4 Unhealthy Drinks You Should Stop Buying
Bottled water is drinking water (e.g., well water, distilled water, mineral water, or spring water) packaged in plastic or glass water bottles. Bottled water may be carbonated or not. Bottled water might well deserve the title of environmental enemy No. 1. Here are key things to know about bottled water as revealed by According to Prevention.com.
17 million barrels of oil are used to produce plastic bottles in the US alone—and that’s not even counting the transportation needed to ship all that oil and all those bottles. The United States go through a whopping 5.35 billion pounds of PET plastic (which water bottles are made from) a year, only a third of which gets recycled. Much of that waste ends up in oceans, where it harms wildlife and our ecosystem.
Flavored waters are often loaded with sugar, artificial sweeteners like aspartame, synthetic flavorings, and even food coloring—none of which belong in anyone’s diet. If you’re craving a little something extra with your ice water, add in some fresh fruit to give it a natural flavor boost.
If your ground coffee is infused with “hazelnut vanilla” or “pumpkin spice flavor,” that’s a sign you might be drinking both artificial and natural flavors in your morning brew. But what are they really? According to the Environmental Working Group, people often prefer to see “natural flavors” on a label—it’s more reassuring than “artificial,” which sounds fake and nasty. However, there’s very little difference between the two. The distinction is that natural flavors must originate in plants or animals, while artificial ones are synthesized in a lab, though often they will contain exactly the same chemical structures. Both are mixtures of chemicals—sometimes as many as 100—that contain solvents, emulsifiers, and preservatives in addition to the flavoring agents themselves. These ingredients aren’t disclosed on labels, but they often include additives like BHT and BHA, which have been associated with cancer. Avoid flavored brews and dress up your joe with ingredients from your spice cabinet, such as ground cinnamon or pure vanilla extract.
According to a research that appeared in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society, diet soda drinkers are more likely to gain nearly three times as much belly fat as regular soda drinkers over a 10-year period, even after accounting for things like age, exercise, and smoking habits. Extra tummy weight is associated with cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and increased rates of mortality.