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Is Diet Soda Keto Friendly

Published February 25, 2019 (Revised: July 10, 2019)
<article> <section> <p>One question we’re frequently asked by our <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">tribe members</a> is if diet soda is OK to drink on the keto diet. At Warrior Made, we follow the 14-Day Diet, a cyclical keto-style diet where we prioritize real, high-quality food that is packed with nutrition. Let’s break it down to see how diet soda measures up to these standards.</p> <p>In this article, we’ll look at the ingredients in diet soda, the impact it has on your health, and where it fits on keto.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9 w-md-75 my-5 mx-auto"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> <section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>What’s the Keto Diet?</header> <p>Since we’re trying to get to the bottom of where diet soda fits on the keto diet, here’s a quick reminder of what the keto diet is! The keto diet is low-carb and no sugar. After you start keto, your body enters a state called <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer"><i>ketosis</i></a>. Ketosis is when your body metabolizes fat for fuel instead of glucose. Carbohydrates turn into glucose when digested, so by lowering your carb intake, your body has the chance to run on fat instead.</p> <p>Research has shown that entering ketosis and living a ketogenic lifestyle can help diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer <sup>1</sup>. If your quality of life is in the gutter due to poor sleep, digestive issues, hormonal imbalance, lack of energy, or excess weight, it is pretty exciting to know that there is a way to take control of your health.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>What’s in Your Diet Soda?</header> <p>If you are considering a lifestyle shift like keto, it may mean changing some of your old eating patterns. Since diet soda is so popular in the US<sup>2</sup>, this could be one of the habits you’re thinking about changing.</p> <p>Let’s see if it’s worth it!</p> <p>We’ll start with the nutrition label. The ingredients in perhaps the most popular of diet sodas, Diet Coke, are: carbonated water, caramel color, aspartame, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate, natural flavors, citric acid, and caffeine. There are zero calories and zero carbs. OK, so far, Diet Coke is looking pretty good. Isn’t it good to have low carbs and low calories for keto and for weight loss?</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jp2"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="scientist-presenting-sugar-in-dish-0089"> </picture> <p>Technically, yes. But… remember what we mentioned above about eating real, high-quality foods for optimal health? Diet Coke may check a few of the keto boxes, but it doesn’t check the one we feel is the most important at Warrior Made: natural and nutrient-dense.</p> <p>Simply put, diet sodas like Diet Coke don’t add any nutritional value to your daily diet. You may be thinking, <i>I am OK with that. But, does it harm my health in any way?</i> We’re so glad you asked.</p> <p>If we dive into the nutrition label a bit further, we stumble upon a few hard to pronounce ingredients, <i>aspartame</i> being the standout. It’s always a good idea when reading nutrition labels to do a little research on the words we can’t even say.</p> <p>As it turns out, aspartame isn’t the safest ingredient. Learning a bit more about it may help you decide if diet soda belongs on the keto diet―or any diet for that matter.</p> <div class="sub-head">Aspartame</div> <p>Aspartame is an <i>artificial sweetener</i> 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’s some crazy science behind the substance they are comprised of!</p> <p>Aspartame is made up of <i>aspartic acid</i> and <i>phenylalanine</i>, which are both types of <i>amino acids</i>. Aspartic acid is produced naturally in the body, and phenylalanine is an <i>essential amino acid</i>, which means we get it from food. When digested in the body, aspartame converts to <i>methanol</i>, which is toxic is large doses<sup>3</sup>. Methanol, when heated, can even turn into formaldehyde―a carcinogenic substance that has been shown to cause cancer in rats<sup>4</sup>.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="aspartame-diagram-chalkboard-0089"> </picture> <p>It turns out aspartame and diet soda can also contribute to health issues like:</p> <ul> <li>Seizures<sup>5</sup></li> <li>Kidney Disease<sup>6</sup></li> <li>Depression<sup>7</sup></li> <li>Heart Problems<sup>8</sup></li> <li>Stroke and Dementia<sup>9</sup></li> </ul> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Diet Soda and Weight Loss</header> <p>Ok, so you may be getting the picture that diet soda isn’t healthy. But, if you’re <i>still</i> not convinced, here’s another reason to think twice about it. Did you know that diet soda actually <i>prohibits</i> weight loss<sup>10</sup> ? We know―this is a bit confusing. How could a no-calorie, no-carb drink prevent you from losing weight?</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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. The artificial sweeteners in diet soda also change our gut’s <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">microbiome</a>, which may make us insulin-resistant and contribute to spiking blood sugar levels<sup>11</sup>.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Diet Soda and Keto</header> <p>We know answering this question is a little tricky. In theory, yes, diet soda fits the keto diet mold. And you may have even heard from what seem to be reputable sources like the FDA that artificial sweeteners like <i>saccharin, acesulfame, neotame</i>, and <i>sucralose</i> 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.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>There’s Hope for Your Sweet Tooth!</header> <p>Ok, we know this article got a little gloomy as we laid out how bad diet soda can be for your health. But, let’s bring the sun back out, shall we?</p> <p>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. In the Warrior Made kitchen, we use <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">keto-friendly sweeteners</a> like <i>erythritol, stevia</i>, and <i>monk fruit</i> to sweeten our desserts and even our drinks! Below is a list of keto-friendly drinks you can add to your diet. You can sweeten them with the sweeteners we mention as they are natural and plant-based, don’t increase insulin levels, and are low-carb!</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="bulletproof-coffee-with-butter-on-table-0089"> </picture> <p>Keto-Friendly Drinks</p> <ul> <li>Coffee, or <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">Keto Butter Coffee</a></li> <li>Iced or Hot Tea</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">Keto Cocoa</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">Water</a></li> <li>Carbonated Water</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">Electrolytes</a></li> <li>Alcohol (certain types, in moderation)</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">Keto Protein Powder Smoothies</a></li> <li>Low-carb nut or alternative dairy drinks</li> <li>Zevia</li> </ul> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Keeping it Real</header> <p>So, does diet soda have a place on the keto diet? While some may disagree, our firm answer is no. We believe that the food you eat should be real. Natural, high quality, and nutrient-dense ingredients will help you reach your health goals better than ingredients made in a factory or lab. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which sweetens diet soda, doesn’t fit the bill. But don’t be discouraged. Sweets are still possible on keto. To make keto-friendly sweet treats with plant-based and healthy sweeteners, check out our <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">Keto Sweet Treats Cook Book</a>!</p> <div class="sub-head">Resources</div> <ol> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer"> 15 Health Conditions That May Benefit From a Ketogenic Diet</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer"> Regular Soda Popular With Young, Nonwhite, Low-Income</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer"> The Truth About Aspartame Side Effects</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer"> Formaldehyde</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer"> Natural Approaches to Epilepsy</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer"> Say No to That Diet Soda?</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer"> Diet Soda Linked to Depression, Coffee Tied to Lower Risk</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer"> Diet Soft Drink Consumption</a> </li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer"> Sugar- and Artificially Sweetened Beverages</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer"> The Association Between Artificial Sweeteners and Obesity</a></li> <li> <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer"> How Artificial Sweeteners Affect Blood Sugar and Insulin</a></li> </ol> </section> </article>

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