Is Going Back to Real Sugar the Answer for Soda Manufacturers and Consumers?

In a supposed effort to win back favor since the flood of research on the dangers of high fructose corn syrup, PepsiCo has announced that it will release three flavors of Pepsi “made with real sugar” this summer.

While high fructose corn syrup is certainly dangerous, the new Pepsi is no better as far as health is concerned.

First of all, while high fructose corn syrup has been deemed more dangerous than sugar due to the imbalanced glucose-fructose ratio, refined sugar in itself is a killer. America’s overconsumption of sugar is fueling our obesity epidemic, and while high fructose corn syrup is a definite culprit, so is plain old sugar.

Aside from obesity, a few of the other health conditions associated with excess sugar are diabetes, heart disease, food allergies, immune system suppression, tooth decay, digestive imbalances, depression and increased cancer risk. Sugar has also been proven to be a highly addictive substance, and many experts argue that no amount of added sugar is conducive to a healthy diet.

A single can of Pepsi contains over ten teaspoons of added sugar. The dangers of added sugars in the American diet are so prevalent that California Senator Bill Monning is proposing adding warning labels to beverages that contain them. Aside from sugar, sodas also contain phosphorus, which can lead to bone softening and osteoporosis, and can block the body from absorbing essential nutrients.

The new “made with real sugar” Pepsi will reportedly be released in three flavors: regular, vanilla and wild cherry. It is a safe bet that these flavors will not be coming from real vanilla beans and fresh cherries.

They will instead be artificial colors and flavors, which can be very detrimental to health. Artificial colorings have been linked to severe allergic reactions, as well as behavioral problems in children. Some have been linked to cancer in lab studies.

One truly scary thing: Pepsi is reportedly soon to be adding Senomyx additives to the brew. Senomyx is a biotechnology company that has engineered chemicals (which are largely untested) to block taste receptors in the mouth.

This technology would allow manufacturers to add less sugar or salt to a product, yet have it taste the same. Pepsi will be funding a Salt Taste Program for Senomyx this year, and is also reported to be collaborating with them on sweet taste technology.

The most disturbing part about Senomyx is that they are able to list their chemicals under the blanket term of “artificial flavors,” and they are petitioning the FDA to allow them to be listed as “natural flavors.” So, when these technologies are put into use, there would be no label to indicate their presence.

sugarBottom line: High fructose corn syrup or real sugar, soda is soda, and it may soon be getting even more artificial. This scourge of a beverage is hazardous to your health, while contributing nothing of substance.

-The Alternative Daily


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