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This 'healthy Coke' using balsamic vinegar is taking TikTok by storm, but should we be drinking it?


TikTok has proved hit or miss with its unusual recipe combinations. We approved the pesto egg craze, but mustard on watermelon? Not so much. Now, users are back with another controversial combo that has gone viral – the ‘healthy coke’ trend… and we’re not convinced.

It feels wrong for the words healthy and coke to be in the same sentence. Can we not just enjoy a coke without the health fad ruining that too? Nevertheless, @mandyvjones took to TikTok to introduce a ‘healthy version’ of coke after her Pilates instructor claimed she swore by it.

The blend consists of adding a splash of balsamic vinegar to a cup full of ice, then fill the remainder with a carbonated beverage of choice, and that’s it!

Amanda added of the concoction, “I am not joking you, it tastes just like a coke, and you’re gonna think I’m insane”. And since then, the craze has kicked off on the app, with #healthycoke nabbing nearly 60 million views. 

Honestly, there are so. many. people trying this trend, hoping for a more nutritious alternative to the original coke. Some think it tastes exactly the same while others think it doesn’t taste anything like the drink itself. 

So is the trend all that it appears to be, and should you try it too? We asked the experts…

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Registered dietician and nutritionist for Dietitian Fit and Co, Reema Patel, thinks you’re better off enjoying a regular coke as part of a balanced diet, as, according to her, this trend could do more harm than good.

“Vinegar is very acidic, so it is important to be aware that this can damage tooth enamel, just as regular sugar in soft drinks can do the same,” she says. “Ongoing consumption of vinegar could also damage our digestive system.”

She does add that while “it contains less sugar than the original coke”, if one needs to manage their blood sugar levels, a better alternative would be diet coke or flavoured sparkling water, as it’ll “likely taste much better.” Sounds much more appealing, in our opinion.

Health craze aside, she reiterates, “If you really want a coke, why not enjoy a coke? There are no foods or drinks that should be cut out completely as a part of a balanced diet unless you have an allergy or intolerance to them (or have a food aversion). It’s what you do most of the time that matters,” she continued.

When asked if there is anyone who should avoid that trend, Reema said: “For those who are struggling with their relationship with food, such as those thinking that they need to avoid coke completely and try to enjoy this instead as a ‘healthier’ version, I suggest to not try this trend in the first place.

“Trends like this ‘healthy coke’ stem from diet culture, which allows people to think these lower-calorie versions of drinks are ‘better’ than the original, but this is not the case. There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods or drinks, it comes down to the overall quality of the diet and enjoying these higher sugar foods or drinks in moderation,” she added. 

Kunal Makwana, PT and director of KMAK Fitness, further expressed concerns about the ‘health coke’ trend, arguing that balsamic used in small amounts as a salad dressing wouldn’t do much harm, but people should be wary when excessively drinking the acidic substance.

“From a digestive standpoint, it may not be the greatest thing. It can increase heartburn [and] stomach pain from an ulcer, so overly consuming something may not actually help as a result”.

Step away from the balsamic bottle…



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