{"id":604420047154,"title":"Is Diet Coke Bad For You? An Ingredient Review","created_at":"2022-11-21T20:43:02-05:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Is Diet Coke Bad For You? An Ingredient Review\",\n \"keywords\": \"is diet coke bad for you, why is diet coke bad for you, how bad is diet coke for you\",\n \"description\": \"Our research team reviews every ingredient in Diet Coke to determine if it's bad for you. We highlight some questionable additive ingredients, explain whether regular Coke is healthier, and and share an animated video highlighting some of the effects diet soda may have on the body.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/is-diet-coke-bad-for-you\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"DJ Mazzoni\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": [\n \"M.S.\",\n \"R.D.\",\n \"C.D.N.\",\n \"C.S.C.S.\"\n ],\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/dj-mazzoni\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/dj-mazzoni-rd-cdn-cscs-00a33038\/\",\n \"http:\/\/djmazzoni.com\/\"\n ],\n \"jobTitle\": \"Medical Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"exercise, drugs, pharmaceutical, health, workout, strength and conditioning, nutrition, dietetics, medicine, medical research, scientific research, scientific method, healthcare, patient care, wellness\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"State University of New York College Oswego\",\n \"D’Youville College\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Is_Diet_Coke_Bad_For_You_Thumbnail.png?v=1669081716\",\n\"width\": \"3350\",\n\"height\": \"3350\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8227014\/\", \n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/21130826\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/is-coffee-bad-for-you\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3620743\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/10513764\/\",\n\"https:\/\/health.clevelandclinic.org\/avoid-the-hidden-dangers-of-high-fructose-corn-syrup-video\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5747444\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8243436\/\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"aspartame\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"citric acid\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"Science Insider\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"high fructose corn syrup\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2022-11-21\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"memberOf\": [\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"U.S. Chamber of Commerce\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.uschamber.com\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Certified B Corp\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.bcorporation.net\/en-us\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Natural Products Association\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.npanational.org\/\"\n }\n ],\n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Favicon_48x48_7595c3cc-e27b-47b8-a4fe-edcc7ed9b29a.png?v=1666502785\", \n \"width\": 48,\n \"height\": 48\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Is_Diet_Coke_Bad_For_You_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1669081400\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eD\u003c\/span\u003eiet Coke is one of the most popular sodas, and there’s a lot of confusion about whether it’s actually healthier than regular Coke due to the lack of sugar. Most consumers don’t consider Diet Coke to be healthy, but many wonder if it’s actually bad for you.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eDoes Diet Coke contain ingredients proven in medical studies to be bad for you? Is it a healthier or less healthy option than regular Coke? How does it compare to other soda brands? And can too much of it negatively affect the brain?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we review the ingredients in Diet Coke based on clinical studies to give our take on whether or not it’s bad for you. We’ll share some surprising research on how Diet Coke may affect the brain, and explain if there are healthy diet soda drinks.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eDoes Diet Coke Contain Harmful Ingredients?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Diet_Coke_Ingredients_Optimized.png?v=1669081477\" alt=\"Diet Coke ingredients\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDiet Coke is primarily sweetened with \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003easpartame\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e which is an artificial sweetener. A \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8227014\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eNutrients\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e journal documented some potential safety concerns about the substance. The breakdown of aspartame by the body results in formaldehyde which “may damage DNA,” and one liter of diet soda results in around 60 milligrams (mg) of formaldehyde, which is 400 times the acceptable daily intake (ADI) level.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003ePotassium benzoate\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is a synthetic preservative which has been shown in a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/21130826\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e to be clastogenic (DNA-damaging), mutagenic (potential for genetic mutation) and cytotoxic (toxic to living cells) to human cells.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eCitric acid\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is a flavor enhancer typically derived from a fungus, and is associated with whole-body inflammatory reactions in a small subset of patients, as we documented in our recent review on “\u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/is-coffee-bad-for-you\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eis coffee bad for you\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e”.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eNatural flavors\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is a broad category descriptor that fails to identify the specific flavoring agents used. There are \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3620743\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003edocumented\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e toxicity concerns with some flavoring agents.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003ePhosphoric acid\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is a flavor enhancer associated with hypocalcemia (low blood calcium levels) in a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/10513764\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e. Women who consumed one or more soda drinks with phosphoric acid were 28% more likely to have low blood calcium levels, which can lead to osteoporosis if not treated.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eHealthiness is subjective, but overall we consider Diet Coke to be bad for you given the number of questionable additive ingredients that are associated with negative health outcomes in clinical research.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eIs Diet Soda Bad for the Body and Brain?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAn interesting, animated video published by Science Insider examined whether diet soda intake could be harmful to the body and brain. The video is only three minutes long:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe width=\"560\" height=\"315\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/1XAgqAk1i08\" title=\"YouTube video player\" frameborder=\"0\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture\" allowfullscreen=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eIs Regular Coke Healthier?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Coke_Ingredients_Optimized_96b3c222-b754-4ff2-a0ff-dd6ed9244131.png?v=1669081514\" alt=\"Coke ingredients\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe ingredients in regular Coke are shown above.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBoth products contain phosphoric acid and natural flavors which we recommend avoiding. The key difference is that Coke is sweetened with \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003ehigh fructose corn syrup\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, which we consider to be an even less healthy sweetener than aspartame or cane sugar.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eHigh fructose corn syrup has been extensively studied in medical trials, and is one of the processed food ingredients that's most highly associated with obesity. A Cleveland Clinic \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/health.clevelandclinic.org\/avoid-the-hidden-dangers-of-high-fructose-corn-syrup-video\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ereview\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e found that high fructose corn syrup “promotes obesity more than regular sugar.”\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5747444\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emeta-study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ePLOS One\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e journal found that high fructose corn syrup can induce metabolic dysregulation.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eEven though the beverage contains more questionable additives like a preservative and citric acid, \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003ewe consider Diet Coke a healthier option than regular Coke\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e just because of how much research suggests that high fructose corn syrup should be avoided. Diet Coke is also zero-calorie, which may make it a better option for overweight and obese individuals, given that regular Coke provides 140 calories and 39 grams (g) of added sugar in a 12 ounce can.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eOur Healthy Soda Recommendation\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Healthy_Soda_Image.png?v=1669081439\" alt=\"\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWhile we don’t recommend drinking soda overall and would recommend replacing it with water, tea or coffee, for consumers who are set on drinking soda we consider \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/amzn.to\/3TW47My\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ePoppi Sparkling Prebiotic Soda\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e to be a much healthier alternative to Diet Coke.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ePoppi is sweetened naturally with \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003eorganic cane sugar\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e and juices like \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003eraspberry juice\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e and \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003estrawberry juice\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e. It only provides 20 calories and 4 g added sugar per can (10% of that in a regular Coke), and contains \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003eapple cider vinegar\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e which is shown \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC8243436\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ein medical research\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e to have a favorable effect on cholesterol and blood sugar levels.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe would prefer to recommend a healthy soda brand without any added sugar at all, and without natural flavors, but for the time being this is the healthiest option we can locate. We definitely consider it to be a healthier option than Coke and Diet Coke. Poppi is free of artificial sweeteners, free of citric acid, and free of preservatives.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eInterested consumers can check out Poppi Sparkling Prebiotic Soda \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/amzn.to\/3TW47My\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eat this link\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e to the product’s Amazon listing.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe consider Diet Coke to be bad for you, although we would recommend it over regular Coke which is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAvoiding soda altogether and replacing its intake with water, tea or coffee is probably your best bet from a health perspective, but for consumers who want soda we consider a brand called Poppi to be the healthiest option currently on the market.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eNot only does Diet Coke contain an artificial sweetener with questionable health effects called aspartame, but it also contains a synthetic preservative, a flavor enhancer that’s often derived from fungus, and another flavor enhancer that’s associated with low blood calcium levels.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn the future if enough customers (and researchers like us) voice concern, we hope that Coca-Cola will update the Diet Coke formulation to a healthier set of ingredients.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2022-11-21T20:52:29-05:00","updated_at":"2022-11-23T11:55:45-05:00","summary_html":"We review every ingredient in Diet Coke to determine if it's bad for you. We highlight some questionable additive ingredients, explain whether regular Coke is healthier, and and share an animated video highlighting some of the effects diet soda may have on the body.","template_suffix":"","handle":"is-diet-coke-bad-for-you","tags":"_related:fast-food, _related:nutrition"}

Is Diet Coke Bad For You? An Ingredient Review

Is Diet Coke Bad For You? An Ingredient Review


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Diet Coke is one of the most popular sodas, and there’s a lot of confusion about whether it’s actually healthier than regular Coke due to the lack of sugar. Most consumers don’t consider Diet Coke to be healthy, but many wonder if it’s actually bad for you.

Does Diet Coke contain ingredients proven in medical studies to be bad for you? Is it a healthier or less healthy option than regular Coke? How does it compare to other soda brands? And can too much of it negatively affect the brain?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we review the ingredients in Diet Coke based on clinical studies to give our take on whether or not it’s bad for you. We’ll share some surprising research on how Diet Coke may affect the brain, and explain if there are healthy diet soda drinks.

Does Diet Coke Contain Harmful Ingredients?

Diet Coke ingredients

Diet Coke is primarily sweetened with aspartame which is an artificial sweetener. A medical review published in the Nutrients journal documented some potential safety concerns about the substance. The breakdown of aspartame by the body results in formaldehyde which “may damage DNA,” and one liter of diet soda results in around 60 milligrams (mg) of formaldehyde, which is 400 times the acceptable daily intake (ADI) level.

Potassium benzoate is a synthetic preservative which has been shown in a clinical trial to be clastogenic (DNA-damaging), mutagenic (potential for genetic mutation) and cytotoxic (toxic to living cells) to human cells.

Citric acid is a flavor enhancer typically derived from a fungus, and is associated with whole-body inflammatory reactions in a small subset of patients, as we documented in our recent review on “is coffee bad for you”.

Natural flavors is a broad category descriptor that fails to identify the specific flavoring agents used. There are documented toxicity concerns with some flavoring agents.

Phosphoric acid is a flavor enhancer associated with hypocalcemia (low blood calcium levels) in a medical review. Women who consumed one or more soda drinks with phosphoric acid were 28% more likely to have low blood calcium levels, which can lead to osteoporosis if not treated.

Healthiness is subjective, but overall we consider Diet Coke to be bad for you given the number of questionable additive ingredients that are associated with negative health outcomes in clinical research.

Is Diet Soda Bad for the Body and Brain?

An interesting, animated video published by Science Insider examined whether diet soda intake could be harmful to the body and brain. The video is only three minutes long:

Is Regular Coke Healthier?

Coke ingredients

The ingredients in regular Coke are shown above.

Both products contain phosphoric acid and natural flavors which we recommend avoiding. The key difference is that Coke is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, which we consider to be an even less healthy sweetener than aspartame or cane sugar.

High fructose corn syrup has been extensively studied in medical trials, and is one of the processed food ingredients that's most highly associated with obesity. A Cleveland Clinic review found that high fructose corn syrup “promotes obesity more than regular sugar.”

A meta-study published in the PLOS One journal found that high fructose corn syrup can induce metabolic dysregulation.

Even though the beverage contains more questionable additives like a preservative and citric acid, we consider Diet Coke a healthier option than regular Coke just because of how much research suggests that high fructose corn syrup should be avoided. Diet Coke is also zero-calorie, which may make it a better option for overweight and obese individuals, given that regular Coke provides 140 calories and 39 grams (g) of added sugar in a 12 ounce can.

Our Healthy Soda Recommendation

While we don’t recommend drinking soda overall and would recommend replacing it with water, tea or coffee, for consumers who are set on drinking soda we consider Poppi Sparkling Prebiotic Soda to be a much healthier alternative to Diet Coke.

Poppi is sweetened naturally with organic cane sugar and juices like raspberry juice and strawberry juice. It only provides 20 calories and 4 g added sugar per can (10% of that in a regular Coke), and contains apple cider vinegar which is shown in medical research to have a favorable effect on cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

We would prefer to recommend a healthy soda brand without any added sugar at all, and without natural flavors, but for the time being this is the healthiest option we can locate. We definitely consider it to be a healthier option than Coke and Diet Coke. Poppi is free of artificial sweeteners, free of citric acid, and free of preservatives.

Interested consumers can check out Poppi Sparkling Prebiotic Soda at this link to the product’s Amazon listing.

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Conclusion

We consider Diet Coke to be bad for you, although we would recommend it over regular Coke which is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.

Avoiding soda altogether and replacing its intake with water, tea or coffee is probably your best bet from a health perspective, but for consumers who want soda we consider a brand called Poppi to be the healthiest option currently on the market.

Not only does Diet Coke contain an artificial sweetener with questionable health effects called aspartame, but it also contains a synthetic preservative, a flavor enhancer that’s often derived from fungus, and another flavor enhancer that’s associated with low blood calcium levels.

In the future if enough customers (and researchers like us) voice concern, we hope that Coca-Cola will update the Diet Coke formulation to a healthier set of ingredients.




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