A clinical dietician, Jane Eleodi, has warned against consumption of soft drinks and packaged juices because they lack nutritional value and predispose their drinkers to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and high blood pressure.
Eleodi who works with the JSPRINGS Nutrition and Dietary Health Services, Lagos said such soft drinks and packaged juices were those made of flavor and water. She said they include those in bottles, cans and juices that are made of chemicals such as colouring, flavours, sugars and sweeteners.
“The only thing nutritious there is water, but even for the water you can just pick a bottle of water and drink. Most people take those things because of the taste or flavor. It is more or less just for refreshments but if we can discipline ourselves and stay away from them, it will do us good,” she said.
The dietician said the preservatives used in such drinks were also detrimental to health, adding that the gas that is expelled “when you open such drinks are made from carbon phosphate which breaks down to phosphate and carbon when it gets into the body.”
She said phosphate was a highly reactive metal and reacts with calcium in the body, and predisposed one not just to NCDs but also bone and joint problems like arthritis and rheumatism.
The expert said long term exposure to chemicals in drinks also predisposed people to cancer.
She advised that such soft drinks should only be taken during occasions or social gatherings and only when fresh fruit juices like hibiscus drink (Zobo) kunu, tiger nut drinks were not provided.
She said fresh fruit juices were more nutritious but don’t have long shelf life span because they were not preserved with chemicals.
She also advised people to cut down on pastries like biscuits and sweet cake because they predispose people to colon cancer and constipation on the long run.