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Are there any benefits to drinking coke when eating greasy food?
December 17, 2007 11:39 AM   Subscribe

I heard coca-cola is a good fat solvent. Are there any benefits to drinking coke when eating greasy food?

Perhaps it enables fat to pass through your body quicker leading to reduced fat absorption?
posted by gttommy to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I've never heard this. I would be curious how it could possibly be true.
posted by antifuse at 11:45 AM on December 17, 2007


MythBusters did a series of Coke experiments. The only one to work was the coke + mentos thing. Coke is not good at dissolving oil. Even if it was, your stomach already knows how to digest greasy food.

The high-fructose corn syrup that is in the USA version of Coke is bad for you because it won't help you feel full even after consuming hundreds of calories of it! Even if you drink Diet Coke, it's still highly carbonated, which gives a lot of people heartburn or other stomach upsets so I can't think that it's "good" for you even if you're young / lucky enough to escape the stomach upset.
posted by TeatimeGrommit at 11:49 AM on December 17, 2007


Tea helps with greasy food. I've never heard of coke doing this.
posted by mphuie at 11:50 AM on December 17, 2007


IANANutritionist, but just thinking about it, it seems to me that if the fat is dissolved in Coca-Cola, it would be more easily absorbed by the body.
posted by owtytrof at 11:51 AM on December 17, 2007


I've heard of alcohol being a fat solvent but not Coke. The reason alcohol doesn't have any fat-related positive effects is that the amount of alcohol needed to prevent a substantial amount of fat from being absorbed is equivalent to about 400 shots of alcohol.

Also, non-diet Coca-Cola contains a lot of sugar, so the high sugar content has a good chance of outweighing any positive nutritional effect it has on fat.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:52 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


There are lots of lists on the internet of mostly false/unproven facts about what coke can do.
One of the "facts":
To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, And run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains.
http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/acid.asp
posted by rancidchickn at 11:59 AM on December 17, 2007


Dissolving fat and breaking the fat molecules down are two different things. Even if the coke (which is pretty acidic) dissolved the fat (it might, depends on what type of fat), the fat molecules would still be intact when they reach your stomach, and would be absorbed normally. ( You could also think about this as eating a teaspoon of sugar, and drinking a glass of water with a teaspoon of sugar stirred into it. The end results would be the same.)
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 12:05 PM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


TeatimeGrommit, that's funny, a can of Coca-Cola (the HFCS kind) stops my hunger pangs for an hour or two. Maybe I'm just funny.

That's not to say that it's in any way healthy, just that for some people, it does just fine at eliminating hunger.
posted by wierdo at 12:09 PM on December 17, 2007


I heard coca-cola is a good fat solvent.

I don't believe that's accurate. Carbonated water, sugar, acid - none of those would be a particularly good solvent for fat. (Acid can conceivably hydrolyze (i.e., break down) fat, but it would have to be highly concentrated to do so at any appreciable rate--much more so than what's found in Coca-Cola. And as GEM notes, dissolving and breaking down are two different things.) FWIW, I have undergraduate degrees in chemistry and biochemistry.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:25 PM on December 17, 2007


I've never heard of Coke for this, but many cultures believe in a before meal drink, called an Apéritif to assist digestion.

Personally, I'd take the Apéritif over the cola any day of the week.
posted by grumpy at 12:35 PM on December 17, 2007


I don't know that it's a benefit per se, but I drink Coke more frequently when I eat out than when I eat in because it has something of a palate cleansing effect for me. Whether that's because of acid, carbonation, or just phenomenal placebo powers is for someone else to judge.

I have no illusions whatsoever about any healthy (or even less un-healthy) effect that increased consumption of any soft drink will have.
posted by LoraxGuy at 12:38 PM on December 17, 2007


I don't know about fat, but it clean dirty pennies pretty well. That's pennies.
posted by electroboy at 12:51 PM on December 17, 2007


Are there any benefits to drinking coke when eating greasy food?

It tastes good. Other than that, no.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 1:06 PM on December 17, 2007


Coke does not dissolve fat. Even if it did, what ever gained you made would be lost by the excess consumption of sugar, which would be convert any sugar not used by the body into...tada...fat.
posted by AccidentalHedonist at 2:06 PM on December 17, 2007


Wine is used in cooking as a fat solvent...
posted by RussHy at 2:37 PM on December 17, 2007


I thought caustic and alkaline solutions dissolved fat since fat is slightly acidic. Back in my restaurant hood cleaning days, that's what we used to soften the grease before power washing it with hot water: caustic soda.
posted by Tacodog at 4:07 PM on December 17, 2007


Are we clear on this? Digestion is not the same as dissolving something. (Not that coke dissolves fat. Oil [fat] and water don't mix, remember?)

On preview: there is a big difference between a strong solution of lye and a can of coke. (Even if they do taste kinda similar.) The lye is actually chemically bonding to the grease and making...tada...soap.
posted by telstar at 5:19 PM on December 17, 2007


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