Tips&TricksCoca-Cola Zero's health benefits debunked: Popular drink's sugar-free profile may not be the healthier choice

Coca-Cola Zero's health benefits debunked: Popular drink's sugar-free profile may not be the healthier choice

Cans of cola on the shelf in the store
Cans of cola on the shelf in the store
Images source: © Adobe Stock | Mdv Edwards

10:49 AM EST, January 26, 2024

An iconic brand of the 20th-century mass culture, Coca-Cola needs no introduction. Launched in the late 19th century, its unique bottle shape has been legally protected since 1960. Apart from its worldwide prevalence, the brand has often been credited with popularizing our modern image of Santa Claus - an elderly man in a red suit with a big belly and a grey beard. Unquestionably, Coca-Cola and its variants have a significant fan following, but how do they stack up health-wise?

Is Coca-Cola Zero healthy?

Despite Coca-Cola's iconic status, it isn't exactly nutritious. Regular consumption can potentially lead to several diseases and lower immune function. It's well known that this sugary beverage can increase diabetes risk. But how about Coca-Cola Zero? Though marketed as a zero-calorie drink, it technically has 0.2 calories. While this variant doesn't contain sugar, it does have sweeteners and other ingredients like sodium cyclamate, aspartame, and acesulfame K to replicate the original's taste. Unfortunately, these substituents aren't exactly healthy either.

Does Coca-Cola Zero stimulate hunger?

The absence of sugar in Coca-Cola Zero doesn't necessarily make it healthier. Dietitians warn that its artificially sweetened taste could still stimulate cravings for sweets and fast food and even induce hunger. When it comes to deciding which cola variant is healthier, it's a complicated choice. All variants – Coca-Cola Zero, Coca-Cola Light, and the classic Coca-Cola contain a mix of potentially harmful ingredients. The classic version includes significant amounts of sugar, caffeine, orthophosphoric acid, and ammonium sulfite caramel. Coca-Cola Zero, while having the least calories, still contains harmful ingredients like caffeine, ammonium sulfite caramel, phosphoric acid, and artificial sweeteners. Similarly, Coca-Cola Light also contains aspartame and acesulfame K.

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