The ‘healthy cola’ is being widely tested on the Internet: a drink that claims to be just as tasty, but healthier than a regular Coca-Cola. The secret ingredients? Vinegar that you normally put in your vinaigrette and sparkling water. “Whoever drinks vinegar before a starchy meal has lower blood sugars afterwards.” But beware: the drink is not so healthy.
We start at the beginning. It was TikTok star Amanda Jones who unleashed the recipe on the world. “This tastes like a real Coca-Cola. I’m not kidding,” she enthusiastically begins her video. With a glass full of ice cubes, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and sparkling water (possibly fruit flavored) in front of her, she tells you how to do it yourself. The video was a success: in one week it was seen 6.3 million times.
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Just scrolling through the video platform and we learn that many people take the test and drink their homemade mix. The simple concoction quickly became a viral experiment under the hashtag ‘healthy coke’. And the reactions? They are very divided. One swears by this drink, the other gags. Also Hoda Kotb, host of the program ‘USA Today’, who tried the soft drink on the air. She added cherry flavor and after that first sip, her face spoke volumes. “Too much vinegar,” she concludes.
So there is uncertainty about the taste. You can’t expect the vinegar drink to suddenly taste sweet. If you want to know what it tastes like, it is best to try it yourself. But what about health? This drink would be a better alternative than a regular cola, because: less sugar. Is that correct?
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Dietician and author Hella Van Laer: “When it comes to a little splash of balsamic vinegar and the flavored sparkling water is sugar-free, it’s so much better than a regular cola. Note: you also have balsamic syrup. It is thicker than regular vinegar and has added sugars. I also don’t think it’s good if you go with a lot of vinegar, I’d keep it subtle.”
“There is an interesting book, ‘The Glucose Revolution,’ in which the French author Jessie Inchauspe continuously monitors her blood with a glucose meter. That book also states that anyone who drinks vinegar before a meal rich in starch or sugar has lower blood glucose levels. That could be another benefit of this drink, although I doubt the small amounts will have any impact.”
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But of course, it’s even better to drink plain water if you’re looking to cool off, Van Laer emphasizes. “The water is pure and does not contain acids. There are still options for those who are not very fond of water. Try some cucumber strands, raspberries, or mint leaves. And crush it a bit too, so that the aromas are released”.
“Whether this drink is healthy depends on what you compare it to. I’m always happy when people turn to alternatives to their soft drinks. Cola, for example, is pure sugar and also contains a lot of acid. Actually, Coca-Cola is bad for everything,” Van Laer concludes.
For the teeth for example. But you also have to be careful with large amounts of balsamic vinegar, Dr. Mikaela Chinotti, a specialist in oral health, points out to ‘The Guardian’. “The drink may be better for your health, but not for your teeth. The acidity in both balsamic vinegar and carbonated beverages erodes tooth enamel. That’s why I wouldn’t recommend it.”
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