Discuss as:

Could fat-blocking Pepsi actually work? Don't count on it

TODAY’s diet and nutrition editor Madelyn Fernstrom quizzes Kathie Lee and Hoda on what you can and shouldn’t eat from the refrigerator or freezer after your power goes out, including dairy products, condiments, fruit and  meats.

TODAY diet and nutrition editor Madelyn Fernstrom gives a lesson on Halloween candy, sharing five fun facts, including the most popular candy and which candy does not cause weight gain.

According to recent reports by the Food and Drug Administration, five deaths over the past five years may be linked to Monster Energy, a popular drink that is high in caffeine. NBC’s Tom Costello reports on the FDA’s findings, and cardiologist Dr. Nieca Goldberg and TODAY nutritionist Madelyn Fernstrom discuss the deaths.

Pepsi Co. Japan

Pepsi Special has an aftertaste that is "crisp, refreshing and unique," according to Suntory International, which is distributing the new cola in Japan.

A soda that claims to prevent the absorption of fat in your body is launching in Japan this week. What’s next, cavity-reducing candy?

PepsiCo is rolling out the the new cola, “Pepsi Special,” which contains dextrin, an indigestible fiber ingredient that is also used in some baked goods.

This is not the first time soda has had a weight-loss spin. The Japanese company Kirin Beverage has a sugarfree soda targeted to men in their 30s that also contains dextrin. Extra caffeine, 200 milligrams, in the Celsius energy drink claimed to "burn fat" and raise metabolism. And Coca-Cola’s Fuze Slenderize energy fruit drinks have been around for more than a decade, promising their blend of minerals help the calorie conscious slim down.

Somehow we have this love-hate relationship with soda that we want it to have some redeeming health features. Maybe that’s because nearly half of Americans drink at least one glass of soda a day, according to a recent Gallup survey. We have to make ourselves feel better about consuming all those empty calories.

Now we have fat-blocking soda. The "science" to this claim is that a non-digestible starch called dextrin, which is classified as fiber is added to regular Pepsi. Dietary fiber does help to absorb dietary fat, so technically, this is true. Despite the flimsy connection, this kind claim is not illegal in Japan.

The Japanese approval process is lenient for these kinds of fortified foods, and this soda certainly won’t harm anyone -- it's safe. But don't expect this on US shelves anytime soon. The FDA regulates foods and beverages and monitors health claims made by these products. The FDA prevents soda and candy from being fortified with nutrients. (Fiber is a nutrient).

The bottom line is, as you well know -- when it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Pepsi Special is being distributed in Japan through the soft drink maker’s partnership with the beverage company Suntory Holdings Limited.  A call to Pepsi’s headquarters in Purchase, N.Y. wasn’t returned. Updated, Nov. 14: A Pepsico spokesperson responded: “The food and beverage category in Japan has many unique products. In this case, our partner Suntory is launching a low-calorie, fiber-infused beverage to compete with similar offerings already in the marketplace.”

The foods you like to indulge in are most likely starchy, fatty, and sweet, because that's where all the flavor is. But if you're trying to eat healthier, TODAY's diet and nutrition editor Madelyn Fernstrom shows there are simple ways to swap out the carbs, oil, and sugar for different ingredients that still taste good.

More from TODAY Health:

9 ways to act now, be awesome at 80

He'll 'steal your heart': Post-surgery baby photo goes viral

Yay! Exercise may actually supress your appetite