Pepsi Pooper

November 12, 2012

Torah Kachur

Pepsi Co. in their infinite quest to promote healthy living *cough* and healthy bodies *cough* is now marketing and selling a beverage called Pepsi Special.  This blend of nail-rotting cola flavor, high fructose corn syrup and caffeine is the symbol of health and wellness worldwide *cough* and now contains fiber.


Pepsi Special contains dextrin and is marketed as a "fat-blocking soda" because high fructose corn syrup is so calorie free.  In all fairness, fiber is an exceptionally important part of our diet and comes in many forms.  The National Fiber Council recommends eating 32 grams of the stuff that can come from things such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, you know, healthy stuff.  Our national diet of burgers, fries and soda is bunging us up as most Americans get less than half of the recommended fiber intake (10-15 grams).  Maybe it makes sense to make the leading cause of excess calories in America also a source of fiber.


Special Pepsi Special Fat Blocking soda This whole "fat-blocking" bullshit that Pepsi seems to think is just totally okay to claim?  Sort of a little bit true actually.  Having a diet high in fiber will certainly mean you will eat less fat because fiber increases the sensation of fullness and most foods high in fiber are also low in fat.  So a high-fiber diet is good to lose weight and decrease your calories from fat.  Soluble fibers, like the additive dextrin in Pepsi Special does decrease absorption of fats from the diet, it also increases bile excretion by binding to our natural cholesterol sources from our gall bladder which can decrease overall serum cholesterol levels, this is a good thing.  Soluble fibers like dextrin (2-10 g/day) have been shown to reduce cholesterol by 4%


Increasing dietary intake of fiber has also been shown to reduce weight, when individuals had no change in caloric intake but simply increased fiber intake by 14% a day, they averaged about 5lbs of weight loss in 4 months.  Probably because they were in the toilet too long to eat poorly.  Increased fiber is good for us, not only because it can regulate cholesterol levels, immune function and caloric intake.


But Pepsi Co is trying to say that we can simply drink their product that has absolutely no other nutritional value and be healthier.  We may lose a few pounds and gain regularity.  But, we are still skipping out on the important nutrients, minerals and general nutrition that comes from eating more natural sources of fiber.


At least I know that the post-sushi blockage can be helped in Japan from a vending machine, but I still think I'll pick a pear instead.


Slavin JL, Savarino V, Paredes-Diaz A, & Fotopoulos G (2009). A review of the role of soluble fiber in health with specific reference to wheat dextrin. The Journal of international medical research, 37 (1), 1-17 PMID: 19215668



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