The narrative begins with the numbers – 43 percent of all Coca Cola sales is attributed to low calorie drinks. On an average, around 40 percent Americans reportedly consume low calorie Colas once or more than once in any given month. This indicates the popularity of this Coke product that has been tweaked to fit into the health conscious narrative. As awareness about the ill effects of excessive sugar and caffeinated drinks spread among the populace, the question is coke zero bad for you? has become more of a catchphrase. Coca Cola realized the significance and swiftly released Coke Zero to meet evolving expectations of consumers. The question is – has Coke Zero fully met the expectations, or is it still bad for health?. Well, we are going to do precisely that by drilling down into the facts.
Is coke zero different from diet coke?
To begin with, it is important to make the distinction between coke zero and diet coke. Beyond the packaging, there is one changed ingredient in the products that stands out as a major distinction. Coke Zero contains Sodium Citrate whereas Diet Coke contains Citric Acid. The sodium citrate in coke zero is intended to modify the tartness of the beverage. It works in combination with sugar free substitutes to create low calorie/zero calorie drinks.
Is coke zero bad for you – is it really sugar free?
This needs to be the first question that needs to be addressed when looking at the overall impact of Coke Zero on your health. Let’s look at the nutrient value of Coke Zero, in every twelve ounce can :
Effectively, Coke is nothing but a lot of fizz with nil nutrient value. However, what is of importance here is the fact that there is no Sugar in Coke Zero. But, the question is – how does the cola even taste sweet? You guessed right artificial sweeteners. To truly answer the question is coke zero bad for you? it is important to look the artificial sweeteners used in Coke Zero as closely as possible.
The impact of artificial sweeteners on health
Artificial sweeteners are used in multiple products, with most of the processed food products containing artificial sweeteners. Coca Cola uses aspartame and acesulfame potassium as artificial sweeteners to replace the sugar in the Coke. The company relies on a policy of tweaking the percentage of ingredients across markets and geographies. Though the overall taste will certainly be the same, you will experience a mildly different feel in the mouth due to the difference in the combination.
Sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners are relatively safe, and are not attributed to major health complications. However, the possibility of getting exposed to health complications does arise when the consumption is either excessive or when it becomes a part of routine. Some of the common health complications that are reported by individuals who consume products with artificial sweeteners include obesity, type 2 diabetes, tooth decay and increased levels of triglycerides. This could pose a problem, and directly answers the question is coke zero bad for you with a straightforward answer that requires no interpretation. Coke Zero is safe only when consumed in moderation and not as a matter of routine.
Fact sheet of type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes accounts for 95% of all cases of diabetes in the US. It is probably because of the high incidence that individuals have begun to take their health seriously. Certain studies have established a clear link between artificial sweeteners and type 2 diabetes. The risk of diabetes increases by as much as 20 percent when individuals take artificial sweeteners. However, other studies have also elicited results that do not conclusively attribute the risk of diabetes to artificial sweeteners. However, there is common ground and acceptance that artificial sweeteners used over a long period of time can have an adverse effect on health.
Is coke zero bad for you and can it cause heart disease?
This is tricky and needs to be understood with great clarity. As shown above in the table, a can of Coke Zero does not contribute to nutrient intake. In other words, it does not actually increase the amount of fat in your body. However, there is a catch here. Artificial sweeteners are known to increase triglyceride levels when consumed over a period of time. In other words, Coke Zero can actually result in increasing the levels of triglycerides in your body. This could pose a health risk, as high levels of triglycerides can result in heart disease. Triglycerides are necessary in the body and will do no harm when the right levels are maintained. When the levels increase beyond a point, it manifests to a heart disease causing contributor. As Coke Zero uses aspartame and Acesulfame Potassium, the probability of an increase in triglyceride levels cannot be ruled out.
Is coke zero bad for you by exposing you to risk of renal impairment
When you seek answers to the question is coke zero bad for you? you could also help yourself by taking a look at the can in your hand. Check out the daily value of the nutrients listed to understand if you are exceeding the limit. To put it quite clearly, Daily Value refers to the amount of nutrition that you receive from the product in your hand as a percentage of the total requirements of that nutrition on every day. For instance, if the Daily value of an ingredient in a product is 20%, it effectively means that the product is fulfilling 20% of your needs for ingredient for that day. Therefore, if you take six units of that product, you are effectively exceeding the prescribed daily intake requirement of that ingredient.
Daily value of potassium and sodium
The daily value of potassium and sodium in Diet Coke is 2%. Does this mean that you will be exceeding the prescribed input threshold level only when you take fifty or more cans? The answer is no. You are not going to live off Coke Zero alone, and are likely to consume other food products also, as part of your routine. Potassium and sodium in other products will also contribute to the daily value. Therefore when you take more of Coke Zero, you are likely to end up with high phosphorous levels. High phosphorous levels can result in renal impairment. Lets break this down into numbers that you can understand – an average adult who takes six or more cans of Coke Zero everyday is doubling the risk of kidney damage.
The verdict on Coke Zero from a health perspective
There is a clear answer to the question that in lingering on your mind – is coke zero bad for you? Coke Zero is safe only when you consume in moderation and never as a routine. There are multiple reasons that make it necessary to avoid consumption as a matter of routine. Buyer behavior has clearly indicated that cola consumption is habit forming. Therefore, the urge to drink a cola will be strong everytime you see one/depending on the situation – a meal or a gathering. It is therefore necessary to limit the consumption. This will ensure that the ingredients do not adversely impact your health over a period of time.