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Healthy Soda, too good to be true?

December 21 2012

Healthy Soda, too Good to be True?
By: Debra Meszaros -Body Performance Coach

How can a company transform the leading contributor of obesity, chronic disease, and diabetes and turn it around to make it healthy?

Add a healthy element like fiber, back it by a Japanese study done in 2006 on rats, get it labeled by Japan’s National Institute of Health and Nutrition allowing it to be labeled a “food for specified health use”; and presto magico! Healthy soda is born!

As a health conscious consumer one of the things that I frequently practice is researching origins of my food. I tend to avoid the influence labels have over my purchases. I read the ingredients carefully and explore any item I’m not familiar with. So when “Pepsi Special," “the fat blocking soda” hit the market, up went my eyebrows and my quest to understand “dextrin”.

Dextrin is a popular fiber supplement in the United States and therefore considered to be healthy. When the 2006 study apparently found that rats fed dextrin absorbed less fat from their food, I’m sure the creative minds of companies looked for ways to expand its use. Could dextrin be used to reduce the body’s absorption of fat by placing it in a beverage? Perhaps, but the real question is do we actually want to block the body from absorbing fats in our food to begin with? Remember, not all fats are bad. History has shown the creation of fat free foods has brought about a whole bunch of additional health concerns. Obesity has increased since the design of fat free foods, so that approach is clearly incorrect. What about the essential balance of quality omega fats we are supposed to maintain? Does dextrin block all fats or just the bad ones? If you told me dextrin reduced the body’s absorption of sugar, it might make more sense. Then it would have real health advantages. Unfortunately there are still so many individuals that have the old belief that fat turns to fat in our body. This beverage is utilizing this misconception to market their product as a healthy alternative. In actuality the reality is simple. It is sugar that turns to fat by tricking your metabolism, turning off your body’s appetite control system; and for the most part, it is fructose that turns directly into body fat.

Is this just another deceptive move by the beverage giants?

Whether intentional or not, regardless of form, there is nothing good about soda. Since “Pepsi Special” still contains the dangerous combination of high fructose corn syrup, caffeine, phosphoric acid, and coloring, adding dextrin does not seem to transform it from bad to good.

From diet soda to their creative creations of “healthy” versions of soda, unless the main base ingredients of these popular beverages change, they will never be healthy in my eyes.

©2012 Debra Meszaros All rights reserved; no duplication without permission.
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