SODA WITH NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP: Some of these sweeteners may be natural most are highly processed sugars, high fructose corn syrup
Along with carbonated water and natural or artificial flavors, soda contains one sweetener or a combination of a few. While some of these sweeteners may be natural sweeteners, most are highly processed sugars, high fructose corn syrup, or any sugar substitute.
Recent surveys show that over 50 percent of the respondents consumed soda at least a couple of times a week. This is not surprising as the refreshing taste of a cold bottle or can of soft drink, especially in the afternoon, is almost orgasmic. Taking into consideration the fact that an average American, as of 2018, consumes about 38.87 gallons of soda per year, we need to be more informed about the composition of soft drinks, especially the components that affect our health. This includes the fructose content of the soda, and it is found in High fructose corn syrup( HFCS).
What is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)?
High fructose corn syrup is a sweetener produced from further processing of corn syrup made from corn starch. This ‘further processing’ basically involves introducing enzymes to convert a percentage of glucose to fructose. In essence, High fructose corn syrup contains mainly fructose and glucose and has been on the market since its discovery in the 1970s. They are used in the manufacturing of most processed food and beverages.
Glucose is easily converted to energy in the body as it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream for use, while fructose has to be converted to glucose by the liver before it can be used by the body. Sometimes when fructose is taken in excess, it turns to fat and damages the body.
Although the United States Food and Drug Administration endorses the use of High fructose corn syrup in food and beverage production, it has come to light with the help of researchers that soda companies use more than they show on product labels in production. While the conventional proportion of fructose to glucose is supposed to be 55% to 45%, It was revealed by these researchers that Coca-cola and Pepsi had up to 65% of fructose (and just 35% of glucose).
We keep hearing that intake of excess sugar is dangerous to human health. Note that table sugar contains 50% fructose and 50% glucose. Bear in mind that fructose is sweeter than glucose. Imagine the damage that a product containing 65% of fructose would cause to your health when you take too much of it. What is the implication of this?
EFFECTS OF HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP ON HEALTH
Excessive intake of sugar and High fructose corn syrup over a long period of time increases the risk of obesity and excess weight gain
2.Fatty Liver Disease
Studies show that drinking High fructose corn syrup-based drinks over a long period significantly increases liver fat. Increased accumulation of liver fat leads to fatty liver disease, which is a serious health issue.
Excessive intake of High fructose corn syrup causes insulin resistance, this causes your body to lose the ability to regulate sugar levels and eventually leads to diabetes.
Other health implications include;
- Heart Disease
- Metabolic Syndrome
So next time you need to quench your thirst, you may like to consider healthier options like a bottle of water, 100% fruit juice or if you must take soda, then take this as good news; there are sodas with no high fructose corn syrup!
SODAS THAT DO NOT CONTAIN HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP
Soda-making companies are investing more in researching natural sweeteners since consumers are reducing the consumption of soda yearly due to its sugar content and adverse health effects. statistics show that per capita consumption of soft drinks reduced every year from 2010 to 2018
Companies like the Coca-Cola company are introducing new products like carbonated water and zero coke or Diet Coke in an attempt to make up for sales and keep their customers by providing varying portfolios of beverages.
As stated earlier, the struggle to minimize the use of contentious artificial sweeteners birthed the exploration and usage of more natural sweeteners. Some companies use sparkling water, and fruits extract, or honey, or others make use of herbs and spices. Other sweeteners being looked into for possible usage in the food and beverage industry are agave and monk fruit.
Also, stevia has become one of the most widely used non-sugar-based sweeteners. It is derived from the leaves of the stevia rebaudiana plant. Stevia has no calories or nutrients. Therefore, stevia-based soda is ideal for people trying to lose weight or diabetic patients that need to keep a check on their blood sugar level.
EXAMPLES OF SODAS WITH NO HFCS
There are numerous soda products that do not use high fructose corn syrup in production. Some of them are listed below;
- Some Coca-cola Products:
- Coca-cola Life: the coca-cola Company launched a 100% stevia-sweetened cook called Coca-Cola life in 2017. They partnered with PureCircle – a leading company in stevia research. New Research is by the company shows a deeper understanding of the stevia plant’s glycosides and where they can best be applied in food and beverage production.
- Coca-Cola zero: this has no sugar nor calories
- Coca-Cola diet: has no calories and uses aspartame for sweetness.
- Spindrift: made with real fruit. No sugars added, Non-GMO certified and gluten-free
- GUS (Grown Up Soda): they use actual fruit juice to flavor their soda
- Virgil’s root beer uses natural herbs and spices
- Reed’s Ginger Beer: made with real ginger
- Blue Sky: has zero sugar
- Hansen’s natural cane soda
- Fizzy Lizzy
In conclusion, water remains the best substitute, though. Carbonated water also gives the effervescence and bubbly effect of soda, you can learn to incorporate your natural flavors in it. Grapefruit, cranberry, cucumber, orange, apple, and other fruits can be sliced or extracted into your carbonated water as a source of natural sweetener.