Sometimes corporations make me really laugh.
For example McDonald’s, presenting a “new” sandwich different from the preceding one only for the position of the filling: the slice of meat is above the cheese, rather than under, or the sauce is considerably more dense.
For example Coca-Cola, trying in every way to hide the deleterious effects of a continued consumption of its products based on sugar and carbon dioxide.
This time the multinational has outdid itself. Next to Light and Zero (whose actual difference is qualitatively anything, it’s just a matter of marketing ) added a third product with low calorie content: Coca-Cola Life.
What is the amazing difference, you would ask? Well, in the desperate attempt to make its image healthier than possible, Coca Cola has decreased a bit the amount of sucrose (sugar we all know) and added a bit of stevia.
For the uninitiated, stevia is a plant native of South America that is sweet, thanks to the steviol content in its leaves and later extracted by the food industry: the dried leaves are 300 times sweeter than sucrose and, most important, without being metabolized by the body, so no glycemic peaks and no calories. Practically only flavor.
Let’s compare the nutritional values of the two cokes:
Well, the calories of Life are less, but the amount of carbohydrates (sugars) is NOT drastically decreased. In a can of Coca Cola there are more than 4 teaspoons of sugar, in a Coca-Cola Life “only” 3. Why is there not the big difference that we might expect from a new product? Let’s compare the ingredients:
The lack of difference between the two cokes is explained by the fact that the ingredients are almost exactly the same!
The difference? In Life they increased the amount of aromas over phosphoric acid and added steviol which, being the last of the ingredients, is in ridiculous amount. Don’t forget that 99% of Coca-Cola is water and sucrose.
So we gotta ask, are they trying to string along?! Stevia has been used by the local populations of South America as a sweetener and even cure, it is a still expensive and valuable ingredient to those who want to avoid blood sugar spikes or in case of diabetes. They add some Stevia to a sea of water and sugar (and CO2 and H3PO4 ) and it should have some positive effect? And what, then? The perception of swallowing a teaspoon of sugar less per can?
The truth is that, in the name of money and marketing, some company would sell the devil claiming to be holy water. Coca-Cola, in any of its variations, is NOT a healthy drink. For this reasons it should be avoided as much as possible. In particular, children: keep soda bottles away from the table during lunch and dinner: way too much sugar that contributes negatively to the Recommended Daily Allowance and help the development of obesity and diabetes.
Sure, every once in a while a can of poison is not a tragedy, our body compensates and we are certainly not prudes here.
But let us not be taken for a ride by multinationals: a grain of stevia in a coke does make no miracle.
NB : Coca-Cola Life was sold initially only in America. It would be arriving in Europe… Forewarned, forearmed 😉