Are Diet Sodas OK for The Carnivore Diet? (Why & Why Not?)
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Do you know that by eating meat and excluding fruits, vegetables, or plant foods of any kind, you could lose fat and become healthier without counting calories or macros? But does that mean we can keep diet sodas in our carnivore diet plan?
If you are practicing a carnivore diet, sodas are not permitted as they generally have plant-based additives, sugars, and non-animal ingredients.
Let’s see where this takes us. This article may motivate you to exclude diet soda regardless of which diet you are attempting.
Just Because it Says “Diet”
First, what’s up with the carnivore diet and diet soda? It’s precisely, as you can imagine, an all-meat diet, and unless your diet soda is made from animal products, it’s technically not allowed on a strict carnivore diet protocol.
As you will see below, this may be the perfect opportunity to remove diet sodas and potentially increase your health and well-being.
After all, do you think that just because it says diet, it’s good for you?
In this article, you will gain knowledge of the carnivore diet, look into soda’s negative consequences on health, and potentially open your mind to consider the advantages of a good carnivore diet minus the unhealthy synthetic nature of diet sodas.
Carnivore Diet De-briefing
The Carnivore Diet is a plant-free restrictive diet containing meat, fish, and other animal foods like eggs and certain dairy products.
*Disregard dairy if you are unable to digest it properly or are allergic to it, and always listen to your doctor regarding any nutritional or medical advice.
This diet can potentially help prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes, potentially improves autoimmune issues, possibly help correct digestion issues, sometimes put you in ketosis, and just maybe improve your athletic performance…at least those are a few things that happened to me.
But if you want your mind blown, check out these carnivore diet testimonials and success stories from other people at MeatRX.
If you want to dive deep and get crazy good information on this eating style, read the rest of this blog or pick up a copy of “The Carnivore Diet” by Dr. Shawn Baker. He is a top carnivore diet advocate and doctor.
Words of Wisdom From the Doctor
“When it comes to long-term adherence to a diet, if you’re constantly hungry, it doesn’t seem to work,” says Dr. Shawn Baker. “If you don’t enjoy the food, you’ll fail as well. You have to find a diet that’s satiating, palatable, and doesn’t leave you with hunger.” An all-meat diet does the trick!
Why Is Drinking Regular Soda Bad on a Carnivore Diet?
We all know drinking a bottle of soda isn’t the same as drinking a bottle of natural spring water. However, most people don’t know about some of the scientific studies that show sugary and artificial sweeteners in sodas as the culprit for some diseases and may even shorten one’s lifespan.
Drinking sugary soda can become a dangerous habit with critical consequences on one’s well-being and health.
In one of her interviews with the “Kick the Can Team,” Dr. Kimber Stanhope, who is a Lead Researcher at the University of California Davis, commented on the consequences of drinking soda drinks, “all epidemiological studies show consuming added sugar or sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with an increased risk of disease.”
An extensive study was done on the correlation between sugar in the human diet and weight gain. This study, “Intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain: a systematic review,” was inspired by our current obesity epidemic.
The researchers in this study compiled data since the 1960s and came out with a very eye-opening conclusion.
“Most of the cross-sectional studies, especially the large ones, found a positive association between the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and body weight.”
“Sugar-sweetened beverages, particularly soda, provide little nutritional benefit and increase weight gain and probably the risk of diabetes, fractures, and dental caries.”
“Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda and fruit drinks should be discouraged…” (1)
It doesn’t take a nutritional genius to tell you that weight gain and obesity are unhealthy and may contribute to other major diseases.
So, What’s Up With Diet Soda? It’s Not That Bad, Right?
First, let’s talk about why diet sodas were invented. Around 50 years ago, it was already known that real soda had been creating health problems like obesity and diabetes complications.
The soda companies made a big push to find something just as tasty and somewhat addictive but with less sugar, so they could capture and appeal to a market that wanted to decrease obesity and health complications.
Hence the widespread use of artificial sweeteners.
This meant these companies had to find a sweetener that was as tasty but less destructive as sugar. Artificial sweeteners save the day! We are talking about:
- Sucralose (2)
But not so fast synthetic creating food scientists.
According to Harvard Health Publishing and the article they published titled “Artificial sweeteners: sugar-free, but at what cost?” they mention these sweeteners have some potential health consequences.
Quickly summing up their article, artificial sweeteners create a psychological challenge in that one may believe that because they are having a sugar-free beverage, then they can have a tasty sugar-filled meal or dessert.
This also potentially readjusts one’s taste so that other foods are less tasty or palatable.
Furthermore, this article points to a study titled “San Antonio Heart Study.” This study showed that the participants who drank more than 21 diet sodas per week were 2 times as likely to become overweight as opposed to those who didn’t drink diet soda. (3)
It’s not just weight gain and obesity
Medical News Today wrote a fantastic article titled “Is Diet Soda Bad for You?” on the potential consequences of drinking diet soda. They mention that the studies they reviewed indicated that drinking diet soda can correlate to increased risks of developing these challenges:
- Heart issues like heart attack and higher blood pressure issues
- Brain issues like dementia, Alzheimer’s, or strokes
- Fatty liver disease, the kind not associated with alcoholism
- Inflammation (4)
What about Coke Zero? Isn’t that supposed to be a healthier alternative?
I’ve seen many people get addicted to Coke Zero with the mindset that this Coke is a great, healthier alternative to regular Coke.
I’d say, in my opinion, not so fast.
After reading an article by Healthline titled, “Is Coke Zero Bad For You?” I was able to figure out why Coke Zero might be a horrible alternative.
Their article sums it up by saying, “Coke Zero does not contain any calories or sugar and is not a significant source of nutrients. It’s sweetened with artificial sweeteners, which have controversial health effects.”
Coke Zero is loaded with artificial sweeteners like aspartame and acesulfame potassium, also called “Ace-K.”
To drive home the point that artificial sweeteners can be just as bad or potentially worse than sugar, we have another article and research paper to help clarify. Either way, artificial sweeteners are contentious.
In the paper published by The Indian Journal of Pharmacology titled, “Artificial sweeteners as a sugar substitute: Are they really safe?” they essentially say that with artificial sweeteners, you reduce a particular food calorie count, but that may not be a benefit, and the synthetic sweets may have serious health consequences.
What does this mean on a carnivore diet?
On a carnivore diet, calorie reduction/restriction is not exactly a goal. The goal is to become clinically healthy, which means feeling good, having adequate energy throughout the day, improved mood, and just a sense of great overall well-being.
There is essentially no place for soda or artificially sweetened beverages in a carnivore diet. They contain chemicals, plant matter, and potentially harmful sweeteners.
The general idea of a carnivore diet is to wean off of plant matter and sugars to allow the body to heal and, in turn, thrive (this even includes eliminating things like chewing gum.) It’s the ultimate elimination-style diet.
Does the Carnivore diet have advantages?
The answer is a resounding yes! As Dr. Shawn Baker, a big carnivore diet advocate, has been on the diet for over six years and has expressed the benefits he has had.
Not only does he dominate the carnivore scene, but he also helps runs the website, “MeatRX.” On this website, there are numerous anecdotal testimonials of other people that have tried a carnivore diet. The stories are amazing!
As of writing this article, about 99 people have shared success stories of how they improved their health by eating only meat, healing things like depression, various gut issues, and rheumatoid arthritis.
According to the finding of the shared data, 77 of them experienced weight loss, 66 individuals commented on improved mood, and 31 people witnessed improvements in their skin.
In his book “The Carnivore Diet,” Dr. Shawn Baker said, “One of the most striking patterns that I see when people embark upon a carnivore diet is a reduction in blood pressure, insulin resistance, inflammation, and body fat. Improving all these factors generally reduces your risk of almost any disease.”
It is worth referring to another book entitled “The Fat of the Land” by Vilhjalmur Stefansson, which is an essential book for anyone who wishes to eat an all-meat diet or wants to learn more about the health benefits of a low-carbohydrate diet of meat, fish, and water.
In his book, he highlights his experience living with the mostly meat-eating Inuit of Canada beginning in 1910.
He described, “If meat needs carbohydrate and other vegetable additives to make it wholesome, then the poor Eskimos should have been in a wretched state, but to the contrary, they seemed to me the healthiest people I have ever lived with. To spread abroad the news of how healthy they and I were on meat alone was a large part of the motivation for writing this book.”
Avoiding soda and committing to a carnivore diet just may help you heal faster…but don’t take my word. Check out this YouTube interview.
As Dr. Paul Saladino, author of “The Carnivore Code,” said to the 180 Nutrition YouTube Channel, “The most profound benefits for this way of eating are autoimmune and immunologic. And many people get into different ways of eating because they’re looking for weight loss. But as a physician, through the training and psychiatry, I see a lot of psychiatric disease as autoimmune.”
“Mainstream Western medicine doesn’t necessarily formulate psychiatric disease that way, but I think there is emerging evidence that overwhelmingly that is the case for psychiatric disease, whether it’s depression or anxiety. It’s autoimmune.”
Therefore, whatever diet camp you might be in, investigating why this diet seems to help people could provide some helpful information that you may apply to your own diet.
Does this sound like something you would like to try?
If you are new to this idea of an all-meat diet, you may want to sign up for an affordable MeatRX Carnivore Diet coaching session. MeatRx has a large variety of helpful carnivore diet coaches. I am one as well. Check out this link to book me or this link to check out the full roster of coaches.
You can also book Dr. Shawn Baker here.
Helpful carnivore articles & YouTube Chanel!
We have various helpful articles on this website and a YouTube Chanel. These articles here may further help you with what to drink on a carnivore diet:
Either way, I hope you enjoyed this article and hope you find a path to success with your dietary journey!
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Consult with and ask your doctor about any diet or medical-related questions. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.
- Intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain: a systematic review
- Heathline: Diet Soda: Good or Bad?
- Why it’s time to kick your diet pop habit
- Low-Calorie Sweetened Beverages and Cardiometabolic Health: A Science Advisory From the American Heart Association
- Healthline” Is Coke Zero Bad for You?