Saturday, February 17, 2007

Temperature Check

Have you heard about Celsius? It's a new food supplement in the guise of a soft drink. It seems fairly ominous to me, being as I'm reading Michael Pollan's excellent book The Omnivore's Dilemma and am in the chapter about how many foods have been "invented" to accommodate the country's overproduction of corn.

Anywho, Celsius is a Splenda-sweetened soft drink that comes in a number of flavors and--here's the kicker--claims to be thermogenic. It supposedly burns calories while you drink your sugar-free cola or ginger ale or orangeade.

How can they claim this, you might ask, given the wrist-slapping Coke just took over their similar Enviga claims?

It's all in the way the laws of food versus "food supplements" is set up. Food supplements are not under the jurisdiction of the Food & Drug Administration and therefore are not regulated in what claims they are allowed to make--or at least that's my understanding of it. (If that's not right, let me know!)

So, what's in Celsius?

The usual suspects. Green tea extract, guarana seed and caffeine, among other "thermogenic" ingredients.

On the other hand, at least their website (see link above) rails against the evils of High Fructose Corn Syrup. I may try one and see if it gives me heart palpitations. Is it a magic fat-burning potion? No. Is it a reasonable alternative to regular old diet soda? Why not? At least it isn't loaded with sugar or HFCS or aspartame.

No comments:

Post a Comment