Ask Amelia Food Comparisons Nutrition

Coke vs. Diet Coke: Which Should You Choose?

I could just give you the most obvious answer here (which if you’re wondering, is Neither), but I promise to be more thorough than that.  Really, the answer is that it depends.  Here’s how you can make the decision that’s best for you.

You should probably choose Diet Coke if…

  • You’re limiting your calories in an attempt to lose weight
  • You splurge on sweets, alcohol, or other high-calorie treats so that you don’t have any “spare” calories in your diet to spend on beverages
  • You don’t get headaches or other unpleasant side effects from aspartame, which is the artificial sweetener in Diet Coke and most conventional Diet sodas
  • You drink soda often, and you’re not willing to stop or reduce your intake
  • You’re diabetic

You should probably choose regular Coca-Cola if…

  • You only drink soda once in a great while
  • You don’t “spend” your calories on desserts, fried foods, or other high-calorie beverages
  • You’re sensitive to aspartame or other artificial sweeteners
  • You have Phenylketonuria, a metabolic disorder that prevents you from metabolizing phenylalanine, which is present in many diet sodas.
  • You’re able to rinse your mouth out after drinking it (since the sugar in soda makes you more prone to cavities).

Regardless of which you choose…

  • Soda should be consumed only occasionally (1-2 times/week)
  • Remember that both Diet Coke and Coca Cola have caffeine, so drinking them late in the day can interfere with sleep
  • You may be better off with one of the more natural alternatives to these sodas, like Hansen’s (which comes in both diet and regular cola) or Blue Sky.  Both of these options have fewer additives, and the regular versions are 100% natural.

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