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Soft drink cartel vs your health

 

by Bob Livingston

The soft drink cartel spends millions of dollars a year paying athletes to promote their sugar and sugar substitute-laced sports beverages and vitamin waters. This creates the impression that good health, active lifestyles and consumption of those beverages go hand-in-hand.

A study published in the journal Pediatrics in November 2013 found that parents perceived athlete-endorsed products as healthier than non-endorsed products. But the cartel isn’t just buying athletes. It’s also buying medical organizations, dieticians, university academics, medical professionals, fitness experts, authors and chefs.

An initiative by Coca-Cola called the Global Energy Balance Network spent $120 million on grants to medical, health and community organizations in the U.S over the last five years. Much of it went to pay for “research” and support health and well-being partnerships. The message that came from the bought research and from the lips and pens of “health professionals” was that soft drinks are synonymous with active lifestyles and that lack of exercise — not empty calories and sugars — is a main contributor to obesity.

But what they rarely mention — especially those who support “sports” drinks that are supposed to re-hydrate you and re-mineralize your body — is that consuming soft drinks and other sugary drinks causes your potassium levels to decrease significantly. This deficiency can lead to muscle weakness, extreme fatigue and even paralysis.

Greek researchers discovered six reports of cola-induced potassium deficiency. Now, the range of consumption equaled two to nine liters of cola per day. This may seem excessive, the researchers stated in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, but stressed that “it is not rare.”

Other effects of potassium deficiency include:

  • Increased blood pressure levels
  • Decreased mental clarity
  • Skin irritations
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Constipation and other digestive issues

Stroke threat 

What about strokes and potassium?

High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke and heart attack. But whereas doctors have everyone convinced that low salt means low blood pressure and less risk of stroke, it’s high dietary potassium that lowers blood pressure and eliminates strokes.

This has been known for years, although today’s medical mafia are only out to get salt. Meanwhile an industry bible, The New England Journal of Medicine, forcefully outlined the importance of potassium in 1987.

Eating food with more potassium can protect against crippling strokes and premature death, even when it doesn’t decrease blood pressure.

A small amount of daily dietary potassium, as little as the amount in one banana, can produce a significant reduction in strokes. This small and obviously easy to achieve increase in dietary potassium reduces the risk of stroke by 40 percent.

This result is achieved regardless of any other dietary variable, including fat intake, fiber intake or protein intake.

Increasing dietary potassium by a slightly larger amount can indeed lower blood pressure however, giving you a double benefit of heart protection as well as protection for the brain. It is extremely important to understand that it takes far less potassium to lower stroke-related deaths than to reduce blood pressure. 

Researchers found that when women consumed 2,600 mgs of potassium per day (about 3 1/3 Irish potatoes), there were no stroke-related deaths at all. In men the amount was 2,964 mgs per day which eliminated all strokes (but not all high blood pressure).

Snacking on apricots, or eating sweet potatoes, baked with the skin on, are a very tasty way to get a good amount of dietary potassium, which is the only way you should get more. Cantaloupe, avocadoes and prune juice are also good sources, but prunes aren’t my favorite to drink, and most people are certainly not going to replace their soda with prune juice!

My personal solution is to always have fresh green coconuts around and simply drink the water. Did you know that coconut water — the clear liquid inside a young coconut — works extremely well as a sports/hydration drink because of its high potassium and mineral content? One cup-full of coconut water contains more electrolytes than most sports drinks and more potassium than a banana. It is also sterile, nearly isotonic to human blood and can be used as an IV hydration fluid when medical saline is unavailable, making young coconuts excellent to have in case of an emergency as well.

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