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Play It Again Week: Coke Makes People Fat (Updated)

Posted Nov 17 2009 3:23pm

To celebrate Making Love In The Kitchen’s first birthday, the bestest posts of the last year are getting another turn in the spotlight. These were selected either because they had the most traffic or should have.While together we stroll down memory lane, I will be away on a farm with no computer! We’ll chat when I get back.
Coke Makes People Fat: First Published June 19, 2009 z192600701

Last week, I conducted a little cleaning demonstration where I used a can of Coke to clean a burnt up stainless steel frying pan. I received more confessional emails than I expected about people’s love of a cold glass of Coke on a hot day. About ten years ago, I was in Seville, Spain with my mom and it was hot to trot outside. We found ourselves at a bar and neither of us felt much like drinking and so we each ordered a Coke- something we never ever do (and I do think that may have been the last time I did). That night, we were both up until all hours, wide awake and brain-spinning, reading the history sections of our guidebooks in an effort to get to sleep.

Coke is liquid sugar. One can of Coke contains 10 sugar cubes worth of sugar. Grody-to-the-max!

I recently came across one of my new favourite websites called SugarStacks.com. On this site, you can look up different foods and see the equivalent amount of sugar in cube form. Some of my favourite comparisons were the ones for ‘health foods’:

  • Yoplait Strawberrry Yogurt: 7 sugar cubes
  • Cliff Bar: 5 1/2 sugar cubes
  • Power Bar: 5 sugar cubes
  • Jamba Juice: 12 sugar cubes

And how about a 40-Oz Coke Slurpee? 23 sugar cubes!

Coke, as a representative of all soft drinks, wreaks havoc on the human organism. The main problem is sugar. It makes us anxious, stressed out, inflamed, fatigued and fat. Now remind me what the main health complaints are in our society?

  • In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.
  • 20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment)
  • 40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.
  • 45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.
  • Within 60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.
  • Within 60 Minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolyte and water.
  • Within 60 minutes: As the rave inside of you dies down you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now, literally, pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like even having the ability to hydrate your system or build strong bones and teeth.

So there you have it, an avalanche of destruction in a single can. Pass me the water please!

Bullet points from October 24th, 2007 Nutrition Researchers Posted in Children’s Health, Food Science Research by Wade Meredith

Update

24-hours after posting this, I received an email from the Public Affairs Manager from Coca-Cola Canada defending the drink. Here is what her email said (in italics) with my comments inserted.

————————————————————————————

Good morning Meghan,

Re: Making Love in the Kitchen: Coke Makes People Fat

Like so many messages on the Internet, this article is full of misinformation and provides no references to back up the claims made within.

As I stated above, I used the information from an article that was in the October 24th, 2007 Nutrition Researchers Posted in Children’s Health, Food Science Research. This was not my own research, and I don’t claim it to be. The same points were also made here.

Having said that, here are some well-document facts about sparkling beverages as it pertains to the misinformation made in the original article:

- A serving of Coca-Cola contains no more calories and sugar than the same amount of orange juice and less sugar than the same amount of apple juice. A 250ml serving contains approximately 26.5g of sugar, which is equivalent to four to five teaspoons of sugar.

I looked into this one and she is correct. There is only 26.5 grams of sugar in a 250 ml serving of Coke. But did you know that one can of Coke then counts as 2 servings. Therefore I hold to it that there are 42 grams of sugar in a Coke- equivalent to 10.5 teaspoons.

-Phosphoric acid is used in very small amounts in colas only, not other soft drinks.  The small amount of phosphoric acid found in soft drinks is considered a safe food ingredient in Canada and around the world.  The effect of phosphoric acid on calcium excretion and bone health has been disproved time and again by sound scientific research.

http://www.naturalnews.com/021774.html, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/5410476.stm, http://www.naturalwayhealth.co.uk/library/bone-health.php, http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/461898 … need I go on? You know my theory… when in doubt, why test it

- Human digestion and metabolism treat sugars found in foods and those added to foods in similar fashion. Irrespective of the source, some dietary sugars (and also some other carbohydrates) are broken down by a series of chemical reactions during the digestive processes and converted to glucose, which is then absorbed into the bloodstream through the intestinal lining. Other dietary sugars (such as fructose) are also absorbed into the blood stream and then converted to glucose by the liver.  All sugars have 4 calories per gram.

All true. But since when does an apple or carrot contain the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar (42 grams). Depending on the type, an average apple has 17 grams of sugar, but as naturally occurring more complex sugars combined with the presence of fibre, they are handled by the body slightly differently, absorbing far more slowly. The sugar as listed in the ingredients label of Coke, is glucose/fructose which means it requires no digestion time, will surge into the blood stream, spike blood sugar levels thereby straining the pancreas to produce enough insulin to get said sugar into the cells). This is the hormonal reaction that not only leads to cranky people mid-afternoon in the workplace (and drive home) but also to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

- Obesity is primarily caused by more calories being consumed than are expended.  People consume many different foods and beverages and neither sparkling beverages nor any other single type of food or beverage alone is responsible for the problems of overweight and obesity. But all calories count, whatever food or beverage they come from, including calories from sparkling beverages. We believe all foods and beverages have a place in a balanced and sensible diet combined with an active lifestyle. The foundation of good nutrition is balance, variety and moderation.

They can believe that all food has a place, but I believe our food does one of two things in our body: 1) Makes us healthier or 2) Builds disease. A 2-can of Coke a day habit results in an increase of roughly 2,300 calories per week. That means you are getting one full day’s recommended calorie intake in pure sugar. Coke alone may not be what causes obesity, but it certainly isn’t helping reverse any weight challenges (or other diseases of excess like Diabetes or heart disease). And to the point about exercise, a 160 lbs person would have to walk about nine hours at 3 mph to burn off 2,300 calories.

There were two more points made about aspartame and caffeine which is moot as I didn’t mention it here, but don’t worry… it’s coming.

To celebrate Making Love In The Kitchen’s first birthday, the bestest posts of the last year are getting another turn in the spotlight. These were selected either because they had the most traffic or should have.While together we stroll down memory lane, I will be away on a farm with no computer! We’ll chat when I get back.
Coke Makes People Fat: First Published June 19, 2009 z192600701

Last week, I conducted a little cleaning demonstration where I used a can of Coke to clean a burnt up stainless steel frying pan. I received more confessional emails than I expected about people’s love of a cold glass of Coke on a hot day. About ten years ago, I was in Seville, Spain with my mom and it was hot to trot outside. We found ourselves at a bar and neither of us felt much like drinking and so we each ordered a Coke- something we never ever do (and I do think that may have been the last time I did). That night, we were both up until all hours, wide awake and brain-spinning, reading the history sections of our guidebooks in an effort to get to sleep.

Coke is liquid sugar. One can of Coke contains 10 sugar cubes worth of sugar. Grody-to-the-max!

I recently came across one of my new favourite websites called SugarStacks.com. On this site, you can look up different foods and see the equivalent amount of sugar in cube form. Some of my favourite comparisons were the ones for ‘health foods’:

  • Yoplait Strawberrry Yogurt: 7 sugar cubes
  • Cliff Bar: 5 1/2 sugar cubes
  • Power Bar: 5 sugar cubes
  • Jamba Juice: 12 sugar cubes

And how about a 40-Oz Coke Slurpee? 23 sugar cubes!

Coke, as a representative of all soft drinks, wreaks havoc on the human organism. The main problem is sugar. It makes us anxious, stressed out, inflamed, fatigued and fat. Now remind me what the main health complaints are in our society?

  • In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.
  • 20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment)
  • 40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.
  • 45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.
  • Within 60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.
  • Within 60 Minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolyte and water.
  • Within 60 minutes: As the rave inside of you dies down you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now, literally, pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like even having the ability to hydrate your system or build strong bones and teeth.

So there you have it, an avalanche of destruction in a single can. Pass me the water please!

Bullet points from October 24th, 2007 Nutrition Researchers Posted in Children’s Health, Food Science Research by Wade Meredith

Update

24-hours after posting this, I received an email from the Public Affairs Manager from Coca-Cola Canada defending the drink. Here is what her email said (in italics) with my comments inserted.

————————————————————————————

Good morning Meghan,

Re: Making Love in the Kitchen: Coke Makes People Fat

Like so many messages on the Internet, this article is full of misinformation and provides no references to back up the claims made within.

As I stated above, I used the information from an article that was in the October 24th, 2007 Nutrition Researchers Posted in Children’s Health, Food Science Research. This was not my own research, and I don’t claim it to be. The same points were also made here.

Having said that, here are some well-document facts about sparkling beverages as it pertains to the misinformation made in the original article:

- A serving of Coca-Cola contains no more calories and sugar than the same amount of orange juice and less sugar than the same amount of apple juice. A 250ml serving contains approximately 26.5g of sugar, which is equivalent to four to five teaspoons of sugar.

I looked into this one and she is correct. There is only 26.5 grams of sugar in a 250 ml serving of Coke. But did you know that one can of Coke then counts as 2 servings. Therefore I hold to it that there are 42 grams of sugar in a Coke- equivalent to 10.5 teaspoons.

-Phosphoric acid is used in very small amounts in colas only, not other soft drinks.  The small amount of phosphoric acid found in soft drinks is considered a safe food ingredient in Canada and around the world.  The effect of phosphoric acid on calcium excretion and bone health has been disproved time and again by sound scientific research.

http://www.naturalnews.com/021774.html, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/5410476.stm, http://www.naturalwayhealth.co.uk/library/bone-health.php, http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/461898 … need I go on? You know my theory… when in doubt, why test it

- Human digestion and metabolism treat sugars found in foods and those added to foods in similar fashion. Irrespective of the source, some dietary sugars (and also some other carbohydrates) are broken down by a series of chemical reactions during the digestive processes and converted to glucose, which is then absorbed into the bloodstream through the intestinal lining. Other dietary sugars (such as fructose) are also absorbed into the blood stream and then converted to glucose by the liver.  All sugars have 4 calories per gram.

All true. But since when does an apple or carrot contain the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar (42 grams). Depending on the type, an average apple has 17 grams of sugar, but as naturally occurring more complex sugars combined with the presence of fibre, they are handled by the body slightly differently, absorbing far more slowly. The sugar as listed in the ingredients label of Coke, is glucose/fructose which means it requires no digestion time, will surge into the blood stream, spike blood sugar levels thereby straining the pancreas to produce enough insulin to get said sugar into the cells). This is the hormonal reaction that not only leads to cranky people mid-afternoon in the workplace (and drive home) but also to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

- Obesity is primarily caused by more calories being consumed than are expended.  People consume many different foods and beverages and neither sparkling beverages nor any other single type of food or beverage alone is responsible for the problems of overweight and obesity. But all calories count, whatever food or beverage they come from, including calories from sparkling beverages. We believe all foods and beverages have a place in a balanced and sensible diet combined with an active lifestyle. The foundation of good nutrition is balance, variety and moderation.

They can believe that all food has a place, but I believe our food does one of two things in our body: 1) Makes us healthier or 2) Builds disease. A 2-can of Coke a day habit results in an increase of roughly 2,300 calories per week. That means you are getting one full day’s recommended calorie intake in pure sugar. Coke alone may not be what causes obesity, but it certainly isn’t helping reverse any weight challenges (or other diseases of excess like Diabetes or heart disease). And to the point about exercise, a 160 lbs person would have to walk about nine hours at 3 mph to burn off 2,300 calories.

There were two more points made about aspartame and caffeine which is moot as I didn’t mention it here, but don’t worry… it’s coming.

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