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What’s wrong with coffee?
If you depend on coffee to get you going in the morning or as an afternoon pick-me-up, you could be suffering from adrenal dysregulation. Caffeine too late in the afternoon can disturb sleep which affects brain health, weight management and our body’s detox and repair. Coffee is also a diuretic and can be dehydrating, especially if you drink coffee instead of drinking water. Caffeine can also raise stress hormone levels like cortisol which make us store fat (particularly in our mid section). Caffeine can also interfere with thyroid medication if taken at the same time.
Benefits of coffee
On the other hand, …recent studies have found that caffeine containing beverage such as tea and coffee have certain health promoting benefits. Coffee is North Americans #1 source of antioxidants. This isn’t because coffee is the most highly antioxidant food, but because of the sheer amount of coffee we drink. Some of the health benefits found include: reduced stroke risk, lower rates of heart disease, lowered risk of type 2 diabetes, lower risk of heart rhythm problems, increased blood flow to blood vessels, lower risk of premature death, lower risk of Parkinson disease, lower risk of heart disease.
One man’s food is another man’s poison
Some experts even tell us caffeine’s effects on the body are not the same for everyone. We all have the gene CYP1A2 which helps break down toxins. This gene comes in two types, 1A and 1F. If we have the 1A version of the gene, coffee reduces our risk of heart attack. But if we have the 1F version, coffee increases our risk of heart attack.
To receive the benefits from drinking coffee and to minimize the negative side affects experts warn to choose our coffee wisely.
In order to receive health benefits from coffee the quality of the coffee must be considered. According to Dave Asprey of Bulletproof Coffee, most studies which show that coffee is unhealthy, do not control for the production process behind the coffee. Different processing methods introduce radically different amounts of potent toxins into the coffee.
Asprey asserts, good coffee = good performance. Bad coffee = bad health.
“Clean” coffee needs to have minimal contamination from mycotoxins (mold toxins). Coffee is also one of the most heavily sprayed crops. Most conventional coffee is contaminated with pesticides. Ground coffee is also prone to rancidity. Adding dairy to our coffee can interfere with some of the beneficial effects. Sugar in our coffee only adds to the likelihood of developing insulin resistance. White, chlorine bleached coffee filters can leach into our coffee.
Some attributes of a good quality coffee are that it is: tested for mycotoxins, organic, fair-trade, freshly ground (not pre-ground), and dark roast.
Limit coffee intake
Besides the quality of the coffee, Asprey goes on to say:
High amounts of caffeine can cause problems such as decreased insulin sensitivity, impaired brain function, jitters, nervousness, stomach discomfort, and decreased exercise performance. As with any drug, you can overdose. Moderate amounts of coffee will do nothing but good for most people.
Experts suggest limiting our coffee intake to 1 or 2 cups in the morning and switching to green tea in the afternoon. Coffee should be strictly avoided for pregnant women. As with coffee, the quality of green tea that we choose should be carefully considered. Many green teas from China are contaminated with lead. Japanese green tea is a better choice. Tea also readily absorbs fluoride from the soil it is grown in which can be a problem for those with thyroid dysregulation.
And as mentioned before, when we need that morning cup of coffee to get us going, we may be dealing with much bigger issues. Limiting coffee, restoring our adrenals and getting our hormones in balance should be the first line of business.
Soft drinks are addictive
If you are a regular soft drink consumer, one of the best things you can do for your health is to stop drinking soft drinks. Soft drinks contain sugar, in the form of fructose, caffeine and a number of unsavory chemical flavors, coloring and preservatives. Sugar and caffeine are very addictive substances. In fact, sugar consumption increases dopamine and stimulates pleasure centers in our brains exactly the same way heroin does.
Soft drinks cause blood sugar dis-regulation
Consuming caffeine and sugar in this way can set you off on a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows as your body struggles to return to homeostasis after their consumption. Blood sugar rises rapidly. The pancreas creates insulin to deal with the sugar. As the blood sugar spikes, the liver deals with the sugar by storing it as fat. The caffeine creates a stress response which raises blood pressure and the liver dumps more sugar into the bloodstream. An hour later our blood sugar crashes leaving us looking for another sugar high. The sustained level of sugar intake of a regular soft drink consumer, makes it impossible to lose weight and can lead to diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Fructose makes us fat
Most soft drinks are sweetened with fructose which is far worse for our health than regular sugar because fructose must be processed by the liver which then stores it as fat. For this reason, fructose consumption has been associated with obesity. Fructose has also been linked to increased levels of triglycerides which increases risk of heart disease. The blood sugar roller coaster effect after fructose consumption also puts us a risk for insulin resistance and decreased leptin signaling. Leptin controls appetite and fat storage.
Artificial sweeteners are no better
Finally, if we think we can avoid soft drinks negative effects by choosing the diet version, think again. Diet sodas are often sweetened with Aspartame. Aspartame has been associated with neurological disorders, brain tumors, liver problems, birth defects, diabetes, and other ailments. Artificial sweeteners also disrupt appetite regulation and sends messages to keep eating more.
The best thing we can do for our health when it comes to soft drinks is to just avoid them all together. Try switching to spring or sparkling water, adding cucumber, lemon or lime for flavor. Chilled herbal teas are flavorful and refreshing. Lacto-fermented drinks like kefir or kombucha can also be a healthier alternative.
Tags: Addiction, Aspartame, Blood Sugar, Caffeine, Fat, Food Additives, Fructose, Herbal Tea, High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Insulin Resistance, Kefir, Kombucha, Leptin Resistance, Soft Drinks, Sparkling Water, Spring Water, Sugar, Sugar Cravings, Water, Weight Loss
Eat The Old-Fashioned Way
This post is a continuation of the post about basing our diet on simple, old fashioned foods. As much as possible we should try to eat natural whole foods that our grandparents and great grandparents and great great grandparents would have recognized.
Foods Are Like Drugs
The foods that we eat and the beverages we drink make up every cell of our bodies. Foods are like drugs, and they send powerful chemical messages all over our bodies, including our brains. Everything we choose to eat and drink has a huge impact on our health and how we feel physically and mentally.
As we are in January and beginning a new year, and as we want to make better choices for ourselves and our family in the coming year, it’s time to take stock of what it is we have in stock.
Out With The Old and What Is Not Serving Us
We already talked about cutting out the diet foods and overly processed sugary foods and processed carbohydrates. We talked about replacing the damaged processed fats with healthy fats. Now is the time to consider clearing out all the products from our pantries, refrigerators and freezers that aren’t serving us in our endeavor for weight loss and overall health. Ditch the energy drinks and candy bars. Ditch the breakfast cereals loaded with sugar. Breakfast cereal out of a box really isn’t the best start to our day anyway. Ditch the bags of chips and salty snacks, particularly the ones flavored with MSG or hidden as “yeast extract“.
Become A Food Detective
In general, go through your kitchen and be a bit of a detective. Read the labels. If there are ingredients in your food that you have never heard of and have no idea what they are, get rid of them. Why would we eat things when we don’t even know what they are? And why the heck do we need modified corn starch, propylene glycol, carrageenan and gelatin in our 0% fat yogurt? Ironically these ingredients don’t belong in our yogurt but the fat does! Did you know we can’t even utilize the calcium in the yogurt without the fat anyway? Choose a yogurt that is just real, whole yogurt. Locally where I live, Tree Island Yogurt is my choice.
If you want to know more about reading labels and the about the detrimental ingredients in our foods, check out Vani Hari at the Food Babe.