The list of what is wrong with them includes…
- Too much sugar. Causing oxidative stress and some serious insulin spikes.
- Too much salt. Surprised ? This is the reason for all that sugar and probably contributes to the NEED to continue to drink another one, and another one.
- Too much acid. Dissolving away the top layer of your teeth.
- Too much caffeine. Leaving you swinging from the ceiling, which is often a good thing during the day, but not such a good thing when you can’t get to sleep.
And people who indulge in these beverages on a long term basis, tend to be heavier and have a variety of health issues.
But here is a thought, maybe the trouble is not actually the contents of the can, but the can itself ?
Cans are lined with BPA
To help keep foods “safe” – foods plopped in an aluminium can, need to be kept separate from the can. The standard way of achieving this, is to line the tin with bisphenol (BPA).
So if you’re drinking cold drinks from a can, you are getting exposed a little each time you crack open that can. Officially, small levels are not a problem.
But, if you are a big drinker of cold drinks in a can, you are being exposed to a lot more, than a little.
When researchers look, fatter people tend to have high levels of a range of organic chemicals inside of them.
Now the presence of these chemicals at any level is not desirable, their increased presence in fatter folks is alarming, leading to the idea that they are somehow causing obesity.
To be fair, their heightened presence in overweight people may simply be due to their chemical character and not due to a sinister power within the molecule. These chemicals are fat soluble, the more fat you’ve got, the more opportunity to dissolve in the fat and slip into the body.
But when there is smoke, there is usually a fire.
The hazards of that cold drink can
PBA is a xenoestrogen, which means that it looks a lot like the hormone estrogen and can act bit like estrogen. Estrogens do a lot more than create the sexy curves in a lady, they control a variety of aspects of reproduction, as well as energy balance i.e how much you eat.
Concern over the possible health hazards of BPA, have led governments around the world to ban the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups, to ensure little ones are not being exposed to too much.
Research suggests most of the BPA which is in us, is coming from the “foods” we eat and drink. And aluminium cans are one of the major contributors to our BPA levels.
Ban the cold drink can
Lobby groups are campaigning for food manufacturers to find alternatives, so that BPA is out of cans as well. In the meantime, it might be time to ban the can in your home.
Okay, banning might be a bit extreme, depriving your family to this extent, could lead to a lot of descent, even if it does improve body chemistry.
An approach that works well, is to turn can drinking into a special treat, which happens on high days and holidays, but not everyday.
NB. Diet cans still have BPA, they just don’t have the sugar – so switching from sugar laden beverages to diet versions only “fixes” part of the problem.Association Between Urinary Bisphenol A Concentration and Obesity Prevalence in Children and Adolescents. JAMA, 2012; 308 (11): 1113-1121 Trasande L, Attina TM, Blustein J.
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