According to a Forbes investigation this week, the latest “natural sugar” trend in delicious, carbonated, sugary soda-pop consumption appears to be bullsh*t. The long and short of it is that folks are eager to replace their diet and high-fructose corn syrup laden sodas with “naturally” sweetened alternatives like Coke Life (or “Mexican Coke”) and Pepsi’s newest product “1893,” but their efforts are likely futile.
The cane sugar used in “naturally sweetened” soda is no more real or healthy than the high fructose corn syrup in regular old Coca Cola. Your body is so dumb, it literally can’t even tell them apart during metabolism (thanks a lot stupid body!). Marketing for these products completely takes advantage of the freedom to toss around words like “real” and “natural,” which has become a growing problem in the food-labeling conversation. Since 2014, there has been a petition to eliminate use of the word “natural” on foods because no agency exists to regulate the term.
The same ambitious food debunking Forbes article also says that if you can’t shake your soda habit, diet is actually your best choice. The artificial sweetener used in most diet sodas is called aspartame and it has received unwarranted criticism. Rather than cause the cancer and neurological disorders it is supposedly responsible for, aspartame can actually be an effective tool in weight loss. The negative side-effects of aspartame are only relevant to a small population of individuals who suffer from phenylketonuria. Of course if you drink eight Diet Cokes a day, you shouldn’t expect to drop pounds.
People choosing between diet and regular soda are also encouraged to consider caloric intake compared to physical activity. Whatever you choose, please don’t exclusively drink soda, all your teeth will fall out and you’ll never be able to get up out of your favorite chair.