Updated 8 January 2020
Coke Zero is a zero calorie diet soft drink, so is it okay to drink it if you have a Fatty Liver?
If you’re like me and you’ve been diagnosed with a Fatty Liver (NAFLD) you may be interested to know whether drinking Coke Zero will help or hinder your Fatty Liver (NAFLD).
At face value, Coke Zero is much more of a healthy option than drinking standard Coke.
Standard Coke is packed full of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup which absolute poison for a Fatty Liver (NAFLD).
And as you may be aware, excessive high-fructose corn syrup in foods and drinks is one of the key drivers surging the cases of Fatty Liver (NAFLD) across the globe.
Coke Zero doesn’t contain any high-fructose corn syrup or sugar – so would it be ok to drink?
Based on the research below, drinking Coke Zero in moderation appears to be a healthier alternative than drinking full-sugar normal Coke for a Fatty Liver (NAFLD). However, there are some very important health considerations to take on-board for choosing to do so.
This article will outline some of the health considerations for Coke Zero and Fatty Liver (NAFLD) and it will share some possibly healthier alternatives.
Health considerations for drinking Coke Zero and Fatty Liver (NAFLD).
1. Coke Zero contains artificial caramel coloring which may increase insulin resistance and inflammation
Studies have reported that soft drinks that contain caramel colouring, which is rich in advanced glycation end products, may increase insulin resistance, inflammation, exacerbate liver injury, steatohepatitis, and liver fibrosis ( Ref 1, Ref 2)
Insulin resistence and inflammation are definitely not helpful for a Fatty Liver (NAFLD) so it may be healthier to skip diet cola drinks with caramel colouring altogether!
2. Coke Zero may trigger your brains hunger cravings, causing you to eat more!
Coke Zero contains the artificial sweetner Aspartame which can trick your brain into being more hungry than it normally would be!
In my opinion this one of the most important considerations to take on board because of how it may cause you to falter in your dieting goals for Fatty Liver (NAFLD).
Studies have shown drinking Aspartame infused water increased subjective appetite rating in normal weight adult males (ref).
If you have a Fatty Liver (NAFLD), your main goal is most likely to lose weight –so drinking Aspartame infused cola may make the battle harder for you by increasing your food cravings!
It may be wise to skip all products with Aspartame as you don’t want those artificially infused hunger cravings sabotaging your health goals.
3. Diet soda may change your gut bacteria leading to increased blood sugar levels!
Coke Zero’s aspartame is one of the artificial sweeteners known to change the make up of gut bacteria.
In a scientific study, mice were fed the artificial sweeteners—saccharine, sucralose, and aspartame— and as a result the bacteria in inside their intestines began to change. (ref)
“While the artificial sweeteners themselves contained no calories, they changed the bacteria in the gut in a way that led to more calories being absorbed,” Dr. Komaroff. said regarding the tests.
The study also noted that mice fed the artificial sweeteners had a higher chance to develop high blood sugar than the mice fed normal sugar.
In human trials, 7 human volunteers began to consume artificial sweeteners who didn’t usually consume them in their regular diet.
Within 1 week, 4 out of the 7 volunteers had developed changes in their gut bacteria and had higher blood sugar levels.
Possible changes in gut bacteria and blood sugar levels are another important consideration to take on board if you have Fatty Liver (NAFLD).
So what are some healthy alternatives to Coke Zero for Fatty Liver (NAFLD)?
If you’re not too keen on the artificial flavors and colorings and the possible health impacts these may have on you, here’s my recommended alternative drinking list for Fatty Liver (NAFLD):
1. Spring Water / Filtered Tap Water
Based on the research I found, drinking clean water, either filtered tap water or spring water appears to be the healthiest drink of choice for Fatty Liver (NAFLD).
So if you have very strong willpower – keeping up a habit of drinking just plain old fashioned natural water may be your best health option!
However, if you’re like me, going ‘cold-turkey’ on just water can be difficult (as I’m a bit of a fizz addict) – so here’s some other healthy options below.
2. Sparkling water straight or with a dash or lemon or lime juice
I can’t find any scientific evidence that drinking Sparkling Water is unhealthy, so this appears to be a great option if you love the fizz that a diet soda provided.
If you want to add a little bit of zesty flavor to it, try squeezing in a dash of lemon juice or lime juice to the mix.
Squeezing in one quarter of a lemon or lime into the sparkling water will infuse it with a bit of zest and add some natural flavor!
Did you know – one quarter of lemon has only 0.4 grams of sugar where as one can of Regular Coke has 39 grams of sugar – that’s 9,750% more sugar in the Coke than the sparkling water with lemon juice!
3. Naturally flavored sparkling water
If you don’t have time to always have a lemon or lime handy for your sparkling water – you may enjoy the convenience of sipping on a can of sparkling water with natural fruit flavor.
If you are going to buy one from the shop – make sure to check the label for added sugars, aspartame or artificial flavors or colorings!
My personal favorite drink is the natural sparkling water with dashes of real fruit juice that Spindrift makes (no artificial colors of flavorings).
If you can’t find it in your local supermarket, you can get it delivered to your door step from Amazon through the link below .
4. Naturally flavored sparkling water with caffeine
I understand some people out there love the caffeine buzz Coke Zero provided.
Good news – there is naturally flavored sparkling water that can provide that same buzz but with much no artificial colors or flavors.
If you feel you still need that buzz, but want to opt for a more natural product with caffeine – the Phocus drinks on Amazon may suit your tastes. These are naturally flavored with about 75 mgs of caffeine (from green tea extract) which is equivalent to an 8 oz. coffee. They are also contain zero sugar and have all natural ingredients.
You can get if off Amazon through the link below.
Summary and my Personal Opinion
In moderation, Coke Zero appears to be a much healthier alternative than regular Coke for Fatty Liver (NAFLD) – this is primarily due to the lower amount of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup contained within it.
However, its to be noted some studies have shown that the artificial coloring and sweeteners found in diet sodas such as Coke Zero may have adverse health affects which include increased appetite, increased inflammation and changes in gut bacteria that may lead to increased blood sugar levels.
Out of these potential health effects, I believe the increased hunger cravings that may be caused by Aspartame (found in Coke Zero) may be the one to watch out for if you have Fatty Liver (NAFLD) as it may sabotage your dieting goals.
However its important to note more studies need to be conducted to show clearer evidence around the links between diet sodas and Fatty Liver (NAFLD).
If you want to be really healthy, spring water, filtered tap water or plain sparkling water appears to be the healthiest drink options for Fatty Liver (NAFLD).
There are also other alternatives to Coke Zero (listed above) that you may also enjoy.
Always consult a doctor about your health and changing your diet.
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