Recent diet programs have turned to high protein, low carbohydrate-based foods to assist in the goal of weight loss. However, a new study by the NPD Group (market research firm) has found that of the people that claim to be on “low-carb” diets, only one out of four are significantly cutting carbohydrates from their diets. NPD found that the adults who are cutting carbs are still eating an average of 128 grams of refined carbohydrates a day, although “low-carb” diets recommend 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. One deterrent to a low-carb diet may be that many beverages are still rich in refined sugars. In response to the public’s interest in low-carb food products, the low-carb movement has also spread to the beverage market. Pasco Beverage Co. has added tagatose to a juice beverage containing the nonnutritive sweetener sucralose. The resulting juice contains 70% fewer carbs than regular fruit juices. Tagatose is a natural, low calorie sweetener (patented by Spherix Inc.) that tastes like table sugar.
Soft-drink makers are launching new products that have reduced calories. Pepsi Co. recently announced plans to launch Pepsi Edge, a product that will have approximately half the calories and carbs of regular Pepsi. Coca-Cola also announced the production of a cola product that would have half the calories and carbs of Coke Classic. The soft drink makers are hoping that the mid-calorie sodas will be popular with people who want to cut sugar and carbohydrates, but aren’t drinking diet drinks.