I am snickering sarcastically these days at the idea that Coca Cola is trying to reposition their artificially sweetened sodas as not being so bad. Ahem, what is that they say? Its not bad? Oh, come on.
In my personal opinion and I am neither a nutritionist nor a doctor of any sort, coke and diet coke are not health foods. A healthy food has to meet one of three rules to me: Either it has no more than five ingredients or it is handmade and full of natural ingredients or no scary, unpronounceable or unfamiliar ingredients.
This is what is in these two beverages:
Coke's official ingredients: Carbonated water, sugar, colour (caramel E150d), phosphoric acid, natural flavourings (including caffeine).
Diet Coke's official ingredients: Carbonated water, colour (caramel E150d), sweeteners (aspartame, acesulfame-K), flavourings (including caffeine), phosphoric acid, citric acid. Contains a source of phenylalanine.
They clearly fall into the category of chemical food. Phosphoric acid is a rust inhibitor, dental etchant, and a food additive. It gives food a sharper taste and slows mold and bacteria growth. But it might eat away your teeth.
Another comparison between healthy food and chemical food is yogurt. How about yoplait light vs. Fage fat free Greek yogurt.
Yoplait includes aspartame, potassium sorbate, acesulfame Potassium, Red #40, Vitamin A Acetate, Blue #1, and Vitamin D3 with a note that for Phenylketonurics that it contains phenylalanine.
Vs. the ingredients in Fage fat free Blueberry yogurt which is my preferred brand.
STRAINED YOGURT: Grade A Pasteurized Skimmed Milk, Live Active Yogurt Cultures (L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, L. Casei). BLUEBERRY FRUIT PREPARATION (20%): Blueberries, Cane Sugar, Water, Corn Starch, Contains 2% or less of: Lemon Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavor, Xanthan Gum.
So why does a better tasting and healthier product actually contain natural products and has smaller market share? Marketing monopoly? I don't know.
The best and easiest comparison for anyone is the butter vs. margerine comparison. What is in butter: cream and possibly salt.
What is in margarine (I Cant Believe its Not Butter):
Ingredients: Water, Vegetable Mono and Diglycerides (Adds a Negligible Amount of Fat), Rice Starch, Salt, Gelatin, Lactose (From Milk), Soybean Oil (Adds a Negligible Amount of Fat), Vegetable Datem (Adds a Negligible Amount of Fat), Coloring, (Potassium Sorbate, Calcium Disodium EDTA) Used to Protect Quality, Natural Soy Lecithin, Lactic Acid, Artificial Flavor, Vitamin A Palmitate, Beta Carotene (Color).
You can do this too - buy your bread in the fresh bakery section of the grocery store or better yet at an organic bakery vs the bread aisle where the bread was made weeks ago and sits in little packages in a row that might have been shipped across country.
I vote with my feet and buy the healthier way. Go get a laugh and watch some of the Coke commercials for artificial sweeteners.
I find the ad somewhat offensive in that it only says two things: asparatame is safe and obesity is a big problem in the US. If you switch to diet coke you may no longer be obese. I say save your money and drink some water.