Diet Coke Plus -- the current "it" drink among the young Hollywood crowd, if you believe the Coca-Cola PR wizzes -- will soon appear in a supermarket or convenience store near you.
And don't you dare call it a soda! According to the marketing gurus, Diet Coke is a "sparkling beverage".
Jumping on the Vitamin Water bandwagon about five years too late, Coca-Cola will now offer their classic diet soda with 15% of the recommended amounts of niacin, B6, and B12, and 10% of the magnesium and zinc daily values per each eight ounce can.
Despite a massive push by vitamin companies, most of us do not need extra dosages of vitamins and minerals if we eat in a balanced and healthy fashion.
I would only really advocate extra dosages to people with absorption deficiencies or, in the case of Vitamin D, to people whose exposure to sunlight is limited (we can't rely on food alone to get our Vitamin D needs).
It is very rare for healthy adults to be deficient in the vitamins and minerals present in Diet Coke Plus.
Niacin, by law, must be added to all bread products, a staple in most everyone's diet. B6 and B12 are mainly found in protein-rich foods, and given the protein overload in the United States diet, there is little reason to worry about these two vitamins.
Zinc is found in many animal products and is also added to nearly all ready-to-eat cereals, which millions of people have for breakfast.
Keep in mind, too, that you can get the same amount of zinc in Diet Coke Plus in just one ounce of pecans, or a cup of yogurt.
Ironically, Diet Coke still contains phosphoric acid, which, as I explained in issue two of Small Bites, decreases our blood calcium levels. Now THAT'S a mineral many people, especially women, are not getting enough of.
If you enjoy Diet Coke, feel free to continue to have it once in a while. However, do not for a second think this new product is a health food.
If you're a Pepsi fan, you too can have unnecessary extra vitamins and minerals when their very own Tava drink is released later this year.