See The Unhealthy Drinks You Should Stop Buying
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 Today’s Dietician, flavored water is often seen as a healthier alternative to soda—it’s got “water” in its name, so you don’t need to feel guilty about drinking it daily or giving it to your kids, right? Not so fast. 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.
It’s no secret that the high sugar content of regular soda isn’t exactly good for you, but don’t think you can get around the negative health side effects by switching to diet. Recent research that appeared in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society found that diet soda drinkers were 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.