Whether you’re a Coke or Pepsi person, you’re probably on the prowl for a “healthier alternative”. Coca-Cola Life, the new “healthy” version of the sugary-sweet beverage beloved by the world over is just hitting Canadian grocery shelves last fall.
Although the product isn’t relatively new to the United States, many people who are watching their waistlines are still just being introduced to it and are lunging at the alleged benefits.
But don’t be fooled! If you take a look at the sugar content, the chemical make-up and the amount of processing that goes into it, you’ll likely find that Coca-Cola Life is not anywhere near as healthy as it seems.
The Skinny on Sugar
An eight fluid ounce serving of Coca-Cola Life contains around 60 calories but with 17 grams of sugar. It seems fantastic on the surface, but this is only one-third less sugar than regular Coca-Cola.
Let’s not forget how much Coca-Cola has contributed to the obesity epidemic that is plaguing the United States. Two out of three adults and one out of three children in the United States are overweight or obese. “From 1989 to 2008, calories from sugary beverages increased by 60% from 130 to 209 calories per day, and the percentage of children consuming them rose from 79% to 91%.” (1)
The company is taking steps through funding to anti-obesity groups, exercise promotion and of course, Coca-Cola Life. But the obesity problem is only growing. On any given day, half the people in the U.S. consume sugary drinks; 1 in 4 get at least 200 calories from soft drinks; 5% drink four cans of soda every day. (2)
Also known as “sulfite ammonia caramel,” Caramel E-150d is the coloring used in all Coca-Cola beverages, and Coca-Cola Life is certainly no exception. It has been branded caramelized carbohydrates by many researchers, and the State of California now requires cancer-warning labels for foods leading to 30 micrograms per day of E-150d. This is important to note when traveling overseas because US Coca-Cola products keep their E-150d levels lower than those overseas.