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Is “healthy Coke” really healthy?

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Photo of TikTok user Amanda Jones started the healthy Coke trend

TikTok user Amanda Jones started the healthy Coke trend and has garnered millions of views with mixed reviews. The drink is made with balsamic vinegar and flavored seltzer water over ice.

The healthy Coke trend circulating on TikTok has inspired many to try the balsamic vinegar and flavored seltzer combination. The trend emerged when user Amanda Jones shared the recipe from her Pilates instructor who swears by the concoction she pours over ice. The #healthycoke hashtag had more than 50 million views as of mid-July.

Reactions have been mixed – some taste the resemblance and some are not fans. Many cite the absence of vanilla, which is present in Coke, as the reason this concoction is lacking in flavor. Commenters on TikTok note that this drink is best made with a fruity balsamic, instead of one that is overly tangy.

Besides the taste factor, is it really any healthier than a Coke? Possibly, if one considers that sugar intake is linked to high blood pressure, weight gain, high cholesterol and increased risk of heart disease and cancer. Plus, there’s the chance of tooth decay. No wonder this trend is so popular; most know soda is not good for us, so why not try an alternative?

Despite balsamic vinegar having a few health benefits, the experts that have weighed in on this trend are not encouraging it. A press release by the American Dental Association (ADA) warned about the oral implications of drinking healthy Coke.

“I love balsamic vinegar, but I enjoy it more on my salad than in my drinking glass,” stated Edmond Hewlett, DDS, a spokesperson for the ADA. “It’s much kinder to the teeth than bathing them in a beverage blend of two acids. The more acidic the drink, the greater the risk of tooth erosion with frequent consumption.”

By two acids, the ADA spokesperson is referring to both the balsamic vinegar and the flavored seltzer water. Researchers have found enamel erosion with flavored sparkling waters, though it was less than both sugar-free and sugar-containing sodas. The only drinks in the study that didn’t erode tooth enamel were non-carbonated, non-flavored bottled water.

Healthy Coke can also be hard on the digestive system, especially if one is prone to heartburn or other stomach issues, according to health experts. Drinking it with a straw may lessen the impact it has on teeth, however.

Still want to try it? Fill a glass with ice, drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar over the ice, and top off with your favorite flavored carbonated water.

By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo courtesy of TikTok




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