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Ice from Fast Food Restaurants Dirtier than Toilet Water,
By Dr. Mercola
If the thought of drinking toilet water makes you cringe,
you will probably be none too pleased to find out that ice
served at many fast food restaurants contains more bacteria
than the water found in their toilets. As reported by the
Scientific tests have shown that ice from branches of
McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Starbucks, Cafe Rouge and
Nando’s all had higher levels of bacteria than samples of
water taken from their lavatory bowls.
Experts say it could be due to them being cleaned
more often than the ice machines... The Burger King result
suggested the cause was human contamination, likely to be
from a staff member failing to wash their hands.
While none of the samples presented an immediate health
risk, four of them contained high enough levels to be
considered a hygiene risk, the laboratory warned.
And, while the study was carried out in restaurants in
the UK, the results can be expected to be about the same in
the US as the issue relates not to the water itself, but
rather the bacterial growth that can occur in the ice
machine, and/or lack of hygiene on the part of the workers.
This revelation is similar to an investigation done on
lemon wedges served in restaurants, back in 2008. At that
time, two-thirds of all restaurant lemon wedges were found to
be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria -- including
fecal bacteria. In all, 25 different, and potentially
dangerous, microorganisms were discovered on the wedges.
The fact that people are not keeling over from foodborne
pathogens en masse is proof that your body is equipped to
handle these types of infectious assaults, but that certainly
does not mean there’s no health risk.
Children, the elderly, and anyone with a poorly
functioning immune system are among the most vulnerable.
Ironically, regularly frequenting fast food restaurants and
drinking lots of sweetened beverages is, in and of itself, a
factor that will take a toll on your immune function, which
could render you more susceptible to experiencing health
problems from contaminated ice.
Are You Ready to Ditch Sweetened Drinks Yet?
I’ve been warning you of the many dangers of soda and
sweetened drinks ever since I started this site over 17 years
ago. Americans in particular get a majority of their daily
calories from sugar, primarily in the form of high fructose
corn syrup (HFCS) in soda and other sweetened beverages. Half
of the US population over the age of two consumes sugary
drinks on a daily basis, and this figure does not include
100% fruit juices, flavored milk or sweetened teas, which
means the figure is actually even higher.
Fructose (and especially HFCS) has been identified as one
of the primary culprits in the meteoric rise of obesity and
related health problems in large part due to its ability to
turn on your fat switch.
The HFCS found in sweetened beverages and most processed
foods is also highly processed and has been found to be
frequently contaminated with mercury. Add to that the fact
that most HFCS is made from genetically engineered corn, and
you have a recipe for poor health, regardless of whether
you’re ingesting it from a can or a meal...
Please note that freshly squeezed fruit juices also contain
fructose, which will have the same detrimental health
effects as HFCS when consumed in excess, but at least it’s
not processed from GE corn...
Ditching sodas and other sweetened drinks and replacing
them with pure, vitalized structured water, I believe, is one
of the most powerful actions you can take to improve your
health and lower your risk of disease and long-term chronic
Especially when you consider that just one can of soda
per day can add as much as 15 pounds to your weight over the
course of a single year, and increases your risk of diabetes
by 85 percent! Fructose is also a likely culprit behind the
millions of U.S. children struggling with non-alcoholic liver
disease, which is caused by a build-up of fat within your
liver cells. Fructose is in fact very hard on your liver, in
much the same way as drinking alcohol.
How Much Sugar Do You Consume Each Day?
Around 100 years ago, the average American consumed a
mere 15 grams of fructose a day, primarily in the form of
whole fruit. Today, 25 percent of Americans consume more than
135 grams per day (that's over a quarter of a pound!),
largely in the form of soda and other sweetened beverages.
Just one 12-ounce regular soda contains the equivalent of 10
teaspoons of sugar. Similarly, one eight-ounce glass of
orange juice has about eight full teaspoons of sugar, and at
least 50 percent of that sugar is fructose.
Fructose at 15 grams a day is unlikely to do much if any
harm and may even be beneficial for some. But at nearly 10
times that amount it becomes a MAJOR cause of obesity and
nearly all chronic degenerative diseases.
As a standard recommendation, I strongly advise keeping
your total fructose consumption below 25 grams per day, or 15
grams a day if you are insulin resistant, obese, or have high
blood pressure, high uric acid levels, diabetes or heart
disease. To get to that low a level, you would essentially
need to eliminate processed foods and sweetened beverages
from your daily diet, and make sure everything you put into
your mouth is a whole food. You might need to limit your
whole fruit intake as well. For a list showing the amount of
fructose contained in common fruits, please see this previous
Sugary Drinks Linked to 180,000 Deaths Annually
In 2009, the American Heart Association (AHA) issued a
scientific statement3 about sugar intake and heart health,
pointing out that there is evidence for a relationship
between the two. According to the abstract:
High intakes of dietary sugars in the setting of a
worldwide pandemic of obesity and cardiovascular disease
have heightened concerns about the adverse effects of excessive
consumption of sugars. In 2001 to 2004, the usual intake of
added sugars for Americans was 22.2 teaspoons per day...
Between 1970 and 2005, average annual availability of
sugars/added sugars increased by 19%... Soft drinks and other
sugar-sweetened beverages are the primary source of added
sugars in Americans’ diets. Excessive consumption of sugars
has been linked with several metabolic abnormalities and
adverse health conditions, as well as shortfalls of essential
The postulated relationship between sugar intake and
heart disease is undeniable at this point. Hundreds of
excellent scientific articles have linked insulin and leptin
resistance to cardiovascular disease much more strongly than
cholesterol, and they are in fact at least partially responsible
for cholesterol abnormalities. For instance, insulin and leptin
resistance result in "small dense" LDL particles and a greater
number of particles, which is much more important than your
total cholesterol number for evaluating heart disease risk.
Insulin and leptin resistance in turn are directly caused by
excess fructose and other sugars in your diet.
As I reported back in April, research presented at the
American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and
Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism
2013 Scientific Sessions suggests sugary beverages alone
are responsible for about 183,000 deaths worldwide each
44,000 heart disease deaths
133,000 diabetes deaths, and
6,000 cancer deaths
Among the 35 largest countries in the world, Mexico had
the highest death rates associated with sugary beverage
consumption. There, the average consumption of sugary
beverages was 24 ounces per day. The US ranked third, with
an estimated 25,000 annual deaths4 from sweetened drinks.
(Many might have expected the US to come in first place, but
remember that American processed foods contain far more
sugars than other nations, so Americans also consume a lot of
hidden sugar in products other than beverages. This factor
was not addressed in this study.) Interestingly, and quite
disturbingly, the death rates associated with sweetened
beverages were highest in those under the age of 45.
What’s the Healthiest Beverage You Can Drink?
Your body requires a constant daily supply of water to
fuel all the various waste filtration systems nature has
designed to keep your body healthy and free of toxins. Your
blood, your kidneys, and your liver all require a source of
good clean water to detoxify your body from the toxic
exposures you come into contact with every day. Clearly, the
most efficient way help your body both avoid and eliminate
toxins is to provide your body with the cleanest, purest
water you can find. This is easily done by installing one or
more types of water filtration systems in your house.
A whole house water filtration system is ideal, as water
contaminants can be even more hazardous to your health when
absorbed through your skin into your blood stream, bypassing
your gastrointestinal tract. I've written a large number of
articles on the hazards of tap water, from fluoride to
dangerous chemicals and drugs, to toxic disinfection
byproducts and heavy metals, so having a good filtration
system in place is more of a necessity than a luxury in most
areas. There's just one water line coming into your house, so
putting a filter on this is the easiest and simplest strategy
you can implement to take control of your health by ensuring
the water and the air in your house is as clean as possible.
To learn more about different types of water and water
filtration systems, please see my special report on this
One of my new passions is structured water as pioneered
by Victor Schauburger. Vortexing appears to be one of the
best ways to produce this and I'm currently doing some
research to help define this better.
Another option to consider is to bottle your own water
from a gravity-fed spring. This may be one of the highest
quality waters and may not require vortexing as the water is
already highly structured and full of H3O2. The web site
FindaSpring.com6 can help you find natural springs in your
local area. As an added boon, most of these spring water
sources are free. Just remember to bring either clear
polyethylene or glass containers to collect the water so no
unsafe chemicals can contaminate your water, and be sure to
wrap them in towels to keep them from breaking during
Ditching Sweetened Drinks Is the First Step Toward a
Remember, sweetened beverages (including flavored milk
products, bottled teas, and enhanced water products), whether
sweetened with sugar, HFCS, naturally-occurring fructose, or
artificial sweeteners, are among the worst culprits in the
fight against obesity and related health problems, including
diabetes, heart and liver disease, just to name a few.
Ditching ALL of these types of beverages can go a long way
toward reducing your risk for chronic health problems and
So what should you drink? Your best most cost effective
choice is to drink filtered tap water. The caveat though is
to make sure you filter your tap water. Nothing beats pure
water when it comes to serving your body’s needs. If you
really feel the urge for a carbonated beverage, try sparkling
mineral water with a squirt of fresh lime or lemon.
If you struggle with an addiction to soda and other
sweets, try Turbo Tapping. It's a simple and clever use of
the Emotional Freedom Technique, designed to resolve
many aspects of an issue in a concentrated period of time.
Thank You Dr. Mercola
God Bless Everyone & God Bless The United States of America.
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