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Think before you drink

July 1, 2015
By Dr. Annie Norman , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Obesity is a worldwide problem, affecting people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. One major contributor to the obesity epidemic is sugar-sweetened beverages.

Generally, when one thinks of sugar-sweetened beverages, they think of soda. While sodas are certainly a large portion of the sugar-sweetened beverages consumed on a daily basis, there are also other, often overlooked, offenders. Sweetened coffees and teas, sports and energy drinks, and even the 'real fruit juice' often fed to children. Some of these fruit juices contain just as much sugar as a soda!

Studies show a significant dose-dependent effect of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption on waist circumference, total cholesterol, hip circumference and body fat. Since most cells lack the transporter necessary to take up the fructose that is found in these drinks, it is metabolized mainly in the liver in a process that promotes fat formation.

Of course, fructose in not just found in soda, but in most of the processed food consumed in the standard American diet.

Water is a great alternative to sugary beverages. Adding slices of fruits and veggies lemons, cucumber, mint, limes, watermelon is a great way to add flavor if you find water too plain. Green tea is another option, and tastes great hot or cold.

If you absolutely have to have a fizzy drink, flavored seltzer water is both fizzy and healthy.

--Dr. Annie Norman DC is employed at Bennett Chiropractic and Wellness Center at 7130 Estero Blvd. (Suite #1). As a chiropractor, Dr. Norman believes in providing patients with a natural, drug-free approach to health care, helping patients on their path to wellness. With her expertise in nutrition and sports science, she also provides advice in diet and exercise, using them with chiropractic care to keep the body in balance and functioning optimally. You can reach her at 463-1640.



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