Some of your favorites foods may be killing you.

How the artificial flavors found in many favorite foods are impacting our health?

Many+of+Starbucks%27+drinks+are+packed+with+artificial+flavoring%2C+which+poses+a+serious+threat+to+many.+

Courtesy of TODAY.com

Many of Starbucks’ drinks are packed with artificial flavoring, which poses a serious threat to many.

Currently, there is an increase in trend towards drinks and foods that contain artificial syrups, sweeteners and preservatives. While labels such as “sugar-free” or “zero calories” may be attractive, these ingredients are in fact worse than the non-artificial alternatives.

One of the most popular uses of artificial ingredients is the syrups put in various coffee drinks to add flavor. For example, Starbucks is known for their countless flavored drinks. During this season, the pumpkin spice flavor is particularly popular. However, many people are unaware of the ingredients used in the pumpkin spice syrup. The preservative added to the syrup is potassium sorbate. While this may be a commonly used preservative, studies have proven it to have many dangerous side effects. For example, a study conducted in 2010 related potassium sorbate consumption to damaged white blood cells and in some cases found it to cause DNA damage. In addition, the sugar-free syrups used by coffee shops such as Starbucks have dangerous ingredients. For example, the vanilla sugar-free syrup at Starbucks contains an artificial sweetener known as maltodextrin. Maltodextrin has many associated side effects such as unhealthy spikes in blood sugar, unexplained weight gain, bloating and flatulence. While artificial sweeteners such as maltodextrin serve as a replacement for sugar, the acute side effects ultimately prove how consuming extra sugar in your diet is better than the alternative.

ICE, a highly popular drink sold at East, is a zero-calorie drink and contains aspartame.
Courtesy of NewHealthAdvisor.com
ICE, a highly popular drink sold at East, is a zero-calorie drink and contains aspartame. 

Zero-calorie drinks also contain artificial substances. For example, diet sodas contain aspartame, a very common artificial sweetener. When digested, aspartame breaks down into methanol, which is poisonous. Consuming even small amounts of methanol can cause lack of breathing, blindness, and many other acute side effects. Aspartame can also cause brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia and diabetes. In addition, aspartame is a neurotoxin, meaning that it can get past the blood brain barrier and damage the brain, disrupt the chemical balance, or excite the brain nerves to the point of death. While this artificial sweetener may allow for drinks such as Coke Zero to have no calories or sugar, the side effects of aspartame make it clear that it is not a better option, and may even be a worse alternative.

The side effects of the artificial substances put in drinks prove that it is better to consume several grams of sugar and calories. While the flavorings may taste good, there are too many health risks associated with the ingredients for them to be used as often as they are. It is clearly better to use natural ingredients, no matter how much sugar is necessary.