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    Archive for the ‘diet soda’ Category

    Phew! The Fashion Industry Approves of Diet Pepsi

    1_Diet_Pepsi_Skinny_Can.sff_300Excellent news, dear readers: that pinnacle of health known as the fashion industry embraces Diet Pepsi and its new “skinny can”.  Raise your glass of sugar-free Red Bull  — and an appetite-curbing cancer stick — to that!

    No, really.  Here are some recent tweets written — or ReTweeted — by @dietpepsi in the last 48 hours during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City:

    Continue Reading »

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    Pepsi Max is for Men, Dammit!

    DSC02552

    Food and Gender exhibit: 24,607,186,037

    I recently shared this most amusing photograph of a Pepsi Max billboard in Los Angeles (kindly submitted by a Small Bites reader).

    Executives at Pepsi are hoping the soft drink — a one-calorie diet soda with twice the caffeine of regular Diet Pepsi and spiked with ginseng, 1999’s hottest herbal supplement — will become a hit among men who… are currently too ashamed to order sodas with the word “diet” in them?

    The billboard in question, bearing the tagline “the first diet cola for men”, showed a Pepsi Max can crushed by what we assume was a strong and burly male hand.

    As if that wasn’t ridiculous enough (artificial sweeteners, last I heard, were gender-neutral), I was exposed to more of the Pepsi Max multi-million dollar publicity machine this past weekend in New York City.

    I was casually strolling the Meatpacking District (think celeb hotspot, a la “OMG, this is the restaurant where Lindsay Lohan puked in the plants after losing the dance-off to Paris Hilton!”) Friday night when I came across approximately fifteen high-end sports car parked along the sidewalk, all bearing the Pepsi Max logo.

    One block down, outside the trendy Gansevoort Hotel (ready for another OMG! moment?  The rooftop bar is where an episode of The Real Housewives of New York City was filmed!), stood the Pepsi Max Fantasy World truck.DSC02559

    The back third of the truck was all glass, where an underpaid college student with aspirations to be a model type danced “provocatively” (by that I mean looked bored stiff while occasionally moving her hips and running her fingers through her hair.)

    To gain access to the rest of the truck, where only five people were allowed at one time, you were required to get a poker chip (get it?  it’s for men!) from one of ten promoters.

    They were easy to spot — tall, slightly underfed, way too excited about Pepsi Max, and sporting baby tees with the soft drink’s logo on them.

    After a ten minute wait in line, I handed my poker chip to a burly bodyguard type and hopped on the truck.  A girl closed the door and shimmied as she pulled back a curtain and asked, “Are you ready to have your fantasies fulfilled?”

    Apparently, Pepsi Max’s idea of a fantasy is playing a hand of Texas Hold ‘Em in a makeshift bar (decorated with sports memorabilia because, for the 1,786,937th time, this particular concoction of high fructose corn syrup and carbonation is for men) while a cocktail waitress serves cans of Pepsi Max.

    The winner of the hand was gifted a T-shirt and a deck of cards, while everyone else walked away with a deck of cards.  I am sure it is absolutely coincidental that they look like a pack of cigarettes.

    Oh, and who can miss the ever-so-subtle “I scored” double entendre.

    DSC02566Undoubtedly, Pepsi wants heterosexual males drinking Pepsi Max.  And, apparently, their marketing team decided to pay an homage to Married With Children’s Al Bundy.

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    What Gender Is Your Soda?

    roadtrip-los-angeles-001Last week, one of my posts analyzed the cultural and gendered implications of President Obama’s hamburger run featured in the NBC White House special.

    Whether or not they agreed with my my viewpoint of what I perceived as subtle messages sent out by the Obama camp by selecting Five Guys hamburger chain as their to-go lunch spot, many readers have mentioned they have become more aware of the social constructions and symbolisms attributed to food.

    In any case, Small Bites reader Quinn Andrus was reminded of my “food and gender” post (and generous enough to e-mail me!) when she came across the billboard you see in the accompanying picture while traveling in Los Angeles.

    Apparently, even soda is gendered (or at least that’s what Pepsi wants male consumers to believe).

    To prove this point, the ad features a crushed soda can (Arrrrggghhh!  Me man.  Me mad soda is done.  Me crush can!!!).

    What apparently makes this zero-calorie, sugar-free soda “manly” is its increased caffeine content.  Interestingly enough, Pepsi Max wasn’t advertised this way under its previous name — Diet Pepsi Max.

    So, basically, we come back to the idea of heathy eating and caloric restriction as “womanly.”  A “real man” would never be seen drinking something with the word Diet on it.  Apparently, playing into those stereotypes makes some advertising executives very rich, folks.

    And while we’re on the topic of gender, how amazing is the advertisement directly below the Pepsi ad?  Why do I have a feeling it’s not a coincidence, either?

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    You Ask, I Answer: Soda & Calcium

    At 24, I was recently diagnosed with osteopenia.

    I know you’ve said that soda can cause calcium to be leached from your bones because of the phosphoric acid in it, but does this apply to all carbonated beverages?

    What about sparkling water?

    I want to make sure I’m getting enough calcium from my diet.

    — Sarah (last name withheld)
    New York, NY

    As you state, sodas can cause calcium to be leached from bones due to the presence of phosphoric acid (if this is news to you, please see this post for details).

    Not all carbonated beverages contain phosphoric acid; you’ll usually find that particular ingredient in cola beverages (rather than lemon-lime sodas or club sodas).

    In any case, it is always wise to take a peek at the ingredient list for reassurance.

    Keep in mind that phosphoric acid in soda calcium leaching is only a problem if your calcium consumption is insufficient.

    Someone who meets their daily calcium requirement and drinks one can of soda a day is in a very different — and much less worrisome — situation from someone who only gets 40 percent of their daily calcium requirement and drinks three cans of soda on a daily basis.

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    You Ask, I Answer: Phenylketoneuria/Phenylalanine

    Every time I pick up a pack of gum, I see a warning that says “phenylketoneurics: contains phenylalanine”

    What IS phenylalanine and why would it need to have a warning associated with it?

    I’m concerned because I enjoy chewing gum while I’m working out but haven’t been lately because of this additive.

    Any insight you could give me on this would be really helpful

    — Leigh Simpson
    Clarksboro, NJ

    There is a genetic condition known as phenylketoneuria (PKU) in which people lack an enzyme called phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH).

    PAH is necessary to convert phenylalanine (an essential amino acid) into tyrosine (a non-essential amino acid).

    Just to be clear: phenylalanine is NOT an artificial additive.

    Without that enzyme, phenylalanine accumulates in the body and, rather than get converted into tyrosine, is metabolized into phenylpyruvate.

    Adults diagnosed with PKU who do not monitor their phenylalanine intake put themselves at great risk for seizures, concentration problems, mental confusion, and impaired memory.

    Pregnant women with PKU need to be particularly careful, as an improper diet will negatively effect the brain development of the fetus.

    Newborn babies are screened for PKU since an inadequate diet (high in phenylalanine) causes irreversible mental disability.

    The only way to treat this is through diet modification; specifically, limiting phenylalanine intake.

    Food sources high in phenylalanine include whole grains, fish, dairy, soybeans, nuts, and dark green leafy vegetables. In a PKU diet, all of these foods must be completely avoided.

    Although some small companies now sell low-protein breads and cookies for the PKU population, most affected individuals rely on prescribed phenylalanine-free protein mixtures and formulas that can be incorporated into their diet.

    Since aspartame also contains high levels of phenylalanine, products containing the artificial sweetener (including diet sodas and sugar-free chewing gum) must carry a warning label.

    The only people who should be concerned with phenylalanine are those with PKU; otherwise, you have absolutely no reason to worry.

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    In The News: Can Sodas Succeed with Stevia?

    More Stevia controversy.

    This time, it revolves around two soft drink giants — Coca Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. — desperate to gain back customers after experiencing tumbling sales this year.

    “Coca-Cola Co. will begin selling products made with [the] new zero-calorie sweetener despite no official nod from [the Food & Drug Administration], but rival PepsiCo Inc. said Monday it won’t follow suit,” reports today’s San Francisco Chronicle.

    Pepsi actually has two Stevia-sweetened drinks on deck, but is waiting to launch them until the sweetener receives a “generally recognized as safe” moniker from the FDA.

    “A no-calorie, all-natural sweetener is a huge opportunity for the beverage industry,” Morgan Stanley spokesperson Bill Pecoriello said at today’s Beverage Digest conference.

    A huge opportunity to trick consumers into thinking these beverages are “healthy” and perhaps even a viable solution to the obesity problem?

    My concern is that among all this Stevia joy, the main problem is being overlooked: soda — diet or not — is usually consumed with unhealthy foods.

    Most people usually pair it up with chips, pizza, fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, and other high-calorie fare.

    Complementing four slices of pepperoni pizza with a Stevia-based, rather than Splenda-based, soda isn’t exactly that great of an improvement.

    And although stevia is the least Frankenstein-ish of non-caloric sweeteners, all sodas contain phosphoric acid, which isn’t something you want to consume on a daily basis.

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    Numbers Game: Fill ‘Er Up!

    The average United States citizen consumes ____ gallons of soda per year.

    (Source: 2007 What America Drinks report, carried out by the Milk Processor Education Program)

    a) 56
    b) 31
    d) 14
    c) 42

    Leave your guess in the “comments” section and come back on Monday for the answer!

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    Numbers Game: Fill ‘Er Up!

    The average United States citizen consumes ____ gallons of soda per year.

    (Source: 2007 What America Drinks report, carried out by the Milk Processor Education Program)

    a) 56
    b) 31
    d) 14
    c) 42

    Leave your guess in the “comments” section and come back on Monday for the answer!

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    You Ask, I Answer: Osteoporosis

    I am a 56 year old woman diagnosed with osteoporosis.

    I would like to know the best way to incorporate calcium [in]to my diet.

    — Maria Barbosa
    Argentina

    Before I answer your specific question, let’s briefly discuss the larger issue.

    Osteoporosis — a condition in which bone tissue deteriorates and bone density decreases, thereby weakening the skeletal system (see accompanying illustration) — is especially prevalent among women.

    In the United States alone, it is estimated that approximately 10 million adults currently live with osteoporosis, and an astounding 75 percent of them are women.

    In case you are wondering about the difference between these two groups, a decline in estrogen at menopause is associated with decreased bone density.

    Men, meanwhile, are protected by testosterone. Although testosterone levels decrease with age, they are still at a sufficient range to guard against the onset of osteoporosis.

    Since osteoporosis is “symptom free” (you don’t feel weak, bloated, tired, or get headaches), it is completely feasible to develop it and be completely unaware of this for years.

    To discuss how osteoporosis starts – and how to make the necessary changes once diagnosed with it – let’s go back to the beginning.

    Our bones are a vast storage unit for a handful of minerals, especially calcium.

    It’s important to have a strong reserve of calcium because we lose it on a daily basis.

    All bodily excretions (sweat, urine, and feces) contain calcium, and our nails require it for production and growth.

    Calcium is also needed for a variety of bodily functions (i.e.: forming blood clots).

    Consume adequate amounts of this mineral every day and you easily replenish any losses.

    If calcium intake is insufficient, that’s where the problem begins.

    The body, desperate for calcium, doesn’t find any circulating in the blood and goes to the trusted storage unit for some.

    In turn, bones are demineralized and broken down.

    Imagine this happening on a daily basis for ten, twenty, even thirty years!

    By the time you hit the fifty or sixty year-old mark, your bones are — not surprisingly — quite fragile and acutely demineralized.

    Although many people automatically equate osteoporosis with calcium, there are other factors to keep in mind.

    A crucial one is Vitamin D, which helps our bodies absorb calcium (this is why you often see calcium supplements also containing Vitamin D).

    As I have explained before, Vitamin D is not found in many foods (the best source is actually the sun).

    If you live in an area of the world that does not receive much sunlight for five or so months of the year, or if your dermatologist has strongly recommended you always use UV-proof skin lotions, you run the risk of being significantly deficient.

    The solution? Reach for a daily supplement! Aim for 1,000 International Units a day.

    Protein also plays a role in preventing osteoporosis.

    Both sides of the spectrum – not getting enough or getting too much – are problematic.

    A lack of protein in the diet will hinder the body’s ability to repair and rebuild bone tissue.

    An excess, meanwhile, results in urine outputs with higher calcium levels than normal.

    Phosphoric acid is also worth paying attention to. Found in regular and diet sodas, it disturbs the body’s calcium balance mechanism, often resulting in calcium being leeched from bones.

    Sodium – a mineral the majority of people in the United States overconsume– also plays a role in osteoporosis.

    High sodium intakes increase calcium losses through the urine (a result of the body attempting to keep various mineral levels proportional).

    With all that in mind, how can you be proactive about lowering your risk of developing osteoporisis (and maintaing what bone mass you do have at the time you are diagnosed with it)?

    From a nutritional standpoint, make sure you get sufficient amounts of calcium and Vitamin D and that you do not surpass maximum recommendations for sodium and protein.

    Aim for 800 – 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day.

    To answer your question, all dairy products are a great source, as are tofu, almonds, oats, and any fortified products.

    Spinach, however, is one food that gets way too much credit.

    Although it offers substantial amounts of various nutrients, don’t put it in your osteoporosis defense kit.

    Spinach offers significant amounts of calcium, but also contains high levels of oxalate, a compound that binds to calcium and greatly reduces its absorbability in our gastrointestinal tract.

    The good news is that oxalates only affect calcium absorption of the food they are in.

    So, if you’re having a spinach and tofu stirfry, only the dark leafy green vegetable’s calcium will be practically rendered useless.

    Aside from nutrition, one of the best things you can do to minimize your risk of developing osteoporosis (and prevent further bone demineralization if you have already been diagnosed) is weight-bearing exercises.

    This does not mean you need to necessarily start lifting heavy weights or buildmuscles. It’s really just about performing physical activity in which the muscles have to resist weight.

    Remember, bone strengthens up when stressed. Hence, challenging it with weights on a regular basis helps to maintain — and even increase — its density.

    As you can see, there are helpful steps you can take at any stage of the game. There is no reason to give in to osteoporosis.

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    You Ask, I Answer: Water/Weight Loss

    Is it true that drinking lots of water is a healthy way to lose weight? I read that if you drink water when you are hungry you can fool your body into thinking it’s full.

    — Lydia T.
    San Antonio, TX

    As refreshing and hydrating as H2O is, it is not a fat-melter or metabolism booster.

    While there are instances in which thirst is confused with hunger, thereby resulting in the consumption of extraneous calories, the actual feeling of hunger is a survival mechanism.

    Your body is demanding calories, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

    Trying to fool it by chugging liters of water is not the answer.

    You’ll simply end up making more trips to the bathroom and the hunger pains will only get worse.

    If you are hungry in between meals, the best thing to do is to have low-calorie nutritious snacks such as fresh fruit, a half cup of cut up vegetables (i.e.: carrots and celery) with a tablespoon of two or hummus, a few whole grain crackers with salsa, a fruit and nut bar (like Lara, Clif Nectar, or Pure), or a small handful of raw nuts.

    This way you respond adequately to your body’s needs without excessive calories, added sugars, or unhealthy fats.

    The one way in which water can play an important role in weight loss is if it substitutes for other beverages.

    For instance, someone with a three-cans-of-soda-a-day habit can knock off hundreds of calories a day by replacing two (or all three!) cans with water (or any other calorie-free beverage, really).

    While diet soda is calorie-free, remember that the phosphoric acid (present in regular and diet sodas) can be detrimental for bone health. I certainly wouldn’t recommend someone chug three cans of Diet Coke a day.

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    Say What?: It’s Not Broken. Don’t Fix It

    It is no surprise that soda manufacturers are always looking to increase sales.

    They have introduced new flavors (some, like the repulsive Pepsi Blue, landed with a resounding thud), added vitamins to beverages (Diet Coke Plus), and now the folks at Pepsi — eager to compete against the ever growing energy drink market — are hyping Diet Pepsi Max.

    In case the multi-million dollar national campaign hasn’t been implanted into your brain, Diet Pepsi Max contains ginseng and twice the caffeine of regular Diet Pepsi.

    It’s actually billed as an “invigorating cola.”

    Big whoop.

    In terms of caffeine, you’re talking 46 milligrams per 8 ounces, as opposed to conventional Diet Pepsi’s 24 milligrams.

    Let’s knock down the buzz and put it in perspective: an eight ounce cup of coffee clocks in at approximately 175 milligrams.

    If the whole purpose of this drink is to “boost your energy” (as the press kit claims), and caffeine content is one of its selling points, why does it contain less than the smallest size at Starbucks?

    Ginseng, meanwhile, is included to “focus your mind.” Have I time warped to 1999 when ginseng was the hot new herb on the market?

    This concept of ginseng as a mind-sharpener is completely overhyped and appears to be mostly a placebo effect.

    New York University clinical assistant professor Lisa Sasson is equally annoyed by this new drink.

    This drink is making it seem like it will give you an edge, a boost of energy, but the best way to achieve that is through adequate sleep,” she says.

    Sasson believes sleep is underrated. “Sleep deficit catches up. It absolutely affects health and wellness. Having diet soda with a little caffeine and ginseng doesn’t make up for the fact that you only got four hours of sleep the night before.

    Do you think Diet Pepsi Max will sink or float?

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    You Ask, I Answer: Diet Soda

    I was debating [with a colleague] about whether diet soda is bad for you.

    I mentioned some folks believe the artificial sweeteners in them may be cancer-causing, but that it’s a step up from guzzling sugary sodas every day.

    She said something about the acid in the soda not being that bad for you, because our stomachs are already acidic.

    But I always thought the phosphoric acid in the soda wasn’t so good for the tum tum.

    What’s your verdict?

    — Judith (last name withheld)
    (location withheld)

    The problem with all soda — diet or not — is the phosphoric acid in it.

    Not so much because it’s bad for your stomach (it isn’t), but because of its effect on our calcium levels.

    Our bodies like to stay in balance (you might remember the term “homeostasis” from your high school biology class). Calcium and phosphate, in particular, are two minerals that are actually good buddies. In fact, they’re inseparable.

    If one’s level in our blood goes up, the other one wants to go up as well. So when you drink that can of diet soda, your body’s phosphate levels rise. Calcium sees this, and says, “Wait a second, I want to go up, too!”

    If you are like most people in the United States, your calcium intake isn’t as high as it needs to be, meaning you don’t have much available calcium floating around. So in order to up its levels, calcium, eager to join phosphate, starts leeching extra calcium from the first place where it can find it – our bones.

    Let me be very clear here – if your calcium intake is adequate, the occasional diet soda is not going to make you develop osteoporosis.

    But, in looking at teenagers, for instance (many of whom are already calcium deficient and on top of that are guzzling down two or three sodas a day) this is a huge problem.

    Phosphoric acid is also responsible for wearing away enamel (a protective layer) on our teeth, leading to an increased risk of tooth decay.

    I don’t see anything wrong with having a soda here or there as a treat (i.e.: once or twice a month), but definitely take issue with soda being someone’s main source of fluids on a daily — or almost-daily — basis.

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    Numbers Game: Answer

    A 2007 study published in the Academy of General Dentistry’s journal reported that colas’ — both regular and diet — enamel erosion potential is 10 times higher that of fruit juice.

    What does this mean? In essence, it gives another reason to think of sodas — diet or not — as occasional beverages, rather than daily staples.

    The citric and phosphoric acids in sodas wear out our enamel, the protective substance covering the crowns of our teeth. Over time, constant attacks on our enamel lead to tooth decay.

    What’s crucial to understand is that a lack of sucrose (table sugar) in a diet soda does not mean it is automatically safe for our teeth.

    If you see phosphoric or citric acid listed as an ingredient, my best recommendation is to consume that drink through a straw. That way, the liquid goes straight to the back of the throat, reducing our enamel’s exposure to it.

    If you do not have access to a straw, you want to make sure you to drink that beverage fairly quickly.  Slowly sipping a soda over the course of twenty minutes is much more detrimental to tooth enamel than drinking it in a quick fashion.

    Taking tap water as the benchmark (which has a very neutral pH of approximately 7.6), here is how some popular sodas measure up.  The lower the number, the more damaging that beverage is to our enamel.

    • Cherry Coke: 2.52
    • Coke: 2.53
    • Pepsi: 2.53
    • Dr. Pepper: 2.9
    • 7-Up: 3.2
    • Diet Coke: 3.29
    • Root Beer: 4.0
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    Numbers Game: Dental Dilemma

    A 2007 study published in the Academy of General Dentistry’s General Dentistry journal reported that colas’ — both regular and diet — enamel erosion potential is _______ times higher that of fruit juice.

    a) 20
    b) 5
    c) 15
    d) 10

    Leave your guess in the “comments” section and come back on Saturday for the answer!

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    Shame On You: Kevin Trudeau (Part 6)

    Now that Kevin Trudeau has shared some of his “earth-shattering” secrets for warding off sickness with us, let’s take a peek at chapter eight, titled “How to Lose Weight Effortlessly and Keep It Off”.

    This was one I was anxiously awaiting and simultaneously afraid to read.

    Trudeau begins this chapter by setting up an all-too familiar tale. Once an overweight child, he was always conscious of his weight.

    He claims to have done everything under the Sun to lose weight through adulthood (even “exercising as much as five hours a day,” which sounds more like hyperbolic prose than reality), but it wasn’t until he “went abroad” that he found the answer.

    While living abroad, I ate everything I wanted, yet began to lose weight without trying,” he confides.

    While it is true that obesity in the United States is reaching unbelievable proportions, the rest of the world isn’t immune. For instance, 12% of French adults are obese and 40% are overweight, while half of Great Britain’s adult population is overweight.

    Truth is, downing croissants and hot cocoa for an entire month will add on pounds, whether you’re doing it in Seattle or the Alps.

    Over the next few weeks I’ll analyze some of the “secrets” Trudeau claims are 100% guaranteed to help you lose weight.

    Hopefully, with each passing week you share my disbelief that this man has sold five million copies of Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You To Know About.

    “Do not eat after six p.m.”

    One of the most aggravating nutrition myths. For some reason, Oprah loves to dispense this “tip” to her viewers anytime she discusses weight loss.

    The fact of the matter is, calories do not care when you eat them. A 600 calorie ice cream sundae will provide 600 calories whether you have it for breakfast or at 10 PM.

    Trudeau claims, “… the good news is you can virtually eat like a pig all day long. And if you stop eating after 6 p.m., you will still lose weight.

    Really? I dare anyone who normally eats 2,000 calories to consume 3,500 calories between 9 AM and 6 PM and drop half a pound.

    Not to mention, why is 6 PM the “magic number”? Why not 7? Or 8? Or 10? Beats me! Trudeau appears to have picked this number out of thin air. There is absolutely no research proving that eating carelessly all day and abstaining from food starting at 6 PM results in weight loss.

    Not eating after 6 PM might be plausible if you go to bed at 7:30, but if you don’t hit the sack until 11 PM or midnight, going to bed on an empty stomach does not make you thinner.

    Trudeau should be emphasizing healthy habits, not telling people to down as many calories as they want while the sun is up with the ridiculous claim that as long as they keep their mouths shut after 6 PM they’ll lose weight.

    The only thing this 6 PM rule is likely to do is decrease your total caloric intake each day, resulting in weight loss. People fall prey to unhealthy snacking late at night, so cutting that out (along with the extra calories) will obviously result in some weight being shedded.

    “Do a colon cleanse.”

    I went over this in a previous post — but allow me to repeat. This results in immediate water weight loss, but you will not burn fat or truly lose weight by flushing out your colon.

    “Eat organic grapefruits all day.”

    Uhhh. OK. The reasoning behind this? “There is an enzyme in grapefruit that burns fat. Eating grapefruits all day, as many as you desire, will speed the fat burning process.

    People are too quick to select an isolated enzyme that shows promise in a controlled lab setting and attribute it to a food. Yes, true, there is an enzyme in grapefruits that speeds up the fat burning process, but not enough to help anyone lose weight just by having some grapefruit slices.

    Remember, grapefruits still have calories. So if you are eating 8 grapefruits a day (which I guess is allowed according to Trudeau since he’s encouraging people to eat them “all day long”), that’s 640 calories added to your day.

    There is no food that, when eaten, results in negative total calories. None.

    Also, what kind of nutrition advice is it to tell someone to eat a food “all day” in unlimited quantities?

    “Absolutely no aspartame or artificial sweeteners.”

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I wouldn’t tell someone currently not consuming artificial sweeteners to start, but an occassional diet Coke or sugar free popsicle will not kill anyone.

    Regardless, this is more of a wellness/health debate, not a weight loss one. Aspartame does not contribute calories. Having it does not contribute to weight gain.

    As I have mentioned before, though, the problem with artificial sweeteners is that they are often found in foods that are nutritionally empty and offer nothing in terms of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants.

    “No fast food or chain restaurants.”

    Well, depends on what you’re eating — and how much! As Dr. Lisa Young recently told us, portion sizes in fast food restaurants have been exploding. So, yes, it is easy to consume half (or more!) a day’s worth of calories in one sitting when an order of large fries is as large as a toddler’s head.

    However, according to Trudeau, the problem isn’t the food itself, but rather the hidden dangers found in food produced by chain restaurants.

    You can actually eat French fries and cheeseburgers and lose weight, provided that the ingredients they use are all organic and contain no chemical additives,” he throws out with quite a bit of chutzpah.

    This is another huge myth. Organic food (while lacking pesticides and being environmentally friendly) is not less caloric or fattening than the same conventional product. Organic butter has as many calories per teaspoon as non-organic butter, and an organic hamburger bun is still lacking the fiber in a Wonder Bread hamburger bun.

    Trudeau contends that fast food restaurants are placing addictive chemicals into their food that keep us coming for more, which in my opinion is a provocative, yet feeble, conspiracy theory.

    I always find it funny that a food is only considered “addictive” when it is unhealthy.

    For instance, someone eating nine grapefruits a day (which Trudeau appears to be s
    o fond of) might be considered a “health nut”.
    No one would ever dream of pointing the finger at the grapefruit and accusing it of being a dirty, rotten fruit that drives people to addiction.

    However, change that grapefruit for a Dorito and suddenly Frito-Lay is suspected of throwing in a pinch of crack in their nacho cheese flavoring.

    If hamburgers and fries are a daily staple for you — whethey they are organic or not — you’ve got your weight loss goal cut out for you.

    Next week — more of Trudeau’s “secrets” (and my eye rolls).

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