Selecting what’s best for you and the family in today’s supermarket is not an easy chore. So may imports, so many additives, so much variety. However, it is very important to your health and well being to get it right. The old saying ‘what you eat and drink today walks and talks tomorrow’, was never more applicable.
So let’s have a look at a few in the Naughty and Nice category. We’ll start with a tough one.
Diet Soft Drink: A story that travelled the internet some time ago is still relevant today. The article told of a young woman in the USA who had all the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis at an advanced stage, and she believed she was near death. She was in constant pain and couldn’t walk. Most fortunately, a relative, who was aware that she drank an excessive amount of Diet soft drink, suggested she give it up for a time. She did, and her recovery was nothing but miraculous. She went on to live a completely normal and healthy life.
The villain was ‘Aspartame’, used in the soft drink as a sweetener. Dr. Espart explained that when the temperature of this sweetener exceeded 86 degrees F., the wood alcohol in it would convert to formaldehyde, and then into formic acid causing metabolic acidosis. (Perhaps sugar isn’t so bad after all! )
Fizzy Soft Drinks: Though not as serious as above, these drinks are now linked to young children becoming aggressive, inattentive and withdrawn. Statistics show that children who have more than 4 soft dinks in a day are twice as likely to get into fights or damage other children’s property. A survey of 3000 mothers of 5 year olds showed a direct link in the amount of drink consumed to aggressive behaviour. Possible causes are additives and preservatives, and sudden spikes in glucose levels.
Butter vs Margarine: There is still quite a difference of opinion amongst the academics on this debate. Dietician Catlin Reid thinks Margarine is better because it contains less saturated fat (20 % compared to Butter at 50 % ). Whereas Naturopath Belinda Kilpatrick says Butter is best because it contains the important fat soluble vitamins A,D,E & K plus iodine. Then again, Susie Burrel, Nutritionist, believes the bottom line is ‘the least fat wins’. So she goes with Margarine, but states that it must be polyunsaturated.
Well, if you think that leaves you back where you started, I’ll pass on this little story (unconfirmed). ‘Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys. It was later introduced for human consumption, but a yellow colouring first had to be added to the unattractive white pasty substance. Its critics said it had no nutritional value, doesn’t deteriorate or grow mould if you leave it outside, and even the fruit fly will not go near it.’ (Why manufacture what Nature provides?)
Coffee: Much has been said about this beverage over the years, some good, some bad. But recently, researchers in Singapore had good news. They found that 4 cups a day would reduce fat in the liver. There should not be any fat in the liver, as it can cause inflammation, fibrosis and cirrhosis. This fat reduction is therefor important as there has been a rise in NAFLD (non alcoholic fatty liver disease) along with the rise in obesity and diabetes in most Western societies.
Red, Red Wine: Let’s finish on happy note. In moderation, Red (not white) Wine is good for you. It builds up good cholesterol and reduces the bad. It improves the immune system, eyesight and memory. It contains a substance called ‘Resveratrol’ which is so good for you that a pill is now being made with it for general good health. (I think I’ll still take it the old fashion way).