What do you mostly drink on the no carb diet? Probably water and sometimes coffee. Soft drinks are usually a no-no regardless if you are following a no carb, low carb, keto or just a carnivore diet.
But what about diet sodas? Are they good?
A lot of people do like drinking soft drinks, especially, coke zero, coke light (i.e. diet coke), as they are considered a better and possibly healthier option. But how good is drinking soda if you are aiming to lower or even completely cut carbs out of your diet?
Can you drink coke zero (or diet soda) on a no carb diet? Drinking diet soda can be connected to higher appetite for sweets. There are links between soda consumption and some health risks but it is unlikely that drinking a single diet soda will stop ketosis. However there are some studies that point towards artificial sweeteners raising insulin levels so more research needs to be done.
Drinking sodas or energy drinks, (even while they are being the better option due to them having no sugar) might still be something that you’d want to keep to a minimum, just like any other normal sugary drinks. Additionally they are high on aspartame – something that we want to avoid consuming.
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Should You Drink Diet Sodas on a Zero Carb Diet?
One of the main points of a zero carb diet is to limit the carbohydrate intake. That way you are trying to lower the insulin levels in the body. So generally speaking you want to avoid anything that will trigger a big insulin response from the body.
Considering the lack of concrete studies on the topic with the diet drinks this might be a tricky question.
Drinking regular soda is connected to insulin spikes. This is due to its high sugar content and it should definitely be avoided (or at least have the consumption reduced to a minimum) regardless of the diet you follow. As drinking a regular soda will add a lot of sugar and empty calories to your diet that will leave you more hungry in the end.
With the regular soft drinks and sodas out of the way what happens with the diet or zero sugar drinks?
There are some studies that are pointing that there might be an insulin response from the body to drinking diet drinks containing artificial sweeteners like sucralose or acesulfame potassium. The study suggested that there is some potential effect on the insulin levels. But more studies need to be done before knowing the right answer.
While on the other hand…
As part of a study researches gave children saccharin everyday and they were able to stay in ketosis. And the people on another study were allowed artificial sweeteners like saccharin, cyclamate, acesulfame, aspartame and surcalose while being on keto diet.
So is there really a definitive answer?
There is a lot of disagreement on the topic. Some sweeteners are worse than others and we do not really know much about the effects of their long term consumption. Aspartame for example has some bad properties and should be avoided while splenda and stevia are generally considered a bit better than aspartame.
Definitely more studies should be done in this field. But generally speaking diet sodas (due to their zero carb content) are considered safe for someone on a no carb diet and a single soda should not be able to take you out of ketosis.
Regardless it would be a good thing in the meantime to keep drinking soft drinks to a minimum just like any other product containing carbs or sugars and other artificial ingredients.
Drinking Regular Soda Is Linked to Some Health Risks
A growing number of studies connect drinking soda with some health risks. A study published in 2013 in the American Journal of Public Health has linked drinking soda to increased risk of heart disease and diabetes and higher levels of obesity.
Another study connected drinking soda with higher amounts of hunger and sweet cravings.
One study published in the journal Diabetologia discovered that replacing one sugary drink a day can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by almost 25 %. Regular soda has high amounts of sugar in it. In a 20 oz bottle of cola there could be more than 16 teaspoons of sugar, which is a lot.
This is why some people never realize how much sugar they consume, leading them to gain excessive weight.
But the thing is that even diet soda has some negative health correlations. One study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society was connected with significant increase in the abdominal obesity in adults over age of 65 compared to people that didn’t drink soda.
What is more interesting, I found, is that the reason for that is believed to be due to the body “expecting” the sugar that goes with the flavor. Since there isn’t enough of calories and sugar in it people tend to overeat on other food in order to make up for the missing calories. So even diet soda can make some people feel hungrier than normal and give in to food cravings.
How Much Soda Is Too Much?
So is there such a thing as consuming too much soda? Drinking to much soda can cause a lot of undesired health issues.
It can even lead to tooth decay.
The regular soda contains no essential nutrients and does not make you feel full after consumption. In addition to that it may lead to consuming overall less fluids and water during the day. So drinking soda too much is not recommended.
Additionally most sodas can contain caffeine. Caffeine will have diuretic effect, especially when consumed in larger quantities. This in addition to the sodium content of it can lead to feeling thirstier and even hungrier after drinking it.
Carbonated drinks don’t have any healthy nutrients and are considered empty calories giving nothing of value to your body.
The American Heart Association is recommending eating or drinking no more than 450 of your calories coming from sugar per week. This comes to about 3 cans of soda per week. Ideally you’d want to stay even lower than that number.
Can You Substitute Soda with Something Else?
Although we might want to cut down or even completely remove the consumption of sodas while being on a no carb diet this might be very hard, especially in the beginning.
So what can we substitute drinking soda with on a low or no carb diet?
- Water or even sparkling water can be a good substitute. Avoid flavored sparkling water as it might contain some artificial colorings and additives. Make sure you read the label on it.
- Bone broth is another very good and viable option. In fact a lot of people that want to stop drinking coffee succeed by substituting it with bone broth.
- Fruit juices are not an options as they are high on sugars as well.
- Tea is a good option but you need to watch out not to add sugar or creamers or other sugary containing ingredients. We are talking mainly about plain unsweetened tea.
- Coffee is another go to option for anyone following a zero carb or carnivore diet. Again we need to watch out not to add sugar to it in any way.
- If you haven’t cut out all dairy products whole milk is another option that can be both tasty and satiating without adding a lot of extra sugar. Keep in mind that there are a little over 12 grams of sugar in a 1 cup of whole milk. One the other hand also a lot of people are reporting consuming dairy products makes them constipated.
Can you drink diet soda on a Keto diet? Diet soda can be considered keto friendly. When eating keto any foods and drinks with high amounts of sugar and carbs are being avoided.
Will aspartame kick you out of Ketosis? Aspartame has not shown to affect blood glucose levels and insulin levels in short term studies. It should not take you out of ketosis. But consuming drink with aspartame is not considered healthy.
Will artificial sweeteners take you out of ketosis? Some studies have shown that ketosis can be successfully maintained while consuming some artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose.