You body is originally alkaline and is meant to stay so. But increased dependence on processed and junk food has drastically altered the pH levels of your body. This could disrupt your immune system, causing many health disorders including obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Here are 15 alkaline foods you should befriend to get your body and health back in shape:
1. Swiss Chard
This leafy green vegetable is one of the best sources of alkali from foods on this planet. It can help your body stay away from free radicals, harmful bacteria, and viruses. It helps in managing your blood sugar, support bone health, can improve your blood circulation and heart health.
Time to abandon regular wheat and fall in love with buckwheat. Buckwheat is rich in protein and is an excellent source of vitamins and iron. It’s also known to stimulate your energy, improve your heart health, and prevent diabetes. It’s a great food to eat in cold days, since it keeps your body warmer.
Melon won’t only keep you hydrated but will also cleanse the toxins from your body. Its pH value is estimated to be around 8.5, making it a top alkaline food. All types of melons are known to be great sources of alkaline food as their water content is very high.
4. Olive Oil
If you never had olive oil in your list of top healthy foods, it’s high time you added it. It is known to be rich in antioxidants, monounsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E. It can help reduce the risk of heart disease and regulate your blood sugar levels.
5. Flax Seed
Rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, and fiber, flax seed is considered to be a top alkaline food. It is known to keep your heart healthy, reduce inflammations, and help control hot flashes in menopausal women. Sprinkle some on your bowl of oats and you’re good to go.
Filled with fiber and several essential nutrients like B vitamins, manganese, magnesium, and potassium, bananas moderate your blood sugar levels, improve digestion, and keep your heart healthy. If you’re planning to lose some weight, make sure you add bananas to your diet everyday.
Bursting with various nutrients, monounsaturated fatty acids, and fiber, avocados can strengthen your heart, control your cholesterol levels, and help absorb nutrients from fruits and vegetables. Even a bowl of guacamole is enough for you to reap its benefits.
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a group of pigments that help improve your eyesight. They are high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B8, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and iron too. Carrots can improve your thought process and steer you away from free radicals.
Packed with antioxidants and fiber, berries keep your memory sharp as you grow old, improve digestion, reduce the risk of certain cancers, and keep you safe from numerous chronic health disorders. They also help you fight signs of aging and improve your skin.
Broccoli has an abundance of vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, fiber, potassium, and copper. It reduces your cholesterol levels, acts as a powerful antioxidant, improves your bone health, and keeps your heart healthy. Broccoli is also rich in iron, which means it improves your blood circulation as well.
Grapes are filled with antioxidants called polyphenols, that are known to reduce the risk of mouth, lung, pancreatic, esophageal, endometrial, colon, and prostate cancer. They can also help reduce hypertension and anxiety in many patients.
A single serving of cauliflower can make up for about 77% of your daily vitamin C requirement. Not to mention how it is abundant in vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can boost your heart health.
The nutrients packed in lemon include vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin E, riboflavin, copper, calcium, potassium, and zinc. Lemon juice can help treat kidney stones and reduce risk of strokes. Other benefits of lemon include preventing constipation, high blood pressure, and fighting cancer.
Known to be one of the most protein-rich foods in the world, quinoa supplies you with twice the amount of fiber compared to other grains. It is also rich in iron, lysine, magnesium, riboflavin, and manganese. Quinoa can help keep a check on blood sugar and cholesterol levels in your body.
Spinach is low in cholesterol as well as fat, and is packed with zinc, niacin, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. Rich in antioxidants, it can eliminate free radicals, stimulate your brain functions, improve your memory, and keep your heart strong.
One in 5 American deaths is associated with obesity and more than 5 in 10 Americans struggle with chronic illness. As of 2014, the obesity rate among adults over the age of 20 was just shy of 38 percent
Since 1980, childhood obesity rates have tripled in the U.S., the rate of obese teens has quadrupled from 5 to 20.5 percent and nearly 9 percent of 2- to 5-year-olds are now obese
The global obesity rate among adults is now estimated to be 1 in 10, or 1 in 12, depending on the source. When you factor in those who are overweight but not obese, 3 in 10 are affected
By Dr. Mercola
According to research published in 2013, 1 in 5 American deaths is associated with obesity,1 and the younger you are, the greater obesity’s influence on your mortality. Considering one-third of American children between the ages of 2 and 19 are now overweight or obese, chronic disease and mortality rates will likely climb dramatically in coming decades as the health of these youths begins to fail.
Since 1980, childhood obesity rates have tripled in the U.S., the rate of obese teens has quadrupled from 5 to 20.5 percent, and nearly 9 percent of 2- to 5-year-olds are now obese.2 As of 2014, the obesity rate among adults over 20 was just shy of 38 percent, costing the U.S. medical system $190 billion annually.
In December 2011, severe obesity was included as a qualifying disability under the American With Disabilities Act, further raising the cost of obesity on society as a whole. Being overweight during pregnancy also increases the risk of birth defects, recent research warns, and the more obese the mother, the greater the risk.4,5
More than half of all Americans also struggle with chronic illness6 — a truly shocking statistic when you consider modern health care is supposed to be the best mankind has ever been privy to. It really says a lot about the influence lifestyle wields on your health, and the price we pay for convenience.
Obesity — A Greater Health Threat Than Smoking
Data collected from tens of thousands of Canadians confirms obesity surpasses smoking in terms of creating ill health, and Dutch researchers recently predicted obesity and inactivity will overtake smoking as a leading cause of cancer deaths specifically.7 Processed foods shoulder the greatest blame for this trend. Many children are raised on fast food from the time they’re able to eat solid foods, and are given sugary sodas and juices at even younger ages. As recently noted by Bruce Y. Lee in a Forbes op-ed:8
“The human population is in desperate need of an intervention … the kind organized by your friends when you don’t realize how bad your problem has gotten and need to be confronted about it … How much more convincing do people really need? Continuing to gather more evidence without taking much more action is like continuing to check the water level while your toilet is overflowing without even reaching for the plunger.
In both cases, the result will be messy. The latest additions to what has become a growing mound of scientific evidence are the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Obesity Update 2017 report9 and a just published study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).”
1 in 10 Adults Worldwide Is Obese
According to the OECD, the global obesity rate among adults is now 1 in 10, or 10 percent.10,11,12 In 2015, excess weight accounted for 4 million deaths worldwide (just over 7 percent). Thirty-nine percent of people who died from cardiovascular disease were overweight but not obese, prompting a warning that health problems are not relegated to obesity. Carrying even a modest amount of excess weight can have a significant impact on your health.
The NEJM study13 reviewed over 1,000 published studies and data from more than 170 countries, looking to extrapolate and measure health effects associated with different body mass indexes (BMI). This study presents an even grimmer picture, showing a total of 12 percent of adults, globally, are obese, and 5 percent of all children.
When you factor in those who are overweight but not obese, the global rate is about 30 percent. Echoing previous studies, these results suggest there are now more overweight people in the world than there are underweight ones.14 No less than 73 countries have seen obesity rates double since 1980. Disturbingly, but not surprisingly, obesity rates are increasing much faster among children than adults. Lee continues:15
“The study also quantified the high amount of suffering caused by obesity using a measure called disability-adjusted life-years … which is the number of years lost to impaired function. All of this is not simply because people have gotten lazier or are making worse decisions.
With such ‘big’ numbers, something greater is amiss. Too many countries now have broken systems (e.g., too much garbage in food, too much garbage everywhere maybe affecting our metabolism, too much garbage on the internet, television, in our jobs and in our daily lives to keep us from eating well, exercising and sleeping) with the U.S. leading the way.
And not enough people are doing anything to change these systems … [T]he Trump administration has proposed massive cuts to scientific and public health funding and rolling back [Michelle Obama’s] healthy school lunch initiatives, which may be like throwing more toilet paper into an overflowing toilet …”
BMI Is a Poor Metric of Health
Most studies, including those above, use BMI to determine whether an individual is of normal or excessive weight. A BMI of 25 to 30 is considered overweight; anything over 30 is obese. Your BMI is arrived at by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters. The problem is, this method fails to differentiate between muscle and fat tissue. It also doesn’t take into account the actual distribution of body fat on your physical frame.
As noted in a recent Popular Science article,16 “… [B]elly fat might be hidden on your 6-foot, 2-inch frame, but it could still contribute to problems that kill you.” We now know that excess visceral fat — the fat that accumulates around your internal organs — is far more hazardous to your health than subcutaneous fat (the more noticeable fat found just under your skin).
The danger of visceral fat is related to the release of proteins and hormones that can cause inflammation, which in turn can damage arteries and enter your liver, and affect how your body breaks down sugars and fats. Two tests that give you a far better idea of your body composition and health risk are your waist-to-hip ratio and your height-to-waist ratio.17
Either one will be far more accurate than BMI. As noted in a 2015 study,18 men with normal BMI but central obesity (fat centralized around the midsection) had TWICE the mortality risk of men considered obese according to their BMI but who had no central obesity.
Two Tests to Evaluate Your Health Risks
To determine your height-to-waist ratio,19 measure your height and your waist circumference with a measuring tape. Your waist circumference should be less than half of your height. Having a height-to-waist ratio of at least 2-to-1 is associated with longer life expectancy and a lower risk of inflammation, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.20
Your waist-to-hip ratio has the added benefit of giving you a better idea of the actual distribution of fat on your body. Having an apple shaped body is indicative of carrying more harmful visceral fat, which is associated with an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes. Carrying more fat around your hips and buttocks, on the other hand, is associated with lower health risks as this subcutaneous fat is not nearly as harmful as the fat around your internal organs.
That said, some body types may render this technique less than perfect as well. For example, women who are very thin and “straight” (i.e., don’t have an hourglass figure) may end up in a higher risk category than is warranted. In such cases, you may want to measure both your height-to-waist and your waist-to-hip ratio to get a better idea of your overall risk.
To determine your waist-to-hip ratio, get a tape measure and record your waist and hip circumference. Then divide your waist circumference by your hip circumference. For a more thorough demonstration, please see the video above.
Waist to Hip Ratio
0.81 – 0.84
Food Policies Have Worsened Obesity Epidemic
Government policies have contributed to the growing obesity epidemic in a number of different ways, starting with the issuing of flawed dietary guidelines. Hand in hand with that you have agricultural subsidies promoting the growing of junk food ingredients rather than healthy fruits and vegetables, and the subsidizing of factory farms rather than smaller family-run farms. The U.S. government is even funding consumer outreach and education programs to promote acceptance of genetically engineered foods.21
Government policies have also made it far easier for minorities to open fast-food franchises rather than grocery stores, thereby contributing to the growing problem of “food deserts” — areas where all you can find are fast-food joints and gas station fare.
One of the reasons why fast-food franchises are given preference for Small Business Administration (SBA) Equal Opportunity Loans is because they have a far greater profit margin; a fast-food restaurant can have a profit margin as high as 6 percent, whereas a grocery store typically only has a profit margin of 1 percent, so loans are more likely to be repaid.
As noted in a recent NPR article reviewing professor Chin Jou’s book, “Super Sizing Urban America: How Inner Cities Got Fast Food With Government Help”:22
“‘African-American consumption of fast food today is not a function of any longstanding preferences for fast food,’ Jou told NPR … She says that it’s a consequence of ‘targeted relentless marketing,’ as well as historic developments like the [SBA] loan program and high unemployment rates among African-Americans …
Fast-food companies, which had saturated their original markets of roadside stops and suburbs, needed expansion in order to grow profits. Reaching out to potential African-American franchisees was their roadmap to success. In fact, fast-food companies couldn’t open restaurants in many urban areas without them …
Jou quotes Brady Keys, former NFL football player turned franchisee, who put it more bluntly: ‘They [fast-food corporations] know that doing business in my area is hell. There’s cutting, shooting, killing. So they say, we really don’t want to do this ourselves, so why don’t we get this black cat over here and franchise him?'”
Fried Potatoes Double Risk of Early Death
There’s simply no doubt that processed foods are at the very heart of the obesity problem. The risks of a processed food diet, high in added sugars, harmful fats and synthetic ingredients have been demonstrated in numerous studies. Most recently, a study23,24published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition warns that eating fried potatoes more than twice a week can double your risk of an early death, compared to not eating fried potatoes at all.
The researchers believe this is due to the cooking oil, which is high in trans fat. As noted by author Nicola Veronese, trans fat raises LDL cholesterol, a risk factor in cardiovascular disease. Vegetable oils also degrade into toxic oxidation products when heated, including aldehydes, which are highly inflammatory and have been implicated in heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
Cooking oils are also a source of damaged omega-6 fats, and a lopsided ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 is yet another contributing factor to obesity. Studies show a connection between the consumption of omega-3 fats and a decrease in fatty tissue development, along with increases in beneficial brown fat and weight loss, while eating too many omega-6s promotes fatty white tissue and chronic inflammation, two of the biggest red flags indicating obesity.
Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, when taken in large amounts, also cannot be burned for fuel. Instead, they’re incorporated into cellular and mitochondrial membranes. Here, they become highly susceptible to oxidative damage, which ultimately damages your metabolic machinery. Not surprisingly, the National Potato Council has rebuffed the findings, saying that “it is very much a stretch to brand fried potatoes, or any other form of potato, as unhealthy.”25
Up to 180 million Americans use artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, routinely.1 But the idea that they’re a safe alternative to sugar, even one that promotes weight loss, is a deceiving myth. In fact, the story of aspartame has been deceitful from the beginning.
Drug company G.D. Searle & Company first discovered aspartame in the 1960s. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1974 based on studies submitted by the drug maker. An FDA scientist pointed out “serious shortcomings” with all the studies the FDA used to make their approval decision. Tonic, which described the story of aspartame’s approval as “scary as hell,” reported:
“For example, some rats in the studies died but were not autopsied after to discern the cause; in other cases, the aspartame was not mixed well enough into the feed and the rats were eating around it. There was also evidence of brain tumors in the rats in several studies,” they said.2
The FDA’s next move was to set up a public board of inquiry composed of outside experts to investigate the safety of aspartame, and in 1980 that board unanimously rejected aspartame’s request for approval.
Meanwhile, many are not aware of Donald Rumsfeld’s involvement in the approval of aspartame. Rumsfeld served as White House chief of staff from 1974 to 1975. He was also secretary of defense from 1975 to 1977 and again from 2001 to 2006. In 1976, however, Rumsfeld became CEO of G.D. Searle. Tonic commented:
“He was also on the transition team for Ronald Reagan, who was inaugurated in 1981. After the inauguration, Searle reapplied to the FDA for approval, at which point Reagan fired the FDA commissioner and replaced him with Arthur Hayes Hull Jr., who reapproved aspartame for dry products.”3
Just two years later the artificial sweetener was approved for use in liquid products, like diet soda, and the rest is history.
Serious Aspartame Safety Questions Remain
There’s a reason why, when asked whether or not he would consume aspartame, Dr. Robert Lustig, pediatric neuroendocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco, said, “No way in hell.” As he told Tonic, “We just don’t have the data” to prove its safety.4
On the contrary, there’s mounting evidence that it’s dangerous. In 1996, for instance, researchers suggested that the increasing rate of brain tumors in the U.S. could be linked to aspartame, particularly since it was introduced to the U.S. market several years prior to a sharp increase in malignant brain tumors.5
They cited an early animal study that found an “exceedingly high incidence of brain tumors” in rats fed aspartame, as well as evidence that the aspartame molecule has “mutagenic potential.” A study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, which treated six groups of mice with aspartame from before their birth until their deaths, also found that this toxic artificial sweetener induces cancers of the liver and lungs in male mice.6
Another study of great importance was published in 2012.7 The study spanned more than 20 years and evaluated the link between aspartame intake and cancer. They found a clear association between aspartame consumption and non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and leukemia.
Artificial Sweeteners Might Make You Fat
Perhaps the greatest scam of all is including these “zero-calorie” sweeteners in diet foods and drinks, which people consume with the impression that they may help with weight loss. The opposite is actually true. In April 2017, research presented at ENDO 2017, the Endocrine Society’s 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, once again found that artificial sweeteners promote metabolic dysfunction that may promote the accumulation of fat.8
The study tested sucralose (brand name Splenda) on stem cells taken from human fat tissue, which revealed that a dose similar to what would be found in the blood of someone who drinks four cans of diet soda a day increased the expression of genes linked to fat production and inflammation, as well as increased fat droplets on cells.9
The study’s lead author, Dr. Sabyasachi Sen, associate professor of medicine and endocrinology at George Washington University in Washington D.C., noted in a press release:10
“From our study, we believe low-calorie sweeteners promote additional fat formation by allowing more glucose to enter the cells, and promotes inflammation, which may be more detrimental in obese individuals.”
The fact that the artificial sweetener was associated with increased glucose uptake in the cells was particularly concerning, as it could have detrimental effects for people with elevated blood sugar levels, like those with diabetes or pre-diabetes — a population that’s often told to swap sugar for the artificial sweeteners.11
Aspartame May Promote Obesity and Inflammation
Research has also linked aspartame to weight gain and obesity. A study on mice revealed that animals fed aspartame-laced drinking water gained weight and developed symptoms of metabolic syndrome while mice not fed the artificial sweetener did not. Further, the researchers revealed that phenylalanine, an aspartame breakdown product, blocks the activity of a gut enzyme called alkaline phosphatase (IAP).
In a previous study, IAP was found to prevent the development of metabolic syndrome (and reduce symptoms in those with the condition) when fed to mice.12 Aspartame likely promotes obesity by interfering with IAP activity.
Mice in the study were fed either plain water or water infused with the equivalent amount of aspartame found in two to 3.5 cans of soda, along with a normal diet or a high-fat diet. Mice in the high-fat group that drank aspartame-infused water gained more weight than those eating the same diet without aspartame in their water.
Further, all the mice fed aspartame had higher blood sugar levels — an indicator of glucose intolerance — and higher levels of inflammatory protein TNF-alpha, which is suggestive of systemic inflammation. Given aspartame’s inhibition of IAP, the researchers suggested its use is counterproductive.
Other research found drinking aspartame-sweetened diet soda daily increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 67 percent (regardless of whether the participants gained weight or not) and the risk of metabolic syndrome 36 percent.13 Artificial sweeteners may increase your risk of weight gain, obesity and other related problems like type 2 diabetes by inducing “metabolic derangements,” according to a report published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism.14
The Many Reasons to Ditch Diet Soda: Increased Risk of Dementia and Stroke
I don’t recommend drinking soda, whether regular or diet, but most people are aware of the pitfalls of sugar-sweetened soda. Diet soda, on the other hand, has managed to hold on to the reputation that it’s somehow a more sensible alternative. This is not at all the case.
A recent study has even found that drinking diet soda daily may increase your risk of stroke and dementia three-fold.15 Even drinking artificially sweetened beverages one to six times a week was linked to a 2.6 times greater risk of stroke.16 For a bit of background, when aspartame is in liquid form, as it is in diet soda, it breaks down into methyl alcohol, or methanol, which is then converted into formaldehyde and represents the root of the problem with aspartame.
Research has even found that the administration of aspartame to rats resulted in detectable methanol even after 24 hours, which might be responsible for inducing oxidative stress in the brain.17 Diet soda, which is often sweetened with aspartame, meanwhile has its own set of problems. People who drank diet soda had a 70 percent greater increase in waist size in a 10-year period compared to non-diet soda drinkers, for instance.
If you’re pregnant, you’ll also want to steer clear of artificial sweeteners. In 2016, a study found that women who consumed artificially sweetened beverages daily during pregnancy had babies with a two-fold higher risk of being overweight at the age of 1 year.18
Diet Soda Drinkers Have a 30 Percent Higher Risk of Depression
Preliminary research presented at the 65th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology found those who drank more than four cans or glasses of diet soda or other artificially sweetened beverages had a nearly 30 percent higher risk of depression compared to those who did not consume diet drinks.19
Meanwhile, a report published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism highlighted the fact that diet soda drinkers suffer the same health problems as those who opt for regular soda, such as excessive weight gain, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. The researchers noted:20
” … [C]onsuming sweet-tasting but noncaloric or reduced-calorie food and beverages [may] interfere with learned responses that normally contribute to glucose and energy homeostasis. Because of this interference, frequent consumption of high-intensity sweeteners may have the counterintuitive effect of inducing metabolic derangements.”
And the risks go on. Research published in PLOS One found regularly consuming artificially sweetened soft drinks is associated with several disorders of metabolic syndrome, including21
Impaired glucose intolerance
Abnormally elevated fats in the blood
High blood pressure
The study found drinking aspartame-sweetened diet soda daily increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 67 percent (whether they gained weight or not) and the risk of metabolic syndrome 36 percent.
Soda and other sweetened beverages have been identified as a major contributor to the obesity1,2 and diabetes epidemics around the world,3,4 and in light of the scientific evidence, many public health organizations have started recommending daily sugar limits.
At least 10 countries have implemented or are working toward implementing taxes on soda in an effort to reduce consumption and improve public health.
One 12-ounce can of regular soda contains on average between 8 and 10 teaspoons of sugar, far exceeding 100 percent of your recommended daily sugar allotment of 6 teaspoons (25 grams).
Considering sugar is as addictive as cocaine5 and has downright toxic effects on your body when consumed in excess,6 it’s no wonder obesity has become such a health crisis.
Previous research conservatively suggests sugary beverages alone are to blame for about 183,000 deaths worldwide each year, including 133,000 diabetes deaths and 44,000 heart disease deaths.7 What’s worse, the death rates associated with sweetened beverages were highest in those under the age of 45.
Reducing the number of sugary drinks you consume each day can go a long way toward reducing your risk for metabolic dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and obesity.
Unfortunately, the continued profitability of the soda industry depends on public ignorance about the dangers associated with their products, and evidence reveals companies such as Coca-Cola are willing to go to great lengths to manipulate public health organizations and distort science to further their corporate agenda.
How Your Body Responds to Coca-Cola
Two years ago, former pharmacist Niraj Naik produced an infographic showing what happens in your body within the first hour of drinking a can of Coca-Cola. At the time, he told The Daily Mail:8
“When I worked as a community pharmacist I had some great success at helping people get off long term medication … Many of them [patients] would consume fizzy drinks on a daily basis. A few on several medications would consume two to three cans a day …
My first advice to them would be to do a simple swap, replacing fizzy drinks with water with fresh lemon or lime juice. In many cases just doing this would have a dramatic effect on their health.
So this indicated to me that fizzy drinks and sugar were big issues relating to blood pressure and metabolic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.”
According to Coca-Cola, soda is a perfectly acceptable rehydration choice, even before, during and after exercise,9 but based on its physiological effects, this is a hollow claim indeed. You simply cannot compare clean, pure water to soda when you’re thirsty.
Internal Documents Reveal Coca-Cola Works to Undermine Public Health Initiatives
The British Channel 4 documentary, “Secret of Coca-Cola,” featured above, reveals how Coca-Cola Co. is fighting the implementation of health and environmental policies that might impact the company’s bottom line.
Leaked internal documents and emails — which have become known as “The Coke Files” — shows the soda industry is in fact working against public health in a very coordinated and comprehensive fashion, using well-known tobacco-industry tactics such as:
•Message coordination and influencing media. As an example of how Coca-Cola deals with journalists who fail to follow corporate talking points, in a May 2016 email, Amanda Rosseter, the global group director of strategic communications at the Coca-Cola Co., wrote:10
“A reporter for Wired reached out to our media line late last night with a series of questions and an immediate deadline … The story, however, posted early this morning without waiting for our input.
The story … focuses on sugar, stevia and the Company’s attempts to offer options to consumers with a pessimistic tone … We will be reaching out to this reporter to better understand her decision not to include our perspective, and to build her brain around our strategy.”
•Developing close ties with influential scientists and experts who then speak on the company’s behalf while presenting themselves as “independent” experts.
As just one example, two years ago, Coca-Cola Company was outed for secretly funding and supporting the Global Energy Balance Network, a nonprofit front group that promoted exercise as the solution to obesity while significantly downplaying the role of diet and sugary beverages in the weight loss equation.11
•Debunking and manipulating science. Research has revealed simply funding a study will significantly influence the results.
As just one example, an investigation by Marion Nestle, Ph.D. and professor of nutrition, food studies and public health, found that out of 168 studies funded by the food industry, 156 of them favored the sponsor.12
•Astroturfing — The effort on the part of special interests to surreptitiously sway public opinion and make it appear as though it’s a grassroots effort for or against a particular agenda, when in reality such a groundswell of public opinion might not exist.
•Lobbying at every level of government.
Coca-Cola Fights Soda Tax by Influencing Local Politicians
Not surprisingly, since a soda tax would reduce sales — and significantly so if countries around the world adopt the tax strategy — Coca-Cola is fighting tooth and nail to prevent such measures.13,14
What’s disturbing is the level of political support Coca-Cola and other soda companies are receiving. In a June 2015 email, Lauren Craig, Coca-Cola’s senior manager of public affairs and communications for the greater Philadelphia area, revealed how she successfully sidelined a 2015 soda tax proposal by rubbing elbows with city officials:15
“Our coalition was actively engaged to prevent a beverage tax from being introduced. The coalition’s grassroots campaign included small business meetings with council members. Sources in City Hall indicated that council members were wary of a beverage industry campaign against a tax.
Our next steps include furthering relationships with newly elected city council officials to prevent discussion of beverage taxes in the future. We also have an engagement plan for Philadelphia Mayoral Democratic nominee, Jim Kenney.”
Last year, email evidence also showed Barbara Bowman, Ph.D., director of the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aided a Coca-Cola representative in efforts to influence World Health Organization officials to relax its sugar limits.
Soda Industry Has Troubling Ties to Public Health Community
Public health researchers have also warned that the beverage industry has created deep financial ties to the public health community over the past several years, and that this was strategically done to silence critics and gain allies in the fight against regulations.16,17,18,19
A recent study looking into the sponsorship activities of soda companies suggests the reason for soda companies’ philanthropic interest in health organizations has little to do with actually supporting measures that would improve public health, and everything to do with influencing such organizations to further the industry’s own agenda:20
“From 2011 to 2015, the Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo were found to sponsor a total of 96 national health organizations, including many medical and public health institutions whose specific missions include fighting the obesity epidemic. During the study period, these two soda companies lobbied against 29 public health bills intended to reduce soda consumption or improve nutrition …
These companies lobbied against public health intervention in 97 percent of cases, calling into question a sincere commitment to improving the public’s health. By accepting funding from these companies, health organizations are inadvertently participating in their marketing plans.”
According to study co-author Daniel Aaron, a student at Boston University’s medical school, there can be little doubt that Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo are purposely trying to undermine public health measures in order to protect profits.
We wanted to look at what these companies really stand for. And it looks like they are not helping public health at all — in fact they’re opposing it almost across the board …” Aaron told The New York Times.21
Many Health Organizations Compromise Public Health to Satisfy Sponsors
Indeed, the researchers discovered a number of instances where influential public health organizations either turned against a soda tax initiative or remained silent on the matter after receiving an industry donation. Here are just a few examples:
Save the Children, a nonprofit group that provides health education programs for children, had previously supported soda tax campaigns in several states but suddenly stopped in 2010 after receiving a $5 million grant from Pepsi.
In 2012, when New York proposed a ban on supersized sodas, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics cited “conflicting research” as the reason for not supporting the measure. That same year, the Academy had received $525,000 from Coca-Cola. The following year, Coke gave them another $350,000.
Dietitians listed as having received consulting fees from Coca-Cola also participated in a Twitter campaign aimed at defeating the proposed soda tax in Oakland, California.22
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the mission of which is to fight for equality for minorities, opposed soda tax initiatives even though black and Hispanic communities have disproportionally high rates of obesity and related health problems.
The Hispanic Federation has also chosen not to support soda tax initiatives. The reason for their lenience becomes clearer in light of the fact that both of these organizations have received large donations from Coca-Cola. NAACP received more than $1 million between 2010 and 2015, and the Hispanic Federation received $600,000 between 2012 and 2015.
Nigerian Court Rules Coca-Cola Drinks ‘Poisonous’
Meanwhile, in Nigeria, a Lagos High Court Judge has ruled two Coca-Cola products, Sprite and Fanta, potentially poisonous, as the benzoic acid and sunset yellow used in the products can pose a health risk when combined with ascorbic acid (vitamin C). (The former is known to turn into benzene, a carcinogen, when mixed with vitamin C.)23 According to CNN:24
“Justice Adedayo Oyebanji ordered the Nigerian Bottling Co. … to place written warnings on Fanta and Sprite bottles against drinking them with vitamin C, and awarded costs of  million naira ($6,350) against the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for failing to ensure health standards.
‘It is manifest that NAFDAC has been grossly irresponsible in its regulatory duties to the consumers of Fanta and Sprite manufactured by Nigeria Bottling Company,’ the judge said. ‘NAFDAC has failed the citizens of this great nation by its certification as satisfactory for human consumption products … which become poisonous in the presence of ascorbic acid.'”
In response to the ruling, Nigeria’s Consumer Protection Council has initiated its own investigation. Director general Dupe Atoki said:
“[The council] is extremely concerned about the questions that have arisen from, and on account of this judgment. Fanta, Sprite and Coca-Cola have arguably and consistently been the most widely consumed beverages in Nigeria. The spectrum of consumption is also perhaps the widest, with consumption starting as early as age  and far into adult years.”
Closer to home, Coca-Cola is dealing with yet another scandal, as machines in a Coca-Cola plant in Northern Ireland somehow became clogged with human feces.25 Fortunately, it appears no contaminated cans were distributed or sold. The company has called in police to investigate how the bizarre contamination occurred.
Diet Soda Is Not the Answer
I firmly believe ditching soda and other sweetened beverages is one of the most important steps you can take to improve your weight and health, and this includes avoiding so-called “diet” drinks as well. Artificially sweetened beverages may in fact be worse for your health than regular soda.
Research has shown artificial sweeteners can stimulate your appetite, increase carb cravings, stimulate fat storage and promote weight gain. In fact, diet sodas may actually double your risk of obesity, while regular soda (at a rate of one can per day) is associated with a 60 percent increased risk of obesity.
In addition to that, aspartame is associated with a long list of other harmful effects, ranging from brain damage to pre-term delivery, while sucralose has been found to be particularly damaging to your intestines. A study26 published in 2008 found that sucralose:
Reduces good bacteria in your intestines by 50 percent
Increases the pH level in your intestines
Affects a glycoprotein in your body that can have crucial health effects, particularly if you’re on certain medications like chemotherapy, or treatments for AIDS and certain heart conditions
In response to this study, James Turner, chairman of the national consumer education group Citizens for Health, issued the following statement:27
“The report makes it clear that the artificial sweetener Splenda and its key component sucralose pose a threat to the people who consume the product. Hundreds of consumers have complained to us about side effects from using Splenda and this study … confirms that the chemicals in the little yellow package should carry a big red warning label.”
For Optimal Health, Drink More Clean Water
Unfortunately, many are still in the dark about these health risks. Having healthy gut flora is absolutely vital for your optimal health so, clearly, any product that can destroy up to halfof your healthy intestinal bacteria can pose a critical risk to your health.
Sugar also promotes unhealthy bacterial growth, and many are already deficient in healthy bacteria due to consuming too many highly processed foods. This is why I recommend eating fermented vegetables every day, or at the very least taking a high-quality probiotic.
Remember, pure water is a zero-calorie drink. You cannot find a beverage that contains fewer calories. If you think about it, why on earth would you choose artificially sweetened water over regular mineral water? If you want some flavor, just squeeze a little bit of fresh lemon or lime into mineral water as these citrus fruits have some of the lowest fructose levels of all fruits.
Dr. Richard Johnson is the head of nephrology at the University of Colorado and is actively engaged in clinical research. Over the past 25 years, much of his research (which is funded by the National Institutes of Health) has focused on fructose and obesity-related diseases.
Not only has he published some 500 papers in the peer-reviewed literature, he’s also authored books along the way. His latest book,The Fat Switch, is a really intriguing book that shatters many of our age-old myths about diet and weight loss.
His hypothesis is that, rather than being driven by eating too many calories and lack of exercise, obesity is primarily driven by eating too much refined sugar, particularly fructose. According to Dr. Johnson:
“The conventional wisdom is that people are eating too much and exercising too little. Of course, there’s a lot of evidence that supports that… It’s too much energy in, too little out, and the rest is turned into fat.
This is the law of thermodynamics, and there’s some truth to it. The issue is that when people talk about this, they seem to think that it’s the culture that’s driving obesity…
But what we know is that animals in general will regulate their weight very tightly… In order to gain weight significantly, you actually have to block your sensation of fullness, so that you’re hungry more, and you have to block your energy output. You actually block the ability to oxidize fat to burn fat.”
How Leptin Resistance Causes Obesity
In order for you to significantly gain weight, you must first become leptin resistant. Leptin is a hormone that helps you regulate your appetite. When your leptin levels rise, it signals your body that you’re full, so you’ll stop eating.
However, as you become increasingly resistant to the effects of leptin, you end up eating more. Many people who are overweight also have an impairment in their body’s ability to oxidize fat, which leads to a low-energy state.
The question then is: what drives this basic process? Why do you become leptin resistant in the first place?
Dr. Johnson’s research clearly shows that refined sugar (in particular fructose) is exceptionally effective at causing leptin resistance in animals, and it’s very effective at blocking the burning of fat.
“When you give fructose to animals, they lose their ability to control their appetite, they eat more, and they exercise less. Fructose looks like it’s playing a direct role in weight gain,” he says.
His research also reveals that fructose has effects independent of this mechanism to induce this metabolic syndrome. Whereas fructose increases weight through the standard mechanism of stimulating more food intake and blocking the burning of fat, even when you control caloric intake, fructose can affect body composition.
This is because when you eat fructose, you actually generate more fat in your liver for the same amount of energy intake, compared to other types of sugar… For example, if you calorically restrict an animal but give it a high-fructose diet or a high-sugar diet, it will still produce fatty liver and will still become insulin resistant. According to Dr. Johnson, fructose has two effects:
It stimulates weight gain through its effects on your appetite and by blocking the burning of fat
It also changes your body composition to increase body fat even when you are on a caloric restriction
Fruits… Are You Eating Too Much of a Good Thing?
Most overweight Americans have some degree of insulin and leptin resistance. This also includes people with diabetes, and many individuals with high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
If you fall into this category, it would be prudent for you to restrict your fructose consumption to about 15 to 25 grams of fructose per day from all sources.
Those who are normal weight and relatively healthy may also benefit from reducing their intake of fructose, particularly from foods containing high fructose corn syrup or sugar, as the effects of high sugar and HFCS intake may have effects that build up over time.
Naturally, fruits also have fructose but contain many beneficial nutrients and anti-oxidants. For someone who is obese, one has to be careful with eating fruits that have substantial fructose content. Some fruits, such as lemons and limes, have minimal fructose content and are safe.
Other fruits, such as grapefruit, kiwi, and berries, also have relatively low fructose content and high levels of nutrients. However, fruit juices, dried fruits, and some fruits that are rich in fructose (such as pears, red apples, and plums) should be eaten relatively sparingly. Dr. Johnson explains:
“Most animals will regulate their weight very carefully. They even regulate it in a seasonal way. Towards the fall and before winter, many animals will gain weight, particularly animals that hibernate. They will dramatically increase their fat. A lot of them do so by actually becoming leptin resistant and by blocking their ability to oxidize fat.
It’s the same mechanism that we see in people who are getting fat except these animals are doing it purposely in preparation for hibernation. It’s a survival advantage.
Normally, a natural fruit is also a source of fructose. But most natural fruits have relatively small amounts of fructose, like four to eight grams. If you eat a lot of fruit, that could be an issue. But they also often have a lot of things that are very healthy, like antioxidants, flavonols, and so forth.
We’ve actually discovered that many of these compounds in natural fruit can counter some of the effects of the fructose. So when you have a fruit that has a small amount of fructose, oftentimes the good components in the fruit can keep it neutralized.”
Interestingly, as a fruit ripens, the sugar content goes up while many of the antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients go down—and animals appear to instinctively know this. Bears, for example, will eat huge amounts of berries in the fall to fatten up. It’s worth keeping this in mind, as the fructose in fruit can add up quickly if you eat a lot of it.
“There was just a paper published in the British Medical Journal, which looked at individual fruits as a risk factor for obesity and diabetes,” Dr. Johnson says. “Certain fruits, which we know have relatively low-sugar content and very high vitamin and antioxidant contents, are actually quite healthy. Berries, in particular blueberries, are very, very healthy.
But juices, where you put all the fruit together and you get a lot of sugar in one glass, it’s just too much. When you drink that, you can flood your liver with fructose, and then that will overwhelm the benefits of all the antioxidants. You’ll still get an increased risk for fatty liver, obesity, and diabetes from fruit juice.”
Obesity Increases Your Body’s Absorption of Fructose
Another interesting tidbit is that if you’re insulin resistant and obese, it doesn’t take much fructose to activate the processes that will keep you fat. Some of Dr. Johnson’s most recent research shows that the more high-fructose corn syrup you eat, the more you absorb and the more you metabolize it. Thus, eating fruits may be more of an issue if you are insulin resistant, whereas fruit intake is likely safer or even beneficial if you are lean and healthy.
This helps explain the paradox of how some very fit people can eat a lot of fruit without gaining any weight. I’m not insulin resistant, and when I decided to play around with adding some extra fruit to my diet on strength training days, I actuallylost five pounds, which to me didn’t make sense at first, since fructose should do the opposite. Part of that may be related to the fact that my body was optimized to burn fat as my primary fuel, as I was regularly practicing intermittent fasting.
According to Dr. Johnson, if you exercise regularly, a small amount of fructose can actually be quite beneficial, because the fructose will accelerate glucose absorption in your gut and improve muscle performance. But it really depends on how your body metabolizes the fructose. Your body normally cannot absorb fructose well. But the more fructose you eat, the more the transporters that allow for fructose uptake in your gut are turned on. Hence, the more fructose your body will absorb. Lean children tend to only absorb about half of the fructose they consume, whereas obese children who have fatty liver disease absorb close to 100 percent.
“Not only that – the kids with fatty liver, we’ve previously shown that they have high levels of enzymes in their liver that metabolize the fructose. Not only did they absorb more, but they metabolized it more effectively. This is a problem,” he says.
The Power of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool to help you resolve your insulin and leptin resistance. It’s also one of the fastest ways to shed excess pounds, as it helps shift your body from burning sugar to burning fat as its primary fuel. To me, the most remarkable aspect of intermittent fasting is that once you make the transition, your hunger and cravings for sweets virtually disappears.
Granted, in order to get it right, you need to severely restrict your sugar or fructose intake. A healthy diet becomes all the more important when you start intermittently fasting. Ideally, you’ll want to swap your non-vegetable carbs for healthful fats. Most benefit from anywhere from 50 to 70 percent of their daily calories in the form of healthful fat, such as avocado, olives, butter, nuts (I prefer macadamia and pecans), and coconut oil for example.
When it comes to protein, Dr. Johnson agrees that most people could benefit from cutting down on animal protein, especially those high in purines, such as shrimp and lobster. According to Dr. Johnson, a high animal protein diet can accelerate kidney disease, and this appears to be a result of the purines. The following infographic offers a quick review of the basics of intermittent fasting. For a more in-depth review, please see this previousarticle.
Exercising while fasting can further boost results. A simple way of doing this is to exercise in the morning, and skipping breakfast. As explained by Dr. Johnson:
“If you exercise at night, you’re basically burning primarily your glycogen and carbohydrate stores. You don’t actually burn too much fat. But if you exercise in the morning, you burn more fat than carbohydrates.
The question is why? The reason is that as soon as you quit eating, you’re burning the carbohydrates in your liver. It takes about eight to 10 hours for the glycogen to be completely depleted. What happens is that every time you get a good night’s sleep, during that time your body is burning off the carbohydrates. In the morning, you are basically in a low-carbohydrate state, and you’re now burning fat. That’s why exercising in the morning burns more fat, because you don’t have the big carbohydrate stores.”
If you need to eat a little in order to exercise, make sure to avoid all sugars and carbs. That means no bread products or juices, for example. Essentially, you want to carbohydrate-restrict completely in the morning, in order to allow your body to keep burning fat instead of sugar. As noted by Dr. Johnson, another “trick” to really making intermittent fasting work for you is to restrict most all your non-veggie carbs to a very short period of time each day (typically dinner). He recommends restricting your carb consumption to a window of just two hours per day.
Exercise Stimulates Your Body’s Energy Production
Exercise is really important in this entire process. Not only does it help burn off fat; it also stimulates your mitochondria. Mitochondria are the “power stations” inside your cells that produce the energy that drives your body. As explained by Dr. Johnson, sugar and obesity are both associated with a decrease in the energy levels in your cells, because of the adverse effects sugar has on your mitochondria. Over time, obese people actually lose mitochondria. There are only three factors that stimulate mitochondria really well, according to Dr. Johnson, and those are:
Vitamin C (it even helps block some of the adverse effects of sugar. Dr. Johnson recommends getting about 500 mg of vitamin C per day)
Dark, raw chocolate, high in flavonols
Uric Acid as a Marker for Fructose Toxicity
Dr. Johnson promotes using your uric acidlevel as a marker for fructose toxicity, which we’ve discussed at some length in a previous interview. Interestingly, for whatever reason, I have a relatively high baseline uric acid level. It’s above Dr. Johnson’s ideal recommendation of 5 or less. Mine’s typically closer to 6. When I implemented intermittent fasting and eliminated most carbs from my diet, replacing them with high quality fats, my uric acid shot up closer to 8. Still, I have no symptoms of gout or other uric acid-related issues. I often wondered if perhaps it was a complication of intermittent fasting, however according to Dr. Johnson, such an effect is fairly normal when you first start fasting and become ketotic.
“We don’t really know why. It might be a compensation mechanism. But it does come down over time under a ketotic diet,” he says.
That said, uric acid is a very strong predictor for developing obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and fatty liver. If you have a high-serum uric acid—7 or higher—your risk for developing diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and metabolic syndrome is significant.
Why Many Need General Carb Restriction in Addition to Restricting Fructose
Dr. Johnson recently published a paper in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications, showing that restricting fructose may not be enough if you’re severely overweight or obese. General carb restriction may also be needed in such cases. The reason for this is that restricting carbs allows you to burn off glycogens. But Dr. Johnson’s team has also made another significant discovery, which explains why general carb restriction is necessary for those struggling to shed excess pounds:
“We’ve recently had another discovery: carbs like glucose or flour and bread may be able to cause metabolic syndrome in their own right, but it’s through fructose. How does that work? What we did is we fed animals glucose. That’s a different sugar. There’s no fructose in it. It’s what’s present in flour and bread. When we fed mice a high-glucose diet, to our amazement, they actually over time started to develop fatty liver, insulin resistance, obesity, and all those bad things.
When we studied them, we found that they were converting some of the glucose to fructose in their liver. Even though they weren’t eating fructose, they were able to use the white flour and the glucose that they eat to convert it to fructose in their body.
We then used special mice that cannot metabolize fructose. They are lean, healthy machines. When we gave them glucose, they did not get fatty liver and they did not get insulin resistance. We could show that the mechanism by which carbs are causing fatty liver is actually still through fructose.”
So, the bottom line is that this is another argument for avoiding bread, rice, and other non-vegetable carbs—especially if you are insulin resistant. If you’re trying to lose weight, restricting carbohydrates will your body to burn fat better, and prevent fructose from being formed in your liver.
The Difference Between High Fructose Corn Syrup and Table Sugar
According to Dr. Johnson, most of the fructose you get comes from table sugar, which is sucrose, and from high-fructose corn syrup. Whole fruits actually play a minimal role in the amount of fructose most people eat Dr. Johnson explains:
“Sucrose is table sugar. It comes from sugar cane and sugar beets. It’s a molecule of glucose and fructose that are bound together in what we call as disaccharide. But basically, the glucose and fructose are bound together. One gram of sucrose is half a gram of fructose.
High-fructose corn syrup is a mixture of fructose and glucose that are mixed freely together. The ratio can vary. Usually, like in soft drinks, the amount of fructose is higher than the amount of glucose. It’s typically 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose. A recent study showed that the industry sometimes adds even more fructose in soft drinks; a lot of times it’s 60 percent or 65 percent. It’s really quite a significant amount of more fructose than you see with table sugar.”
There are important differences between these two types of sugars. Dr. Johnson’s team has done studies comparing the metabolic effects of fructose and sucrose, finding that high-fructose corn syrup causes greater increases in fructose blood levels, higher uric acid rise, and a higher rise in blood pressure. The unbound form of fructose also causes more fatty liver disease in animals than the bound form found in sucrose.
“The bottom line is it looks like high-fructose corn syrup is different from sucrose,” he says. “It looks like it is worse. But both of them are major sources of fructose. You don’t really want to switch from high-fructose corn syrup to table sugar; you want to reduce both. But in terms of effects, they are different. I believe high-fructose corn syrup is biologically worse than sugar.”
Understand the Ramifications of a High-Fructose/High-Carb Diet
People everywhere are finally waking up to the indisputable fact that all sugars are not created equal when it comes to the physical end results they create. Again, part of what makes fructose so unhealthy is that it is metabolized by your liver to fat in far more rapidly than any other sugar. But recent research also reveals that, if you are overweight or obese, your liver tends to convert some of the glucose you consume into fructose, even if you’re not eating fructose primarily from sources such as HFCS or sugar.
What this means is that if you are overweight, or insulin and leptin resistant, you likely need to restrict not only fructose from your diet in order to shed the excess weight, but other non-vegetable carbohydrates (such as potatoes, rice, and grains) as well. In addition to that, maintaining a regular eating schedule can be very helpful. Personally, I believe there is good reason to consider a scheduled eating or intermittent fasting program. There is an emerging consensus that narrowing the window of time that you consume food may have enormous health benefits and also help you reduce your percentage of body fat.
I’ve revised my own eating schedule to eliminate breakfast and restrict the time I eat food to a period of about six to seven hours each day, which is typically from noon to 6 or 7 pm for the majority of days. This still gives me a net fasting time of 17-18 hours a day. However, about 25 percent of the time I am traveling, so I’m more liberal on those days. Additionally, when I am at my ideal body weight, I will have fruit immediately before or after a workout. To learn more, please see my previous article, “The Power of Intermittent Fasting.”
How Energy-Dense Foods May Activate Genes That Ultimately Make People Obese
Those extra helpings of gravy and dessert at the holiday table are even more of a problem to your waistline than previously thought. According to a new research report recently appearing online in The FASEB Journal, a diet that is high in fat and in sugar actually switches on genes that ultimately cause our bodies to store too much fat.
These foods strike you with a double-whammy as the task of converting high-fat and high-sugar foods to energy is made even more difficult because these foods also turn our bodies into fat- storage containers.
In the research report, scientists show that foods high in fat and sugar stimulate a known opioid receptor, called the kappa opioid receptor (KOR), which plays a role in fat metabolism. When this receptor is stimulated, it causes our bodies to hang on to much more fat than they’d do otherwise.
According to the researchers involved in the study, “the data presented here support the hypothesis that overactivation of the kappa opioid receptors contribute to the development of obesity, especially during prolonged consumption of high-fat, calorically dense diets.”
To make this discovery, the research team conductedtests in two groups of laboratory subjects. One group had the kappa opioid receptor genetically deactivated
and the other group was normal. Both groups were given a high fat, high sucrose, energy dense diet for 16 weeks. While the control group gained significant weight and fat mass on this diet, those with the deactivated receptor remained lean. In addition to having reduced fat stores, those with the deactivated receptor also showed a reduced ability to store incoming nutrients.
Although more work is required, this research may help address the growing obesity problem worldwide in both the short-term and long-term. Most importantly, this research provides more proof that high-fat and high-sugar diets should be avoided. In the long-term, however, this research is even more significant, as it provides a specific target for developing therapies for preventing obesity and helping obese people slim down.
“In times when food was scarce and starvation an ever-present threat, an adaptation that allows our bodies to store as much energy as possible during plentiful times was probably a lifesaver. Conversely, by removing that opioid receptor, we may have found a way to keep us from eating ourselves to death.” concluded the researchers.
FASEB (The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) publishes online, Stanford University Library.
McDonald’s happy image and its golden arches aren’t the gateway to bliss in Bolivia. This South American country isn’t falling for the barrage of advertising and fast food cooking methods that so easily engulf countries like the United States. Bolivians simply don’t trust food prepared in such little time. The quick and easy, mass production method of fast food actually turns Bolivians off altogether. Sixty percent of Bolivians are an indigenous population who generally don’t find it worth their health or money to step foot in a McDonald’s. Despite its economically friendly fast food prices, McDonald’s couldn’t coax enough of the indigenous population of Bolivia to eat their BigMacs, McNuggets or McRibs.
One indigenous woman, Esther Choque, waiting for a bus to arrive outside a McDonald’s restaurant, said, “The closest I ever came was one day when a rain shower fell and…