Bottomless cup of disease?

The cup pictured above is a marvel of technology. It contains a chip that tells the coke machine to let you have as much as you want, as often as you like of the dozens of soft drink choices it dispenses at the push of a button. Royal Caribbean cruise ships offer this cup as part of their soft drink package good just for that cruise. Since the deal costs upwards of $10 a day with gratuity, I’m guessing people would refill that 16-ounce cup often to get their money’s worth. (It is possible to upgrade to the $55/a day package that also includes all the alcohol you can stand and premium coffees. I opted for the bottled water package.)

Although there are other concerns with sodas such as tooth damage and osteoporosis due to the acids they contain and questions about the effects of the chemicals on our microbiome (gut bacteria), the big deal is the sugar. The photo below from shows how much is dissolved in that beverage.

You’ve heard me rant about sugar for years, but the scientific evidence continues to roll in showing that it is a major cause of all manner of degenerative diseases. And it certainly isn’t just the calories. Here is a recent article that explains “Not all calories are created equal: Calories from sugar-sweetened drinks cause more weight gain and increase your risk of disease than bread or potatoes.” (This is the study.) By the way, this is not to imply that bread and potatoes are good for you…they are just not as bad as sugar.

So, are fake sweeteners the answer? Not by a long shot! They have NOT been shown to help you lose weight (maybe do the reverse) or to slow diabetes (maybe do the reverse). They are shown to be detrimental to the cardiovascular system—STUDY. Now, at least in an animal study, they mess with brain health and function—STUDY. These chemicals also seem to harm the crucial friendly bacteria that help run most systems of our bodies—STUDY. (I didn’t take the time to find the very best studies. I just grabbed some samples from among the many.)

When I think a soda pop might taste good, I take a slug of sparkly slightly sweet Kombucha. A bottle lasts me a week or more. (I’ve never had the nerve to make my own. There are several good brands and a variety of flavors.)

On the lighter side

The picture below was taken from the lunch buffet on a 5-day cruise that Bill and I recently took from Puerto Rico to New Jersey. (No, it wasn’t the booby prize in a contest—just inexpensive and served a purpose for us.) This sign made me laugh.

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