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Is There Such a Thing as Healthy Soda?

Sep 21, 2010

When you think of soda, you probably also think that the phrase "healthy soda" is something of an oxymoron. After all, sodas are typically thought of as carbonated drinks that tend to give rise to health dilemmas like obesity, type 2 diabetes, cavities and nutrient levels that are insufficient. If people want to drink something healthy, they more commonly reach for water--whether from the tap, filtered or bottled--or some nice fruit juice. However, in the last few years, two of the biggest soda drink companies on the planet--Coca Cola as well as Pepsi--have already launched types of soft drinks that they have been marketing as healthy. These types of soft drinks contain more minerals and vitamins than they would otherwise.

Efforts by Both Coca Cola and Pepsi

The soda drink makers, Coca Cola and Pepsi, have been the victim of many years worth of allegations and suspicions that their soft drinks contribute to health problems, especially for children. Certain studies have even established a connection between drinking the soda of Coca Cola and Pepsi and obesity in kids. To combat this hurtful perception of their brands, both companies have in the last couple of years emerged with specialized products.

Coca Cola has emerged with Diet Coke Plus in 2007, and Pepsi has emerged with Diet Pepsi Max and Tava. While Tava stopped production in 2009 due to unpopularity, Diet Coke Plus and Diet Pepsi Max are still on the market. The former is fortified with minerals and vitamins and topped off with the calorie-free sweetener called acesulfame potassium, while the latter is calorie-free, carbohydrate-free, sugar-free and infused with ginseng.

Critical Reaction

Advocates of health foods are almost instantaneous in their derision of such attempts by big soda drink makers to market supposedly healthy sodas. Their opinion is that the whole business of passing off soda drinks as healthy--no matter how many added vitamins and minerals they have--is still not going to be anywhere near as healthy as getting real nutrition and nutrients from natural foods such as fruits and vegetables.

Professionals such as dietitians are also skeptical, and they, too, are quick to dismiss these plans of both Coca Cola and Pepsi as being nothing more than marketing. No matter how much of these so-called "healthy" sodas you drink, you still will not be getting anywhere near what you require to meet your nutritional demands.

Natural Sodas

A type of soda that is considered more legitimate than the so-called "healthy" sodas from the big manufacturers is the concept of natural sodas. Brands like Blue Sky, Santa Cruz Organics and Izze have always included organic sugar and real fruit juices in their soda varieties. These types of more accurately called "healthy" sodas are growing more popular in recent years, and their popularity has been such that they have even pressured the big soda drink makers to move closer to their direction in terms of what they put in their drinks.

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