners) to beverages, particularly carbonated soft drinks, has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

American Stroke Association – Preliminary studies presented at the International Stroke Conference show that the greater the intake of sugar-sweetened and low-calorie sodas, the significantly higher risk of stroke.

National Center for Biotechnology Information – Daily intake of sugary soft drinks lead to and increases fat storage in the liver and in muscle tissues. This daily intake is likely to enhance the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, as well as determining the level of insulin resistance, possibly predisposing a person to type 2 diabetes.

Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) – sweet-tasting soft drinks—regardless of whether they are sweetened with sugar or a calorie-free sugar substitute—might stimulate the appetite for other sweet, high-carbohydrate foods. Studies show an increase in risk of diabetes with increasing soft drink and fruit drink consumption.  For those of you trying to lose weight on artifical sweeteners, HSPH states: "One worry about artificial sweeteners is that they uncouple sweetness and energy. Until recently, sweet taste meant sugar, and thus energy. The human brain responds to sweetness with signals to, at first, eat more and then with signals to slow down and stop eating. By providing a sweet taste without any calories, artificial sweeteners could confuse these intricate feedback loops that involve the brain, stomach, nerves, and hormones. If this happens, it could throw off the body's ability to accurately gauge how many calories are being taken in." Your body also craves what you put in it. Stop drinking sweet sodas and you'll stop craving sweets.

Well, I hope you are now seriously considering giving up soda... FOR YOUR HEALTH!!  I am four days soda free.***  Let me know if you're joining me on this soda-free lifestyle and we'll celebrate together!!


Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Agree to Remove Flame Retardant Chemical from Their Products.
** Since the first post, research has come out that BPA-free may be just as horrible for us.
*** Make that 5 years soda free! Although I did cheat in 2015 by going on a Monster Java binge. Though it is not soda, it is in a can and probably just as toxic as soda, if not more. In my defense (ahem), the fibro-fatigue was killing me and I was desperate. 😉

To this updated post, I wanted to leave you with a fun video!

Free Online Health Summits: Empowering You to Take Control of Your Health

This post will continue to be updated as new summits are available so bookmark this page so you can stay informed! Last update: August 21, 2017

I have been learning so much about healing ourselves with food and herbs and the natural things of this earth. I can't get enough of the free online health summits that are going on every week. I feel hopeful that I don't have to be sick and hurting for the rest of my life. I feel empowered to say, "Enough is enough!" And I feel grateful for the hundreds of people behind these health summits and I hope by sharing them, you'll feel hopeful and empowered, too.

Free Online Health Summits - Empowering You to Take Control of Your Health - Authentic in My Skin - authenticinmyskin.com

So what are these health summits, you ask? They are interviews with experts in the field of functional medicine and nutrition, people who want to share their knowledge, what they have learned through not only their degrees and academics and patients, but what they learned in their own health journeys. Dr. Mark Hyman, for instance, was a practicing medical doctor when he became so sick with chronic pain, fatigue, digestive problems, and other ailments and his peers could not help him. He was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and the like and took his health in his own hands to heal himself. What he learned about the healing power of foods has made him one of the most sought after functional medicine doctors in the world. The Cleveland Clinic hired him to run their new Center for Functional Medicine, "the first academic medical center in the United States to embrace functional medicine."

Here are a list of the summits I've watched (click the titles or images for further information):

The Thyroid Secret

The Thyroid Secret - Authentic in My Skin - authenticinmyskin.com

Have you struggled with your health and the doctor's can't figure out what's wrong? You might have a thyroid autoimmune disease. Read my quick review of The Thyroid Secret here.

The Sweet Freedom Summit

Sweet Freedom Summit - Break Sugar Addiction - Authentic in My Skin - authenticinmyskin.com

Sugar is more addicting than cocaine and may be the reason you are overweight, fatigued, depressed, and just plain sick. And sugar is in everything - even foods marketed as healthy. Learn the strategy to end your sugar addiction for good! Interviews conducted by the beautiful Sherry Strong, Return to Food CEO and Founder. PS. This summit was amazing! It is tied with The Food Revolution (read further for that info) for first place on my list of best summits. 

The Global Stress Summit 

We're all overwhelmed and burned out, but did you know stress can be healthy for you? This summit gives you the knowledge and resources to adapt to challenges in an effective way. Interviews conducted by the very talented Dr. Heidi Hanna, Executive Director of the American Institute of Stress

The Food Revolution 

The Food Revolution - Authentic in My Skin - authenticinmyskin.com

"Millions of people are sick or dying from diseases that we know how to prevent and that are caused by crappy food — while a few unscrupulous food companies are making billions of dollars marketing the worst foods to children." 

Interviews conducted by John Robbins, the only son of the founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice-cream empire - he chose to walk away from it and pursue a healthy society. His son, Ocean, is his business partner. As I stated above, this is tied with The Sweet Freedom Summit for first place on my list of favorite summits because it was just phenomenal!

Microbiome Medicine 2 Summit 

 Microbiome Medicine Summit 2 - Authentic in My Skin - authenticinmyskin.com
"Microbiome" is the new word in health. So what is microbiome? Your greatest ally. The control center of your health. Or better yet, click here. To be honest, I'm looking forward to learning more about it so won't you join me? Interviews to be conducted by Dr. Raphael Kellman, author of The Microbiome Diet

Update: Originally written before the summit began, I later found this summit to be way over my head with scientific medical speak. I think my eyes (and brain) glazed over a lot while trying to learn from the experts, which means I didn't learn as much as I have with other summits. As I am a not a medical doctor or expert (as stated in my disclaimer) it was tough to swallow and very dry. Science geeks and medical people, however, would probably enjoy this. 

That Vitamin Summit 2!!! 

That Vitamin Summit 2 - Authentic in My Skin - authenticinmyskin.com

Yes, I'm super excited about this summit that starts on May 18, 2017! Everything you've ever wanted to know (and need to know) about vitamins and supplements. Even as a Certified Nutrition Specialist, I struggled with these so I'll be waiting... Interviews conducted by Andrew Saul whose website is "the largest, non-commercial, natural health resource on the internet."

Chronic Lyme Disease Summit 2

Chronic Lyme Disease Summit 2 - Authentic in My Skin - authenticinmyskin.com

Did you know, over 150 symptoms could point to Lyme disease and 300,000+ people per year contract Lyme. It’s a present-day epidemic that’s terribly difficult to diagnose, but this summit has many interviews covering expert protocols that could radically improve the life of someone with Lyme. Hosted by Dr. Jay Davidson.

Chronic Headache and Migraine Summit

Chronic Headache Migraine Summit, Authentic in My Skin - authenticinmyskin.com
Headache solutions often only address the symptoms, not the cause. This summit gathers world-renowned clinicians and researchers to help you look more deeply at the root causes of your headache (and migraine) pain. Hosted by Marta Taylor, Erin Knight, and Dr. Corey Schuler.

Immune Defense Summit

Immune Defense Summit - Authentic in My Skin - authenticinmyskin.com

Learn about the best protocols to prevent illness and defeat diseases like autoimmune disorders, cancer, heart disease and the looming threat of "superbugs," which are on pace to be MORE deadly than any other health condition. It’s time to give your immune system what it needs to protect your health and these experts can help you. Hosted by Jonathan Landsman, host also of Natural Health 365.

The following summits are playing soon so make sure you register:

Interpreting Your Genetics

These experts teach you best practices for using genetic/genomic information to alter your lifestyle, guide treatment and create better health! Learn about your predisposition for diseases and how to minimize manifestation, genetic health traits your children are likely to inherit, whether your medications and supplements are right for you, how to unlock previously unsolved health challenges and more. Hosted by James Maskell of Evolution of Medicine.
August 21, 2017 — August 28, 2017

GMOs Revealed

GMOs Revealed - Authentic in My Skin - authenticinmyskin.com
What are we not being told? GMOs ARE POISON. People and animals that eat genetically modified food crops are consuming high levels of toxic glyphosate herbicide. There is an unholy marriage of toxic glyphosate herbicide and foods genetically engineered to tolerate large doses of it. It’s silently poisoning our land, food, and us!
August 22, 2017 - August 31, 2017

Mental Wellness Summit 2

Mental Wellness Summit 2 - Authentic in My Skin - authenticinmyskin.com
It's time we talk about mental health and luckily, it's becoming more and more a necessary conversation instead of the "hush, hush" stigma of days long gone. In this summit, you'll learn effective forms of integrative, holistic care that tap into the natural beauty and strength of your mind, body and spirit. Hosted by Dr. John DempsterRoss McKenzie, and Jonas Koffler.
September 25, 2017 — October 2, 2017

Arthritis Summit

Arthritis Summit - Authentic in My Skin - authenticinmyskin.com

Information Coming Soon - Summit Dates: October 9, 2017 — October 16, 2017

The Truth About Cancer
The Truth About Cancer - Authentic in My Skin - authenticinmyskin.com
You’ll discover the most effective ways to prevent and beat cancer — from 131 of the world’s top experts — that you won’t hear about elsewhere. While this summit already aired earlier this year, there will be a special three day live event airing in October so stay tuned!

Even though some of these summits have already aired, you can still register for them (to watch a couple of the expert interviews) and can also purchase them with all interviews, transcripts, and a plethora of bonus gifts from the experts (such as ebooks, health courses, mp3s). 

Empower yourself to take back control of your body and your life!
K.Rae - Authentic in My Skin - authenticinmyskin.com