Stories about: artifically sweetened beverages

Apples vs. Oz

In many cases jucies aren't much of a healthier alternative to soda

By now you’ve probably heard about Dr. Oz’s war against apple juice. The doctor/TV personality recently made claims that many brands of apple juice contain too much arsenic, a known cancer-causing agent found in many pesticides.

The Food and Drug Administration was quick to respond to Oz’s study, saying that any trace levels of arsenic found in apple juice sold in the US was perfectly safe, and statements to the contrary were “irresponsible and misleading.”

Inflammatory or not, Oz’s attack on apple juice seems to have gotten the public’s attention. But as many people consider the hidden ingredients in their kids’ favorite drink, they seem to be ignoring a far more obvious problem with many popular juices: Large amounts of sugar.

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Artificially sweetened beverages: Is it nice to fool Mother Nature?

LUDWIG_2343David Ludwig, MD, PhD, director of Children’s Optimal Weight for Life Program, just published a commentary in JAMA expressing concern about the widespread use of artificial sweeteners in soft drinks. Below, he offers some insight about why humans naturally crave sweetness, and the potential danger of confusing our ancient biological pathways of hunger and satiation with fake sugars.

Ever since our distant ancestors crawled out of the ocean, animals have been trying to eat plants. In this conflict, animals would seem to have a distinct advantage: we can move about, they can’t. But plants are by no means defenseless against our predations. They protect themselves with thorns, bark and tough fibers; stash their starches in tubers that are difficult to digest (at least when uncooked); encase their most prized possessions, high energy nuts and seeds, in impervious shells; and lace their leaves with bitter, toxic chemicals.

In fact, plants have long taken advantage of animals to help them reproduce. To entice us to serve them, plants have created seed-bearing fruits and infused them with sugar, the gold standard of energy metabolism.

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