Many of you may have read my blog post about Diet Coke. You might even have thought I was picking on diet soda by neglecting to talk about the original, sugary versions. Well, I wasn’t. Truth is, Coke needed it’s very own blog post.
Anyone who’s lived in Texas, knows when someone says “I’m going to grab a Coke”, it could mean any kind of soda, really. Coke is the uniform word, like pop is used in the midwest or soda is used in the north-east. So, again, you may think I’m picking on Coke, but I’m picking on all sugary drinks. I use the word Coke because Coke is the world’s most recognized brand and 94% of the world’s population recognizes the red and white Coca Cola logo! Yes, the WORLD! And, after all, I do live in Texas.
Did you know the largest group of soda consumers are males between the ages of 12 and 29? They consume a whopping average of a 1/2 gallon per day! WHOA!
Straight from the CDC:
~ Males consume more sugar drinks than females.
~ Teenagers and young adults consume more sugar drinks than other age groups.
~ Approximately one-half of the U.S. population consumes sugar drinks on any given day.
~ Non-Hispanic black children and adolescents consume more sugar drinks in relation to their overall diet than their Mexican-American counterparts.
~ Non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American adults consume more than non-Hispanic white adults.
~ Low-income persons consume more sugar drinks in relation to their overall diet than those with higher income.
~ Most of the sugar drinks consumed away from home are obtained from stores and not restaurants or schools.
There is a sad phenomenon in America. Our lower-income citizens are more likely to consume harmful substances like soda, than higher income citizens. Why do you think that is? Is it education? I would guess it does contribute to it. Is it availability? Again, I would guess that is a contributing factor too. Is it a sense of hopelessness effecting lower-income families? Is it a lack of information? We know it isn’t financial since a glass of water costs a fraction of one cent. These things puzzle me. I wish I knew the answer. There are so many theories out there. What I take from this fact is this:
Coke has a victim. It’s a lower-income child, living in America. How do we feel about this? Is it our responsibility?
The reason I bring this up is because I believe an informed America, starts here. Remember what happened with trans fats? We started to shine a light on the harmful effects and guess what, that substance is extremely limited now, in comparison. So, the lower-income child in America is consuming less trans fat now because our doctors informed everyone around them and we pressured the government, who changed laws governing the use of trans fat.
Not that it will be that easy with sugar, but I’m not giving up.
Some of you might be relieved because you don’t consume this sugary concoction called Coke. I know I am! More about my consumption on Friday. But what about the people you love? Are any of them consuming soft drinks? Keep reading for them.
The ingredient list in one can of coke are as follows:
high fructose corn syrup
For those of you that read my blog post about Diet Coke, you know the effects of every one of these ingredients, except high fructose corn syrup. It’s the lone ingredient that’s different in a can of regular Coke vs a can of Diet Coke. So, I’m not going to review all of the ingredient’s harmful effects, only high fructose corn syrup; for those of you that would like to read about the entire list, please click here.
My Obvious Position on Coke:
Soda (aka soft drinks, pop, cola, etc…), whether it be Coke or Diet Coke or any of the other choices available on the market, is not good for you. We should not drink it. We should drink water. Lots and lots of water. Some of these will be familiar if you read my post on Diet Coke, but keep reading. Regular soft drinks offer an even longer list of health risks. But I’m not convinced they are better, I think sugar sweetened has been researched more.
Here are a few well-known reasons why we should refrain from drinking sugary drinks, et al. Not just soda:
~ Sugar (fructose) has been proven to decay teeth.
~ Soda has been linked to decreased kidney function in adults that drink it regularly (possibly from the caramel color?).
~ It is also linked to osteoporosis and decreased bone density.
~ It can cause dehydration from the caffeine, but also preventing us from drinking what we actually need, which is water because we don’t notice we are thirsty.
~ I think it is a waste of money since you can drink filtered tap water for much, much less coin.
~ It increases our risk of obesity – which some refer to as the cancer of the Western World.
~ It is a contributor to metabolic syndrome.
~ It increases (I’ll even go so far as to say CAUSES) risk of heart disease.
~ It can cause type two diabetes.
~ It increases our risk of stroke.
~ It’s been linked to depression, poor memory formation and learning disorders.
~ One can of sugar soda contains the equivalent of up to 8-10 TABLESPOONS of sugar. Would you EAT 8-10 Tablespoons of sugar?
That is why I personally think you should stop drinking all soda, including Diet Coke. Your body deserves water, instead. I am not sure how our culture became so soda centered and obsessed (especially teens!), but it is. And now we have an entire new influx of options on the market. How many of you have drank a Vitamin Water? Snapple? Gatorade? Guess what. They are all just as bad as a can of coke. Yes, that’s right. Some might argue they are slightly better because they’re not carbonated. Not true. Carbonation is not harmful.
Do you know who owns the Snapple company? What about Gatorade? Would it change your perception of those beverages if you knew both were owned by leading soft drink companies?
This next paragraph was posted, by me, in my blog post about Diet Coke. But I’ve had a change of heart since a few weeks ago when I wrote this, mainly due to the research I’ve done for THIS blog post:
As with anything else that you will hear me blog about, I think anything in moderation is o.k., so I’m really addressing the consumers of many Cokes, here, not the once in a while consumer. I have been known to enjoy one, once in a while too, but NEVER the diet, always regular. And by once in a while, I mean like 6 a year. I kind of like the stance of the Mayo Clinic on the subject.
My position on the subject of fructose (no matter its form) and moderation has changed drastically. Stay tuned Friday.
The Truth About Coke:
High Fructose Corn Syrup: or HFCS, according to Wikipedia, comprises any of a group of corn syrups that has undergone enzymatic processing to convert some of its glucose into fructose to produce a desired sweetness. I’m not the first person in America to acknowledge the disaster of high fructose corn syrup. We’ve been blowing the lid on this substance for years, now. The literature is prevalent and supports the science of it being a proven toxin. Yet, it’s still around, and in high quantities in breads, ketchup, breakfast bars, cereals, etc…; the list is long and substantial. It’s the hidden danger, in most processed foods in America. It lurks even in foods you don’t suspect, like lunch meat and salad dressings. It’s in plain sight in our sugary drinks and we are consuming it in alarming and increasing rates.
In a nutshell, it is BAD. It is terrible. It is killing us.
Did you know this current generation of children will be the first to have a decrease in life expectancy than their parents? It’s because of Obesity. Did you know one of the biggest blamed factors in the child obesity epidemic (aka metabolic syndrome) is sugary drinks? And I’m not talking about just soft drinks here.
Most of the reasons listed above, of why you shouldn’t drink Coke, are because of the ingredient high fructose corn syrup. It might be the single most toxic substance to come out of the last 100 years and it’s all because we can’t get enough. We consume too much of it.
Why is high fructose corn syrup so bad? Because it’s fructose. Sugar is just as bad, by the way. But our history did not include consumption of sugar at the levels like now. We, as Americans today, eat too much of both of these substances. Why is that? Because processed food took over the food supply here in America in the last 4 decades. Guess what they add to the processed foods to make them edible? The ingredient we are talking about today. See the correlation?
High fructose corn syrup = obesity in increasing and alarming rates. Yet, we stand back.
Fructose is metabolized in the liver in the most shocking way. Can you accurately guess what happens in your liver (approximately 20 minutes) after you consume a Coke? I didn’t guess this correctly and would be absolutely impressed if you did.
It turns the sugar into FAT. Remember that video I posted on Tuesday? It is the single best explanation of this process, that I have found, to date and it’s medically and scientifically proven.
Please watch it:
It changed the way I look at high fructose corn syrup and sugar. Sugar is dangerous and we’ve made it widespread and consumed daily, with the invention of high fructose corn syrup. Consuming this much refined white sugar would be just as harmful, so let’s not kid ourselves thinking Vitamin Water is a better choice. That’s what they want you to believe. That company is jumping on the “high fructose is bad” band wagon. But, It’s simply, not better for you.
Water is the better choice.
The truth about Coke is what you probably already knew. You should avoid drinking it. It is suspected to be the single biggest cause of an epidemic of sick children in America with increased rates of metabolic syndrome. We are making ourselves sick. And it doesn’t matter if you choose the diet versions or the natural versions, it’s still making you sick. I often wonder, how did our food supply become so tainted and toxic? The biggest reason: the invention of high fructose corn syrup. It produced the onslaught of packaged food in America and continues to be abused by us, willingly, every single day. There is no difference between a fructose junkie and an alcoholic, besides alcoholics experience what’s referred to as a “buzz”. And actually, you get an endorphin buzz off sugar, so even less of a difference.
Stay tuned for Friday. Maybe you’ll be inspired. At the very least, you’ll probably relate.