Saturday, November 13, 2010

What is the difference between Coca-Cola and Vitamin Water?

The answer may surprise you: Not much. 

In a class-action lawsuit from 2009, The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a California-based, consumer-protection advocacy group, sued the Coca-Cola company for intentionally misleading the public by marketing Vitamin Water as a healthy beverage.
In the lawsuit, the names of the different flavors of water were under attack.  They have names like “defense,” “rescue,” “multi-v” and “endurance.”  This is like saying that jelly beans promote health because they contain no cholesterol. 
Coca-Cola has tried to get the case dismissed, but in July of 2010, that motion was tossed out and the case will proceed.  In the dismissal, US District Court Judge John Gleeson said that the claims on the labels could possibly be in violation of FDA policy by implying that the drink gets most of its nutritional content through fortification. And the confusion is heightened by statements on the label such as “vitamin enhanced water beverage” and “vitamins + water = what’s in your hand.”
The reality is that a bottle of vitamin water contains a staggering 33 grams of sugar. That’s over SIX teaspoons. As a comparison, Coke has TEN teaspoons per can (39 grams). To make matters worse, the sugars contained in Vitamin Water are largely crystalline fructose which has been proven to metabolize into triglycerides, which increases your risk of heart disease. This type of sugar also does NOT stimulate your body to release insulin. The end result is that you will not feel satisfied and may actually be likely to eat more than had you not had the Vitamin Water. 
Every year, the food industry outspends even the pharmaceutical industry in manipulating the truth and misinforming the public in order to increase their own profit.  This is a direct threat to your health and well-being and you should not fall for it.
There is another product that is slated to be launched by the Pepsi Co. This is called Pepsi Raw, and instead of ingredients such as sugar, high fructose corn syrup, phosphoric acid, caffeine and artificial colors, it will contain things like apple extract, caramel coloring, coffee leaf extract, tantaric acid from grapes, etc. The implication again is that this is a ‘healthy’ beverage. 
But the truth is that sugary flavored carbonated beverage are just simply not healthy for you. It is a proven fact that sugar increases insulin levels, which can lead to:
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • weight gain
  • premature aging
  • and many more negative side effects

Now I know what many of you are thinking:  “Well, if sugar is so bad for you, I’ll just choose the ‘diet’ variety.  It must be better for me because there’s no sugar.”
Sorry.  That’s just what the food companies would like you to believe.  However, not only does artificial sweetener invoke the same insulin response (or non-response) that I mentioned above, and therefore contribute just as much as sugar does to heart disease and increase triglycerides, but they also contain toxic chemicals.  Some of these chemicals have been proven to increase risk of or to be a direct cause of cancer.  And other chemicals have not been studied for long enough or with enough scrutiny to come to any conclusion.  But you should be aware that, to date, there has been no artificial sweetener introduced into the market that hasn’t been eventually banned for it’s carcinogenic properties. Aspartame, although currently still in use, will likely one day be found to be as dangerous as saccharine and eventually removed from the shelves to be replaced with the next one. 
How long will we allow ourselves to be fooled?
Of all the beverages I’ve mentioned in this article, I’d say that the Pepsi Raw was the best choice. Skip the Coke, skip the Diet Coke and don’t be fooled by Vitamin Water. 
But it will probably come to no surprise to you that the beverage that I recommend... The one that is the most healthy of all beverages.... In fact, one that I insist that my clients consume regularly and that they can’t be healthy WITHOUT this beverage....
Yes, of course I’m talking about good old, plain water. 
I do feel compelled to mention that the recent phenomenon of bottled water is another nice beverage company trick to get our money.  There is no evidence that any bottled water is more healthy or safer than your typical municipal tap water.  But it certainly is a LOT more expensive.  Not to mention all of those plastic bottles and the energy required to manufacture, fill, ship, and recycle (assuming they don’t just end up in a landfill). I recommend using a reverse osmosis filter (like Brita) to turn your tap water into nice, clean drinking water. If you must have flavoring, squeeze some fresh citrus into your glass.
If you are addicted to the pornographically high levels of sweetness found in a soda, diet or otherwise, then you would do well to find a way to kick yourself of this health-stealing addiction.

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