More and more, we’re hearing about the negative effects of artificial food dyes found in processed foods. And, while we may hear about it on the regular, we’re not always sure exactly why. Somewhere along the line, we were told that it was okay for crackers to be bright orange, for sodas to be neon green, and for breakfast cereals to have colors way more vivid than Mother Nature could ever make, herself.
News flash: what we were told was wrong.
There’s a dark side to artificial colors that we should have seen coming all along. Studies have proven that the use of artificial colors are linked to everything from hyperactivity, to allergies, to being a known carcinogen. We don’t know about you, but we prefer the purity of natural ingredients and prefer not to put coal-tar into our systems (thanks, but no thanks). On the brighter side, there are now more natural and organic options for adding a splash of color to your foods and beverages than ever before. The natural and organic food industry is looking at more natural ways to add color to our otherwise drab past. Turmeric, beets, and red radishes are only some of the awesome real ingredients that are being used as natural food dyes in place of artificial toxins. Not only that, but natural food colors contain real antioxidants which help in overall health and the prevention of icky free-radicals within the body. And, if we have the true gifts of nature at our fingertips and can fully avoid artificial ingredients altogether, then let’s use them.
We know you know this. If you’ve heard this once, you’ve heard it a thousand times. Soda. Is. Bad. For. You. We know this–it’s simply been engrained in our minds over the past decade. And, while our minds may be saying ‘no’, our taste buds are still saying ‘yes’. Truth be told, full-sugar-sodas are basically a form of glorified sugar water. Sure, it’s refreshing, but if you take it a step further, each and every sip is polluting your body with not only empty calories, but avoidable inflammation. Prolonged consumption of soda–and sugary products, in general–can lead to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other life-threatening diseases.
Can you say, ‘Hello, High Fructose Corn Syrup’?
But you don’t have to completely eliminate sweet, carbonated beverages from your life. And while there are some great products on the market now that satisfy that same craving, it can be far more satisfying to make them yourself right at home. Have you ever tried to make your own soda, flavored water, or soda water on your own? They’re easy to make, are a much healthier option, and will undoubtedly save you bookoo bucks in the long run. All it takes is a little creativity and you’ll have delicious bubbly drinks with flavors that really pop in no time at all.
Nearly everything has sugar. Even the things you might not ordinarily think would. Everything from beverages, to salad dressings, to even regular table salt. Salt! Sugar’s a sneaky sucker, that’s for sure. And you have to carefully keep an eye on those gosh darned labels because, if you don’t, your sugar consumption can easily rocket sky-high. Though sometimes we hate to admit it, most of us have a sweet spot for sweets. We’ve accepted that sugar should simply be considered as a treat, not a staple. A little ol’ cupcake at a birthday party, that soda at lunchtime, or that crème brûlée that everyone decides is a good idea to share after a nice dinner. It all adds up. Not only does it affect the physical, visual you, but it quite certainly affects what’s going on inside you, too. Do you know that saying, ‘out of sight, out of mind’? Even if you feel good and look even better, you never quite know what’s going on inside your body. Did you know that, 20 minutes after drinking just one soda, blood sugar levels within the body can dramatically elevate causing a burst of insulin, thus turning into fat. And, after 40 minutes, caffeine from the soda has absorbed into the body, causing blood pressure to increase and even pupils to dilate.
That doesn’t just apply to sodas…
The same thing goes for that frosty milkshake, a freshly baked cookie, or just about any other sugar-laden product that you’d likely need a glass of milk after. But the wonderful thing is that there are great sugar replacements popping up all over the place, like SweetenFX, which contain real plant-based ingredients and taste just like the real thing, and can be used 1-to-1. Use it in baking, in smoothies and shakes, sweetening up your cup of coffee or tea, and more. Now, if that’s not sweet, we don’t know what is.