I’m all for live and let live, but occasionally I do get just a little bit annoyed when I see BIG brands framing arguably unhealthy products as ‘healthy’, misleading us ‘health-conscious’ consumers in the process.
This is exactly how I felt just a couple of weeks ago when I travelled through the busy London Waterloo Station one Tuesday morning.
There, I saw a friendly person handing out small, green-coloured coca-cola cans. Yes, green-coloured cans of coke.
Naturally this got my curiosity, and I wandered over to find out more.
‘All natural ingredients’, said the lady, as she handed me an open can of Coca-Cola Life.
‘Thank you, I replied’, inspecting the ‘all natural ingredients’ on the little green can, knowing that the all natural ingredients were not likely to be very natural at all.
Well, the ‘all natural’ ingredients claim seemed to step from the fact that this new ‘Coke Life’, contains stevia, a naturally occurring sweetener from the sunflower family, rather than aspartame which is in Diet Coke or corn syrup which is in regular coke.
Now, whilst stevia has been shown to reduce blood pressure and decrease blood sugar levels in a variety of scientific studies, it is still a sweetener and a can of Coke Life contains four teaspoons per can!
But stevia aside, many of the other ingredients are hard pushed to claim to be all natural at all!
Look, whilst personally I would recommend putting coke in your car, rather than your body (as you can get a new car, but not a new body), if you do chose to drink coke, drink coke, but do so without thinking please don’t do it’s ‘healthy’ or ‘natural’.
Drink it for what it is. A beverage full of sugar or artificial sweeteners and chemicals, that tastes good.
If you’re after healthy beverages, then then there are plenty of others to chose from starting with sparkling water!
Finally, if you are after natural, healthy foods and drinks, but get confused by food manufacturer claims, then follow these three simple tips that i always use to help me navigate grocery store isles:
- Look at the ingredients through a ‘natural lens’, which in short means that if you don’t recognise any of the ingredients, don’t buy it!
- The more packaging a product has, the less natural it often is. Think breakfast cereals for instance.
- Avoid ‘fortified with nutrients’ claims which often mean that the product is so devoid of nutrients that it has to be ‘chemically fortified’
Let me leave you with this rather amusing video that highlights the ‘Natural Effect’: