Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Alexander Jimenez takes a look at the latest diet drink with fiber.
Coca-Cola recently unveiled a new pop with the ingredient that’s sure to drop easily with its customers: dietary fiber.
The beverage firm introduced the product, which will be called Coca-Cola Plus. The soda is exclusively sold in Japan and features five grams of indigestible dextrin (which is a form of dietary fiber).
According to an announcement from Coke in February, the product is an integral part of Coca-Cola Japan’s Food of Specified Health Use (FOSHU) beverages. FOSHU beverages are intended to appeal to Japan’s health conscious consumers who are 40 and older. Coke, which has had a popular FOSHU tea beverage in the marketplace since 2014, said it took over a decade to research and develop Coke Plus, which was recently accepted by the Japanese government. If its “ ” claims that are healthy will actually do that much to help consumers, yet, individuals aren’t too certain.
“Drinking one Coca-Cola Plus per day with food may help suppress fat absorption after eating,” the firm asserted in a press release, and help moderate the levels of triglycerides in the blood.
Companies adding dietary fiber to its drinks is nothing new. Pepsi added beverages in its Japanese market a few years ago and dietary fiber and made similar claims about fat absorption and triglycerides that Coke did in the statement above.
“Unless Pepsi can provide data from controlled studies in humans to the contrary, their claim should be thought of as bogus and deceptive,” Walter Willett, Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, told Time in 2012.
HuffPost reached out to Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D, one of the state’s leading nutritionists and director of the Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire, to talk about the inclusion of dietary fiber to pop.
“There isn’t any evidence that supplying fiber, scattering it in here or there, that that fiber has an entire health benefit, so that’s an important difference,” Nelson told HuffPost. “The evidence for dietary fiber having a health-promoting impact is with eating a routine of foods (such as fruits and vegetables and whole grains) that supply that fiber.”
Nelson said that adding the fiber won’t do anything harmful to the customer, but just adding the fiber by itself won’t have the well-being aspects a fiber-rich diet would offer. But she did find one part “disturbing” about the fiber claims.
“The companies are trying to add a positive halo or health attribute within a product which doesn’t have some health benefits,” Nelson said. If it’s a sugar-sweetened beverage afterward it truly has a lot of health benefits that are negative, so it’s trying to counterbalance that. That’s the disturbing part, since I believe they’re trying to link with the consumer and develop a health aspect where there isn’t one.”
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