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Diet soda essentially recreates the taste of the original Soda without the sugar or calories.
It’s formulated to mimic the distinctive soda classic flavor, unlike diet soda, which has a unique flavor of its own.
If you follow the very low carb, high fat keto diet, you may wonder if diet soda is allowed on keto.
In this article we will look at the ingredients of diet soda and whether you should avoid it on the keto diet.
Over the last few decades, diet sodas, without calories or carbs, have had a huge market around the world, promoting the idea that you can have a sugary-tasting beverage without any of the harms and consequences of real sugar. But, it is not that simple.
What is Diet Soda?
Diet soda is a carbonated beverage with table sugar taken out. In its place, manufacturers include a zero-calorie sweetener, or sugar alcohol.
By removing sugar, the beverage loses its calories, sugar, and carb content.
To better understand diet soda on keto, take a look at one of the most popular brands today, Diet Coke.
One serving of Diet Coke contains, 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of total and net carbs, 0 grams of protein and 40 mg of sodium.
As you can see, diet soda doesn’t give you much nutritional value.
With its basic mixture of carbonated water, artificial sweeteners, colors, and other additives, there’s no significant nutrition to be found in this beverage.
But even though the ingredients are nutritionally void, they do affect your health in multiple ways.
For one of the top name brands out there today, the ingredients include, Carbonated water, Caramel coloring, Aspartame, Phosphoric acid, Potassium citrate, Natural flavors, Citric acid & Caffeine.
Out of all these, Aspartame is the one that we should be seriously concerned about.
What is Aspartame?
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that you find in diet sodas like Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi.
It’s also a key ingredient in the popular sugar alternatives Equal and NutraSweet.
These are all brands we know well and that have kept our sweet tooths happy. But, there are some facts about them that are worth knowing.
Aspartame is made up of aspartic acid and phenylalanine, which are both types of amino acids.
Aspartic acid is produced naturally in the body, and phenylalanine is an essential amino acid, which means we get it from food.
When digested in the body, aspartame converts to methanol, which is toxic in large doses.
Methanol, when heated, can even turn into formaldehyde which is a carcinogenic substance that has been shown to cause cancer.
So,as it turns out aspartame and diet soda have been linked to health concerns such as, Seizures, Kidney Disease, Depression, Heart Problems, Stroke and Dementia.
Did you know that diet soda actually prohibits weight loss?
One reason is because it keeps your taste buds hungering for sweets!
If you are drinking a lot of diet soda, its sweet taste will likely encourage the brain to crave other sweet treats.
This creates a cycle where you end up eating more sugar than may be good for your weight loss plans.
Diet soda can also mess with our weight loss plans because the sweet taste may trigger blood sugar to spike, and imbalanced insulin levels are a contributing factor to weight gain.
Can you drink diet soda on a keto diet?
Sure, diet soda may be a zero calorie and zero carb drink, but the artificial ingredients found in it don’t support the health goals of the keto diet.
The ketogenic diet is a complete metabolic transformation that puts your body in fat-burning mode instead of glucose-burning mode so you can reap numerous health benefits including more energy, an improved mood, weight loss, fat loss, and greater mental clarity and focus.
However, drinking low-carb beverages filled with artificial ingredients may do the opposite of what you want to accomplish with a healthy low-carb, high-fat diet.
How is diet soda bad for health?
Even if diet soda keeps your daily carb intake low, doesn’t raise your blood sugar, and doesn’t affect your ketone levels, the negative drawbacks far outweigh the benefits.
Diet soda has been shown to damage many of the bodily functions a ketogenic diet would otherwise improve.
Other studies have noted that their long term impact on many health factors is still unknown, but that they may alter many body processes, such as metabolism, brain reward systems, appetite regulation, and the microbiome.
And you may have even heard from what seem to be reputable sources like the FDA that artificial sweeteners like saccharin, acesulfame, neotame, and sucralose are safe to eat.
But, if you’re looking to stay healthy and reach your body transformation goals, we recommend staying away from these sweeteners.
They are made in labs and aren’t natural, which is the biggest reason we believe they don’t belong on keto… or any other diet for that matter.
Are there any alternatives?
Removing diet soda from your diet doesn’t mean that you have to stop treating yourself to refreshing drinks or even to sweets.
You’ll just need to do things a little differently. On keto we can use keto-friendly sweeteners like erythritol, stevia, and monk fruit to sweeten our desserts and even our drinks!
While some may disagree, we do not recommend diet sodas on a keto diet.
It doesn’t matter that it’s carb-free and calorie-free, diet soda is particularly damaging to your health.
The bottom line is that aspartame is not keto-friendly, it has been linked to a number of negative side effects, including depression, poor kidney function, and an increased risk in heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Diet Coke and other diet sodas might be a go-to beverage for people who think they are following a healthier lifestyle, but these artificially sweetened drinks are not suitable for a keto diet.
There are far better keto drinks that let you stay in ketosis and support a healthy ketogenic diet, such as sparkling water.
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