Soda Linked to Cancer Due to a Very Key Ingredient

sodaIf you're looking forward to a cold can of soda with your lunch today, you may want to opt for a little H2O instead. According to recent findings published in Consumer Reports, the chemical that gives those beverages their inviting caramel color may cause cancer. 

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While that innocent-seeming brown hue is the single most used food coloring in the world, according to a 2013 report from market research firms Mintel and Leatherhead Food Research, some types contain 4-methylimidazole (4-Mel), a potentially carcinogenic chemical.

Twenty-nine micrograms of 4-Mel per day was determined to be the cut off point for each consumer by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, because at that level researchers found the chemical poses a one in 100,000 risk of cancer.

Okay, so it sounds like the odds are with you, but you'd probably still like to know which beverages contain the highest levels of 4-Mel, right? Malta Goya, Pepsi One, Diet Pepsi and Pepsi topped the list, exceeding that limit, according to the report. Sprite, which doesn't contain any caramel coloring as it is clear, was obviously safest, followed by Diet Coke, Coke Zero, and Coca-Cola, all of which contained under five micrograms of 4-Mel per can. 

More from The Stir: My Diet Soda Addiction Was Ruining My Life

So, as delicious as a frosty soft drink might be -- especially with a sandwich and chips or a pizza, it makes you think twice about whether it's worth it. 

As moms, we're always trying to set a good example and promote healthy habits. Maybe the key is to cut back slowly or not consume a whole can in one sitting. Perhaps the old "everything in moderation" is the best way to approach these findings. 

Will this news make you give up your soda? 

 

Image © Boule/shutterstock

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