Whenever I go to the supermarket, I always see people checking the labels of food. It seems as though people have got much better at thinking about what’s in what they eat.
The same is true for beauty products - products advertise themselves now as being paraben free, and brands such as Dermalogica or Aveda pride themselves on the ingredients they use. But I think people are much less aware about what they’re drinking, particularly when it comes to the labels on water. That’s why I decided to start a campaign to make people more aware of what’s in their drinks. Not just the high amount of sugar which is labelled in to so many products out there on the shelves, but also the preservatives and sweeteners which so many drinks contain.
As tempting as it is to take the front of the label on face value, and trust a product which appears to be rejoicing in how natural and healthy it is, it pays to read the label on the back too. I did my research, and found out that some of these sweeteners and preservatives which are in a vast number of these apparently healthy drinks can have negative side effects.
For instance, a lot of drinks advertise themselves by the fact they don’t contain sugar. We all know that sugar has become the modern enemy, linked to obesity, high blood pressure and blood sugar problems. The fact is those sugar-free products which still taste sweet often use sweeteners such as saccharin, which has been linked to digestive problems such as flatulence and diarrhea, skin problems, and headaches. There are lots of different sweeteners out there, and many of them have been shown to have unwanted side effects. I would prefer not to take that risk, so I’ve left all of them out of Nuva altogether.
Some other things you might find in your drinks include pectins and potassium sorbate, which have both been linked with stomach problems in some people. In some cases, the side effects occur over a period of time when you consume a lot of it, so it pays to think about your regular habits. Swapping a fizzy drink or a flavoured water which is full of these artificial ingredients for plain water or Nuva can make a big difference over time, and not just to the amount of calories you are consuming. Being healthy is not just about getting and staying slim, it’s about the nutrients you consume, and the unhealthy ingredients you don’t.
A lot of low calorie food products and even beer contain cellulose gum (it helps stabilise the foam in your pint of beer, so now you know). It’s a thickening agent which helps to fill you up but it is indigestible. That means it can reduce the nutritional intake of food when you consume it in large amounts, as it just passes through the body. Another one I would prefer to avoid.
Nuva has been made without any compromise, avoiding adding ingredients like all those above and other potentially harmful additives, such as sodium citrate (linked to muscle cramps, mood swings and other horrors), and phosphoric acid (fine in moderation; linked to heart disease and osteoporosis in excess). I hope our campaign encourages people to think a bit more about what they are drinking. After all, if you wouldn’t wash your face with it, why would you want to drink it?