Dr. Cynthia L. Ogden at the Centers for Disease Control reported this week that nearly 50% of Americans consume drinks containing sugar, such as soda and energy drinks on a daily basis. Five percent of this population drinks the equivalent of more than four cans of soda each day. Teenagers and young adults drink the most, with males consuming more sweet beverages than females. Most of the sugar drinks consumed outside of the home, are purchased at stores, not schools or restaurants, and lower- income individuals consume more sugary drinks than those with higher incomes (1).
Sugar drinks or sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are the largest source of added sugars in the diet of U.S. youths, and probably adults as well. Drinking excessive amount of calories contributes to the problem of obesity in this country (2). Previous studies have shown that the average teenager consumes about 300 calories a day from sugar-sweetened beverages. Over a period of a year, 300 calories/day is equivalent to an extra 30 pounds of weight!
The fat tissue around the belly, called abdominal or visceral fat, consists of immune-like cells that release pro-inflammatory cytokine molecules that result in body-wide inflammation. Extra weight around the midsection is linked to an increased risk of inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis (hardening and clogging of the arteries), heart attacks, diabetes, certain cancers, sleep apnea, arthritis, etc.
A healthy body controls the amount of inflammation it produces. Wellness is about maintaining “balance”, immune homeostasis. Balance one’s immune function and restore the proper and healthy balance of key systems that regulate the human body – metabolic, intestinal, hormonal, emotional, etc.–all mediated with the involvement of our immune systems.
An essential, simple step one can take to help the body regain immune and metabolic homeostasis and control weight, is to consume two or more servings/day of hyperimmune egg (http://www.HyperimmuneEgg.org ).
In addition, besides drinking less soda and other sugary beverages, incorporating the following steps will help achieve weight goals:
• Increase your physical activity-remember you have to use up more calories than you are consuming.
• Eat smaller portions then you typically consume.
• Increase intake of beans, nuts, lentils and colorful fruits and vegetables (berries, spinach, broccoli, etc.)
• Limit intake of:
Corn and potato processed products, (chips, nachos, French fries.)
White rice (use brown rice instead; it is higher in fiber and macronutrients)
Artificially-sweetened sodas and drinks—the body cannot tell the difference between “sweet”, and “sweet”
Rethink What You are Drinking: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/drinks.html