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Coca-Cola is working with nutrition and fitness experts who suggest pairing healthy snacks with cans of Coke
Veggies and dip, hummus and pita… with a side of Coke?
Big soda companies are really scrambling to re-brand their former public image, which casts them as peddlers of obesity- and diabetes-inducing sugar water. That’s why soda companies vowed earlier this year to cut American soft drink calories. You’ve probably seen an uptick in advertising for smaller soda sizes, as well as “natural” sodas from Coke, Pepsi, and Mountain Dew, made with real sugar and sugar substitutes like Stevia. But Coca-Cola is also trying to send more subtle messages: According to AP, Coca-Cola has employed dieticians and fitness experts to mention Coke in their blog posts and research findings on healthy snacks.
For instance, Coca-Cola attached its name to several blog posts and online pieces about American Heart Month in February, subliminally sending the message that yes, you can drink soda regularly and still be heart (and everything else) healthy. One such blog post suggests consuming a “refreshing beverage like a mini can of Coca-Cola” alongside healthy snacks.
"We have a network of dietitians we work with," Ben Sheidler, a Coca-Cola spokesperson, told AP about the February paid posts. "Every big brand works with bloggers or has paid talent." Coke also confirmed that any content that they pay nutrition and fitness experts for will always be fully disclosed. This was the case in this blog post for Patch, and in a post from The Nutrition Planner.
In a statement, Coca Cola said that the company wants to "help people make decisions that are right for them" and that the company works with health experts "to help bring context to the latest facts and science around our products and ingredients."
The Daily Meal has reached out to Coca-Cola for further comment.
This Is the Biggest Mistake Coca-Cola Has Ever Made, Say Experts
Younger fans of Coca-Cola may not know that the company once came dangerously close to losing its prominent status as the #1 beverage-maker in the world. In 1984, the company made a startling announcement that would end up being remembered as its biggest mistake in history. So what could have possibly been so detrimental to the brand's unrivaled success?
According to the latest episode of Business Movers, a Wondery podcast investigating stories behind successful businesses, the Coca-Cola Company faced swift and intense backlash when it announced plans to change the recipe for Coke on April 23, 1985. At the time, the company's namesake beverage had reigned supreme among soft drinks for almost a century. (Related: Grocery Shortages To Expect in 2021, According to Experts.)
The man behind the plan, new CEO Roberto Goizueta, worried that Coca-Cola was stuck in a rut as competitors like Pepsi gained market share. So, he decided to buck conventional wisdom and mess with a good thing—Coke's signature flavor.
"The best has been made even better," Goizueta said at a press conference announcing the "New Coke." "Some may choose to call this the single-boldest marketing move in the history of the packaged goods business. We simply call it the surest move ever made. Simply stated, we have a new formula for Coke."
The new beverage was sweeter than the old one, which the company claimed was an overwhelmingly popular improvement during taste-tests. However, no amount of confidence or marketing dollars could rescue the move that would soon become a PR nightmare.
Angry Coke customers flooded the company's call centers and mailboxes, demanding answers as to why their favorite beverage was changing. "What in the hell is 'New Coke?' And what was wrong with old Coke?" one caller asked, according to Business Movers.
While most customers hadn't even tried the new product, the backlash was bad enough to force Coca-Cola into reversing its decision a mere 78 days later. Coke's original recipe was restored, and it returned to shelves under a new name: Coke Classic. The decision made headlines across the country.
"Coke is the sublimated essence of all that America stands for. A decent thing, honestly made, universally distributed," wrote William Allen White, a legendary Kansas newspaper editor, more than a century ago. Goizueta should have known that trying to change Coke would be like trying to redefine what it means to be American.
For more on Coke's history, check out 30 Coca-Cola Facts You Never Knew. And don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.
Drinking Soda Goes Along With Other Unhealthy Behaviors
In Kennedy’s opinion, other unhealthy lifestyle factors “often go along with frequent soda consumption, which compounds soda's effect on health,” she says. “Oftentimes, when someone is having a soda, they're not making the best food choices either.”
So what are some better choices? There are plenty of other refreshing beverages, with nutritional value, that you can drink instead of soda. It’s still important, though, to consider what’s in your soda substitutes. Replacing soda with high-sugar fruit juices or processed tea and coffee drinks, which often contain added sugar, isn’t much better for your health.
But swapping out soda for drinks that are low in sugar, such as unsweetened iced coffee or tea, can reduce your sugar intake while adding beneficial antioxidants to your diet, notes research. Low-fat milk, Kennedy adds, is also a better option, providing vitamins and nutrients, such as calcium, per the University of California in San Francisco.
Need some inspiration? Get started with these healthier, low-calorie thirst quenchers that are sure to still satisfy your taste buds.
Coke's new recipe was debuted in 1985 younger fans may only remember it from Stranger Things. Unfortunately, fans preferred the original Coke formula, and New Coke didn't last.
Life Savers has had a number of failed creations over the years, from Creme Savers to Life Savers Holes. But the brand's most spectacular failure might be Life Savers Soda, which was an unappealing brown color.
And while you're on a trip down memory lane, check out these 35 Snacks From Your Childhood You Forgot You Loved.
4. Eat Salads to Get Smart Fats
Eating a little good fat (like the monounsaturated fat found in olive oil, avocado and nuts) with your vegetables appears to help your body absorb protective phytochemicals, like lycopene from tomatoes and lutein from dark green vegetables.
A recent study from Ohio State University measured how well phytochemicals were absorbed by the body after people ate a salad of lettuce, carrot, and spinach, with or without 2 1/2 tablespoons of avocado. The avocado-eaters absorbed eight times more alpha-carotene and more than 13 times more beta-carotene (both of which are thought to help protect against cancer and heart disease) than the group eating salads without avocado.
If you dress your salad with a little olive oil, there may even be some additional years in it for you. Italian research on people aged 60 and older has suggested that a diet that includes plenty of olive oil and raw vegetables is linked to reduced mortality.
Barbara Rolls, PhD, nutrition researcher, Pennsylvania State University author, The Volumetrics Eating Plan.
David Jacobs Jr., PhD, Mayo Professor of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
Masala, G., British Journal of Nutrition, 2007, vol 98: p 406.
Freedman, N.D., International Journal of Cancer, 2008, vol 122: pp 2330-2336.
Krebs-Smith, S.M., Journal of the American Dietetic Association, September 2006, vol 106: pp 1371-1379.
Rolls, B.J., Journal of the American Dietetic Association, October 2004, vol 104: pp 1570-1576.
Rolls, B.J., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2005, vol 82: pp 236S-241S.
Blumberg, J.B., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 2007, vol 85: pp 1041-1049.
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Jacobs D.R., Clinical Chemistry, 2007, vol 53: pp 447-455.
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- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup butter
- 1 ½ cups miniature marshmallows
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup cola-flavored carbonated beverage
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup butter
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 tablespoons cola-flavored carbonated beverage
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 cup chopped pecans
Combine flour and white sugar in mixing bowl. Heat 1 cup butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa, and 1 cup cola soft drink to boiling and pour over the flour and sugar. Mix thoroughly.
Add buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, vanilla, and marshmallows and mix well.
Bake in a prepared 9 by 13 inch pan for 40 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
While still hot, frost with Coco Cola Frosting: Combine 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 2 tablespoons cocoa and 6 tablespoons cola soft drink and heat to boiling. Pour over 4 cups confectioners' sugar and mix well. Mix in chopped nuts and spread over hot cake.
Regular Soda or Diet Soda: Which is Worse For Your Health?
While I don&apost go around telling people soda is "bad," I don&apost think it&aposs good: it&aposs full of sugars or sugar substitutes some kinds of soda, namely colas, contain phosphoric acid, which, according to some studies, may harm bones. That said, I don&apost always avoid soda: now and then, I&aposll order one to have with a burger or with popcorn at the movies. I usually order a Diet Coke. Why? For years, I drank tons of diet soda-and that&aposs what my taste buds grew to like. Seltzer is a great healthy alternative to soda. But when it comes to diet soda versus regular soda, what&aposs really the better choice? I decided to weigh the pros and cons of each.
-Nicci Micco, Editor-at-Large for EatingWell Magazine
Con: It&aposs full of added sugars, usually in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. High intakes of added sugars are linked with high blood pressure and high triglyceride levels, risk factors for heart disease-which is why the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting all sugars to no more than about 6 teaspoons a day if you&aposre a woman, no more than 9 teaspoons if you&aposre a man. A 12-ounce can of cola has about 8 teaspoons-which translates to about 130 calories. So one soda won&apost make or break your diet, particularly if you make room for it by cutting out something else, but if you drink too many, these calories can add up to major weight gain. Side note: One of my college friends lost 20 pounds in about six months just by eliminating sodas. (He&aposd been a big soda drinker.)
If you&aposre trying to avoid artificial sugar substitutes, you won&apost find them in there. Yes, I know that some people consider HFCS a chemical akin to the artificial sweeteners found in diet sodas if you&aposre among them and crave a soda, you could consider a variety sweetened with cane sugar.
13 Ways to Stop Drinking Soda for Good
Soft drinks can be bad for your waistline, your teeth, your bones, and more. (Yes, even diet ones!) Here’s how to make giving them up easier.
The trouble with bubbles
You know soda’s not exactly good for you𠅋ut at the same time, it can be hard to resist. Its sweet taste, pleasant fizz, and energizing jolt often seems like just what you need to wash down your dinner, get you through an afternoon slump, or quench your thirst at the movies.
But the more soda you consume (regular or diet), the more hazardous your habit can become. And whether you’re a six-pack-a-day drinker or an occasional soft-drink sipper, cutting back can likely have benefits for your weight and your overall health. Here’s why you should be drinking less, plus tips on how to make the transition easier.
Why you should quit
The biggest risk for regular soda drinkers is the excess calories, says Lona Sandon, RD, assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “The calories in regular soda are coming entirely from added sugar, and you’re not getting any value in terms of vitamins or minerals, or even good quality carbohydrates,” she says.
But soda may also be causing other types of harm. Studies have shown that its consumption is linked with tooth decay and diabetes, and it also seems to be bad for your bones. “It may have something to do with the phosphorus in soda, or it could be that people are drinking soda instead of other beverages—like milk—that have nutrients necessary for healthy bones,” Sandon says.
But what about diet soda?
Sugar-free sodas may not have any calories, but that doesn’t mean they’re any good for you. In fact, they may not even help you lose weight. (Research on this topic has been mixed, at best, but several studies have shown that diet soda drinkers are more likely to be overweight or obese than regular soda drinkers.)
Plus, diet drinks have many of the same health risks as regular soft drinks, including tooth decay and bone thinning, and they’ve also been linked to heart disease anddepression in women. Switching to diet sodas may be a smart first step if you’re trying to eliminate excess calories, says Sandon, but your best bet is to eventually give them up, too.
Wean yourself off slowly
That news may be enough to convince you that you should stop drinking soda, but it could still be easier said than done. “People really can become addicted to soda, so you have to be a realist and not an idealist,” says nutritionist Stefanie Sacks, author of the forthcoming book What the Fork Are You Eating?. “I don’t recommend going cold turkey you need to wean yourself off, just like you would anything you’ve become dependent on.”
If you typically drink multiple servings of soda a day, Sacks suggests first cutting back to one a day. Give that two weeks, then switch to three sodas a week. “It gives you a chance to adjust gradually, which should lead to real, sustainable change,” says Sacks.
Mix it with water
Sandon also recommends weaning yourself slowly off soda, and sometimes suggests that her clients start drinking half-soda, half-water. “You’re automatically drinking less and hydrating and filling up with water, which is a good thing,” she says.
But there’s an added advantage, as well: “It cuts back on the sweetness you get from soda, which is one of the things people get really used to. If you’re drinking less sugar, your taste buds will change and soon you won’t need that sweetness anymore.”
Start tracking your calories
If you’re blindly throwing back colas without stopping to think of their impact on your waistline, you could be in for a rude awakening: Each 12-ounce can of Coke, for example, contains 140 calories, while a 20-ounce bottle has 240. (In comparison, here are some smarter snacks for just 200 calories—with filling protein and fiber, to boot.)
Downloading a calorie-tracking app may help you realize just how much those beverages can affect your daily calorie consumption𠅊s long as you actually log in and record each serving. Instead of pouring yourself refill after refill, start paying attention to how much you’re actually drinking once you do, you may be more willing to cut back.
Do the exercise math
Another way to quantify the calories you’re drinking is by thinking about how much exercise it would take to burn them off. In a 2014 Johns Hopkins University study, researchers placed signs in corner stores stating that a 20-ounce bottle of soda would take 5 miles of walking or 50 minutes of jogging to burn off.
These vertisements” worked: When teenager customers saw these signs, they were more likely to buy a smaller soda, a water, or no drink at all. “When you explain calories in an easily understandable way such as how many miles of walking needed to burn them off, you can encourage behavior change,” said the study authors.
Switch to unsweetened tea
Need that jolt of caffeine to wake up in the morning? If you’re not a coffee drinker, Sandon suggests sipping on unsweetened iced tea instead. “It can be just as refreshing, and there are real health benefits to drinking the phytochemicals in tea,” she says.
If you don’t like the taste of plain tea, mix in some lemon, mint, or a small amount of sugar or artificial sweetener𠅊t least during your transition-from-soda phase. The important thing is that you’re aware of, and in charge of, exactly what’s going into your drink and how much is added.
Drink a glass of water first
Whenever the urge to drink a soda hits, fill up a big glass of ice water and finish that first. 𠇊 lot of times, people drink soda just because they’re bored, or they’re thirsty, and that’s what’s available or that’s what they’re used to,” says Sacks.
If you’re still craving a soda after you’ve downed your H2O, then you can reconsider whether it’s really worth it𠅋ut chances are your thirst will be quenched and you’ll feel satisfied from just the water. (You can make this work while you’re out and about, too, by always carrying a bottle of water with you.)
Treat yourself to natural brands
When Sacks has successfully weaned her clients down to just a few sodas a week, she often recommends they switch to a brand with fewer artificial ingredients. “They’re more expensive, but you’ll be drinking them less often,” she says. Sacks likes Grown Up Soda, Santa Cruz Organics, and Blue Sky because they don’t contain high-fructose corn syrup or artificial ingredients, and generally contain less sugar than the big brands. “They’re an overall healthier choice, especially if you’re only drinking them occasionally.”
Give seltzer a try
If it’s carbonation you crave, try drinking plain or flavored seltzer water, suggests Sacks. You can buy seltzer by the bottle, or make your own at home with a SodaStream machine ($69, amazon.com).
“Toss a little fruit juice in there for flavor, and eventually change that juice to fresh-squeezed citrus,” says Sacks. “That way you still get the bubbles that you love in soda, but you’re in control of how much sweetness and sugar is added.”
Clean up your water
Even still water (or non-bubbly) can be made more palatable with the addition of some fruit or natural flavors. “People tell me they don’t like water, but often they just need to experiment with new ways to drink it,” says Sandon.
She recommends adding lemon, orange, or cucumber slices to a pitcher of water in your refrigerator, which can serve as a detour when you go hunting for a cold soda.Frozen berries and fresh mint can also be tasty additions to a cold glass of H2O.
If you drink a lot of soda and you’re not quite ready to give it up, try buying caffeine-free versions instead. You may start drinking lesswithout even realizing it, suggests a 2015 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition. In the study, participants were split into two groups and all told to drink as much soda as they𠆝 like for the next 28 days. (One group got regular, one group got caffeine-free.) Even though there was no noticeable taste difference between the two, the caffeinated group drank 53% more over the next monthout 5 ounces a day. When our bodies get used to regular caffeine, we crave more of it, say the study authors, prompting us to drink more.
Steer clear of soda triggers
You may notice that you only drink soda in certain places or situations: In the afternoon at the office, for example, or when you eat at a certain restaurant. You may not be able to completely avoid these scenarios—you’ve still got to go to work and should still enjoy eating out𠅋ut you may be able to change those bad habits.
If it’s the office vending machine that tempts you to buy a soda every day, try to stay away from it in the afternoon𠅊nd pack your own healthy beverage or a refillable water bottle so you have an alternative. Or if you tend to crave soda with a certain type of food, try restaurants that offer other options instead.
Try it for two weeks
Weaning yourself off something gradually works best for most people, says Sacks, but some may want to try the cold turkey approach. If you plan to go that route, think of it as a temporary change: Giving soda up for two weeks or a month may be easier and more manageable than ditching it forever.
The best part about this trick? Once your time is up, you may not even want to go back to soda𠅊t least not at the frequency you drank it before. “We acquire a taste for sugar depending on how much we have on a daily basis,” says Sandon. “If you cut out soda for a while, you may be surprised at how sweet it tastes ones you go back.” (Want extra help with the cold-turkey method? Enlist friends to take the challenge with you.)
Save it for special occasions
Once you’re able to break your regular soda habit and the drink loses its grip on you, it can be treated just like any other junk food: If you really love the taste, there’s nothing wrong with an occasional indulgence, says Sacks. “If it’s your gotta-have-it food, then by all means splurge on a soda now and then,” she says. In fact, knowing that you can have a soda on your cheat day or during a special night out may help you resist them on a more regular basis. “Just do it from a place of education: If you understand that soda is essentially just sugar and artificial flavorings, then you can be more smart about when or if you’re going to drink it.”
Zevia Zero Calorie Soda, Cola
Say hello to the first stevia soda! It's a good thing the parents who founded Zevia wanted healthier sodas for their kids to drink because now we have another scale-friendly option to add to our shopping list. This was the first soda brand to use stevia, combining the leaf extract with citric acid, carbonated water, and natural flavors. Don't let the word "acid" scare you citric acid is a safe additive that's naturally found in many fruits, and all of these ingredients add up to a yummy, sometimes caffeinated, zero-calorie soda. So chug another one if you're parched — there are 14 flavors to choose from after all.
Lats up on our list of high calorie foods to avoid when losing weight are candy bars.
Just like dessert & pastries, candy bars are delicious, but not very good for your weight loss journey. Filled with sugar and other additives, these delicious treats will not only slow down your weight loss but they also won’t even keep you satiated.
1 snickers bar has 280 calories and 30 grams of sugar.
It’s just not worth it. Next time you are craving a snack, just have something healthy instead. Such as something from this list of guilt-free snacks for weight loss.
And that’s it, guys! Those were the top 10 high calorie foods to avoid when losing weight.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to also check out our blog post on the 5 foods to NEVER, ever eat when losing weight!
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