My Body & Wellness

Fitness & Nutrition in to ask the Experts

Caffeine Causes? Caffeine, Sugar, Fats, Food Additives

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What are they? What do they do to your body?

Caffeine is a stimulant that can truly act as a drug in your body. And like any drug, it can often be addictive—more you use, the more you need. Caffeine is found in coffee, cola drinks, black tea, green tea and, in much less amounts, chocolate. It can cause mineral loss from the body. In some people caffeine causes  heartburn, nervousness, sleeplessness and irritability. If you stop using caffeine, you might even experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, depression or anxiety.

Sugar is considered a carb and can boost energy. You’ve surely heard of a "sugar high?" Often after eating sugar, you’ll get an energy surge but in a short time, that feeling lessens and you crash. Generally, sugar is considered an empty calorie that is often a cause of obesity. Some experts even think sugar is addictive. So try to limit the number of sweet foods you eat. Sugar is an ingredient in all kinds of food, so if you’re trying to cut back—read labels!

Fats are a little more complicated, as we mentioned. Some fat is needed to keep you healthy. Yet hydrogenated oils found in those fried, processed and prepackaged foods can actually increase your chance of heart disease and cancer. Too much animal fat, or saturated fat, doesn’t contribute to a healthy lifestyle. But "good fats" like olive oil, canola, evening primrose, fish, and flaxseed oil are great for your health.

Food additives help preserve foods. However, some additives like artificial coloring and flavors don’t help your body at all and some can actually harm you —like red dyes, nitrates and nitrites, and MSG. Don’t worry though. If you eat loads of fresh fruits, vegetables and non-processed protein, food additives become less of an issue in your lifestyle.

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