In an apparent bid to win over the hearts (and taste buds) of potential soda drinkers who eschew high fructose corn syrup, PepsiCo will introduce a line of sodas “made with real sugar.”
The announcement came in the form of a tweeted news alert from Beverage Digest, an industry trade publication.
News Alert: Pepsi is introducing 3 colas “made with real sugar” this summer. Regular, Vanilla, Wild Cherry.
— Beverage-Digest (@BeverageDigest) April 8, 2014
While PepsiCo has not released details about the new offerings, the corporation confirmed to USA Today and Just Drinks that plans for the alternative sodas are in the works, with an expected release date set for June.
The change could be seen as a coup for anti-HFCS crusaders. The nefarious sweetener, which is very cheap to produce, has been shown to wreak havoc on the metabolism, stimulate appetite, and contribute to obesity, diabetes, and other sugar-related illnesses.
American HFCS consumption in 1970 was about one-half pound per person per year. By 1997, that figure jumped to 62.5 pounds per person, primarily because we chugged more super-sized bottles of soda. Today HFCS consumption is on the rise, right alongside rising statistics for obesity and other sugar-related maladies. — “What Sugar Problem,” by Gary Legwold (Experience Life, July-August 2003)
Pepsi’s alternative formulas would also be a win for cola connoisseurs who insist that soda made with cane sugar tastes better.
It’s worth remembering, however, that consuming sugar — even “real” sugar — comes with its own set of health risks.
Sugar can contribute to cellular inflammation, which is like a continuing series of paper cuts that compromise cell function. Deep inside the body, these microscopic wounds fester below the pain threshold. Because many of us don’t see or feel the damage, there is little incentive to cut back on the inflammatory diet that is causing this constant cellular damage, so the party continues.
That is, until the body blows a gasket. Left unchecked, inflammation can unleash dozens of different diseases, including heavy hitters like diabetes, heart disease and autoimmune disorders. “It takes roughly 10 to 15 years of a high-sugar diet before a person develops a chronic illness,” says Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, medical director of the Nutritional Magnesium Association. In the meantime, though, sugar can do plenty of other damage, depleting your immunity, disrupting your metabolism, contributing to yeast overgrowth and so on. — “Sugar Shock,” by Catherine Guthrie (Experience Life, May 2011)
Artificial sweeteners, such as the aspartame commonly found in diet sodas, are are no healthier, having been linked to calcium loss, neurological damage, and metabolic syndrome. Even stevia, touted as a healthy, natural, no-calorie sugar substitute, is believed to set off an insulin response in the body.
To learn more about the health effects of sodas and sweeteners, check out past coverage by Experience Life:
- “This is Your Body on Soda” (April 2014)
- “Diet Soda Debacles” (October 2011)
- “Why I Do Not Dig Diet Soda” (March 2010)
- “Sweet Drinks: The More You Drink, the Less You Taste” (April 2012)
- “What Sugar Problem?” (July/August 2003):
- “Sugar Shock” (May 2011)
- “Sugar Breakdown” (July/August 2006)
- “Newsflash: Sugar” ( January/February 2014)
- “20 Tips to Curb Sugar Cravings and Kick the Addiction” (April 2012)
- “Sugar — not fat — increases the risk of heart disease death” (February 2014)
- “Sugar Smarts” (January/February 2013)