- Many consumers think “Mexican Coke” – made with cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners – is a healthier beverage choice.
- Others believe fruit juice is healthier than soda.
- The truth of the matter is …
By Peter Hess on May 17, 2019
Inverse.com – When it comes to long-term health, there may not be much of a difference among sugary drinks.
Research published Friday in JAMA Network Open suggests that the sugar content in both soda and juice can contribute to shortened lifespans.
The paper shows evidence that drinking sugary beverages — soda, juice, or otherwise — is associated with an increased risk of death, or “all-cause mortality.”
The researchers from Emory University, the University of Alabama, and Cornell University concluded that every additional 12-ounce sugary beverage people drank on a daily basis increased their risk of all-cause mortality by 11 percent.
The risk was more than double for juice:
Every 12-ounce daily serving of 100 percent fruit juice increased the risk of all-cause mortality by 24 percent.
These results suggest that public health efforts should focus especially hard on reducing the consumption of sugary beverages — including fruit juices, which do not seem to be a healthy alternative.
“Importantly, while an increasing number of program and policy initiatives have focused on reducing the consumption of [sugar-sweetened beverages], our results suggest that these efforts should be extended to include fruit juices,” the team writes.
Soda and Juice Are Similar on the Metabolic Level
While high sugar intake is most often linked to obesity, the researchers explain that the increase in mortality risk associated with soda and juice isn’t really associated with fat levels.
They’re more concerned with the other byproducts of metabolizing fructose, the sugar that sweetens both types of beverages.
“The metabolism of fructose, which is unique from all other sugars, occurs unregulated and almost exclusively in the liver,” they write. “Fructose consumption is known to alter blood lipid levels, markers of inflammation and blood pressure, while high glucose consumption has been associated with insulin resistance and diabetes, independent of weight status.”
In other words, while these drinks certainly may contribute to obesity, which is associated with worse lifelong health, the sugar they contain has other, separate effects that may shorten a person’s life. Read more.
The Story of Mexican Coke
A nasty trade war and questionable scientific assumptions make it difficult to discern what is, and what isn’t, the real thing
Smithsonian – Just as lots of people wanted to buy the world a Coke, as the classic 1970s ad goes, a big chunk of the population today yearns for nothing but “Mexican Coke,” seemingly the same brown fizzy liquid in the classically curvaceous bottle—but with one important difference.
Coca-Cola that is hecho en México (made in Mexico) contains cane sugar rather than high-fructose corn syrup, the current whipping boy of the food world.
Hipsters and the trendy restaurants they patronize have known about Mexican Coke for some time now, and bodegas in Los Angeles have stocked it to appeal to their Mexican-American customers.
But in recent years, Mexican Coke has been appearing in the wide aisles of Costco, signaling a broader interest.
American Enterprise, a new exhibition at the National Museum of American History, features the slender glass bottle, and curator Peter Liebhold says there’s more to the story of Mexican Coke than a simple preference for one kind of sweetener over another.
Mexico and the United States have long been engaged in a trade war over sugar. Sugar is big business in Mexico, as it is in many parts of the world.
In an effort to protect its sugar industry, Mexico has repeatedly tried to inhibit imports of high-fructose corn syrup, which the U.S. had been exporting to Mexico and was being used in place of Mexican sugar to make Coke as well as other products. Read more.