In the UK sugar especially in soft drinks such as cordials and fizzy pop now have a new tax levy has been pushed onto companies, this is because of the rising obesity problems and a direct link to thousands of increased cases of diabetes every year.
The sugar tax will came into force on April 6, 2018
The levy is being applied to manufacturers – whether they pass it on to consumers or not is up to them.
Drinks with more than 8g per 100ml will face a tax rate equivalent to 24p per litre.
Those containing 5-8g of sugar per 100ml will face a slightly lower rate of tax, of 18p per litre.
Pure fruit juices will be exempt as they do not carry added sugar, while drinks with a high milk content will also be exempt due to their calcium content.
Every website I have looked at for information on this lists the benefits only, which is understandable, however once you finish patting the government on the back for actually doing something that appears to be for the good of the public.
You should take a closer look at the ingredients of your favorite can of pop of cordial, most now say ‘No added sugar’ but all the sugar tax has actually done is essentially force manufactures to use alternatives such as aspartame.
So whats the problem with sweeteners ?
This is where it get confusing, and where this thread appears to go of topic.
On the one hand many groups say that Aspartame and other sweeteners can cause cancer and a whole host of other really nasty illnesses, and on the other hand the people we are supposed to trust such as the The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) of the United Kingdom (UK) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (USA) say they are perfectly safe.
Now I can’t say who is right and who isn’t but it does not help when recently it came to light that the FDA knew in 1991 that sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid could react to form benzene (a known carcinogen) in drinks but never informed the public. The drinks at the time were reformulated but failed to fix the problem. Another review was done in 2006 in the UK, Germany and the USA but to date as far as I can find they are still ‘reviewing the issue’.
Drinks manufacturers say that they are within legal limits but if you couple drinking with eating and breathing benzene I would imagine we are way way above safe levels.
I apologies for leaving the post ‘open ended’ but will say this, where ever possible I try to buy drinks that contain sugar and not sweeteners, it’s my personal preference to air on the side of caution, and as with the ‘benzene issue’ and probably others we are not even aware of yet whether you choose sugar or a sweetener may not be the health concern to worry about.
Ultimately drinking or eating anything to excess is bad for you.
On a side note benzene is in the air (from fuel) and in some food and now possibly in some drinks and yet the ‘maximum amounts’ which are already considered to high by many are based on the individual products, and no one seems to look at what could be our whole intake could be.
Below are healthy alternatives to regular sugars and sweeteners, from experience I found that coconut sugar wasn’t sweet enough for my coffee every day but is ok for cooking, cereal etc but that could just be the brand I have ‘shrug’ .
Fruit sugar as with many alternatives are not to everyone’s tastes and one versus another can make a huge difference in taste, only you can decide what you like and what you hate.