They say that ignorance is blessing. When you start reading what manufacturers put in your food that has nothing to do with its nutritional value, you might prefer not to know, or you might give up eating and drinking altogether. The information that is coming out on various ingredients in our popular soft drinks is downright scary. We have already learned that high level of sugar in sodas is one of big contributors to the obesity in the States. You would think that the campaign in the media to make this widely known to the (three quarters obese) public would lower the number of giant soda bottles flying off the shelves of the grocery stores. Not so. Maybe the list of other interesting ingredients will make people stop and rethink the shopping lists and the stuff they are feeding their children with.
That is right, your favorite colas, both regular and diet, contain phosphoric acid, It is used to give them that specific flavor we love and to keep them fresh longer. Scientists found that phosphoric acid, which is also used in meats, dairy products and nuts, can lead to faster aging and a range of other health problems. It can affect your heart, kidneys, cause muscle loss, osteoporosis and many other issues. Just to make things more interesting, the levels of phosphoric acid in sodas have been steadily increasing in the past several decades.
Caramel coloring with 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole
All caramel-colored drinks contain artificial caramel color, which is made in the presence of ammonia or some other acids and salts. The process produces contaminants 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole that are highly toxic. In one study, scientists found that, even without toxic contaminants, caramel color can reduce immunity in larger doses. One of the contaminants, 4-methylimidazole, is so toxic that the FDA has been petitioned by the Center for Science in the Public Interest to ban its use as coloring for coke, pepsi and other soft drinks. 4-methylimidazole is considered carcinogenic and has been nominated by the National Cancer Institute for further long-term study because so many people are exposed to it.
Brominated vegetable oil
This popular fire retardant is part of your kids” ™ favorite Mountain Dew, Squirt, Fanta Orange, Fresca Original Citrus and many other soft drinks. These drinks contain so much sugar that the dentists call the mouths of kids who drink a lot of them ” ˜Mountain Dew Mouths.” But sugar might not be the worst thing put in them. Brominated vegetable oil is used to keep flavoring from separating from the drink. Food and Agriculture Organization examined toxicity of brominated vegetable oil and, based on a number of studies on rats, found that it might cause memory loss, behavioral problems, infertility, and lesions on heart muscles and, in high doses, death. Because of the lack of long-term studies on humans, they could not come up with a recommended safe dose.
Bisphenol A (BPA)
If you like your soft drinks in cans, you are also consuming a bit of epoxy resin called bisphenol that leaches from the cans. Bisphenol is used to keep sodas reacting with the metal in cans and it is known to affect our hormonal balance.
Is this all making you sick? Do yourself and your family a favor and switch to water and juices, but make sure that they contain exactly that: water and juice. You never know what manufacturers might put in and for what reason.