100 % Natural 7-Up not so Natural

*** Update to our May 2006 report (below) ***

Since publishing our review last Spring of the new 100% Natural 7-Up, the 100% Natural claim sparked controversy. Eventually, this forced 7-Up maker Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages to drop the claim in January 2007. (scroll down to see the original article)

High Fructose Corn Syrup is not Natural, critics argued.

The reformulation contains five ingredients: filtered carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), natural citric acid, natural flavors and natural potassium citrate.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest argued that HFCS is not natural. Though not any better or worse nutritionally than plain table sugar, CSPI stated that HFCS is not natural as it is spawned from a complex, multi-step industrial process by which starch is extracted from corn and converted with acids or enzymes into glucose and fructose.


The Bottom Line

Regardless of whether 7-Up is 100% or 80% natural, it is still a soft drink. In other words, it is still a bottle of sweetened water. The dietary guidelines recommend that we limit added sugars to about 8 teaspoons a day for an average 2000-calorie diet. One 20 ounce bottle of 7-Up contains more than 15 teaspoons!

Natural Thirst Quenchers:

  • Water (Calorie-free kind)
  • Try squeezing real lemon or lime juice in plain water for a refreshing, thirst quenching drink
  • Low fat (1%) and / or skim milk

*** end update ***

The New Natural 7-Up – What’s the deal?

A few readers wrote to us about the new 7-Up ad. The ad boasted that the new “crisp and refreshing” 7-Up now contains 100 percent natural ingredients and has been stripped of all artificial ingredients.

7 Up – “Now 100% Natural”

By removing calcium disodium EDTA (a flavor preservative), the new lemon-lime 7-Up is replaced with “natural flavors”. We can find five ingredients on its ingredient list: filtered carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, natural citric acid, natural flavors and natural potassium citrate.

Is “Natural” better?

Possibly. But will you pour 15 tsp of natural sugar in your bottled water?

It is disappointing to find that the new 7-Up still contains 240 kcal per bottle. In the end, the new 7-Up is still a soft drink. In other words, it is still a bottle of sweetened water. The dietary guidelines recommend that we limit added sugars to about 8 tsp a day for an average 2000-calorie diet. One 20 oz bottle of the new 7-Up contains more than 15 tsp!


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