The Problem Dieitians Have With TikTok's 'Healthy Coke' Trend

Nothing quenches thirst on a hot summer day quite like an ice-cold soda, but a trend has people trying to wean themselves off the sugary beverages and on to a vinegar-based alternative. Amanda Jones set off the viral "Healthy Coke" trend with a TikTok post in which she added balsamic vinegar to a glass of seltzer and ice.

Most commenters from the original video were skeptical, but a small handful jumped on board and was eager to try something new that could offset the downsides of drinking too many sodas. "I know it's not real but I must try," said one person in the comments. Another commenter wrote, "zero chance that tastes like Coke." Most of the reactions echoed that latter sentiment. Nevertheless, the app is rife with other people trying out the unusual combination.

While "Healthy Coke," certainly looks like the real thing, many who've tried it contest that it tastes anything like Coca-Cola. One TikToker tried the trend, and she called it delicious, claiming it was "her new drink." A commenter on her video said, "It does not taste identical to a Coke. However, it tastes super good. May not be for everyone."

Experts say you should skip this trend

Health experts have been weighing in on whether the viral beverage is worth a try. Users are divided on whether "Healthy Coke," is a passable alternative for soda, but health experts agree that you may be better off sticking with a regular Coke. CNET reports that the drink is becoming a contributing player in the world of diet culture. People think that a lower-calorie alternative is automatically better than the original, but dietitians and nutritionists beg to differ. According to registered dietician Gabriela Barreto, "By assigning foods a moral value, we reiterate the idea that eating these foods means that you are doing something wrong or bad and that continues to grow a negative relationship with food for many people."

On top of the fact that the "Healthy Coke" trend may shame soda drinkers, experts have also pinpointed a few health concerns associated with the beverage. For example, vinegar is highly acidic. This can lead to wear and tear on tooth enamel, per The American Dental Association. "The more acidic the drink, the greater the risk of tooth erosion with frequent consumption," said Dr. Edmond Hewlett in an ADA press release.