And now we have Diet Coke Plus, which is Diet Coke fortified with certain vitamins and minerals and which is being heralded as the “healthy soda”. Some would like us to believe that now we can drink carbonated diet cola to our heart’s desire, without guilt or self-reproach. Now, by consuming this vitamin and mineral fortified soda, we are supposedly doing something good for our health. It has even been suggested that now we can drink more instead of less!
I admit that I am very impressed that, in this day and age when energy and vitamin drinks are all the rage, someone had finally thought of putting vitamins and minerals into soda. I concede that the idea is ingenious. I am even sincerely happy that now a healthier option exists for those people who cannot give up drinking carbonated soda beverages. And, I honestly don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but I do have two issues with this product.
Less is Still Better than More
Although Diet Coke Plus is fortified with magnesium, zinc, niacin and vitamins B6 and B12, nonetheless, it is still a carbonated soda that still contains all of the other ingredients that generally make it a poor choice of beverage. The fact that it has been thus fortified does not make it a healthy, nutritious alternative. It may be a better choice over soda that doesn’t contain any vitamins or minerals at all, but certainly it is not an acceptable substitute for beverages that are truly beneficial to our health, like fresh fruit or vegetable juice.
The presence of vitamins and minerals in Diet Cola Plus should not fool us into believing that by choosing to drink it, we are making a sound nutritional decision. Moreover, we should not allow ourselves to be deceived into thinking that we can now justify drinking more or as much as we want. When it comes to Diet Coke Plus, less is still better than more.
Children and Teens
We all know how much children love cola and many teenagers quite literally guzzle soda. Those of us adults who are hopelessly hooked on the stuff probably got hooked when we were young and we know how difficult it is to stop drinking it. I am concerned that, with the advent of a vitamin and mineral fortified cola, which by its very label infers that it is a healthy beverage, parents will not be so hesitant to give soda to children. I am afraid that some parents may rationalize that its okay to offer the carbonated beverage to their kids.
According to an article published on NUTRAingredients-usa.com, in a letter of December 10, 2008 from the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to Coca-Cola Company, the FDA took issue with the idea of fortifying snack foods like carbonated beverages with vitamins and minerals. I tend to agree. Perhaps Coca-Cola Company does have good intentions and is simply trying to add a little nutritional value to soda and give consumers a healthier option. And, then again, maybe it is just a clever marketing ploy. In any event, in my humble opinion, soda is still soda and not a sound nutritional beverage choice for anyone, and particularly not a beverage of choice for children.
In conclusion, I would say that if you cannot give up carbonated soda beverages altogether, then select Diet Coke Plus over non-fortified soda, but keep in mind that its still soda and drink it in moderation.