Why The TikTok 'Healthy Coke' Trend Could Be Terrible For Your Teeth

There seems to be no shortage of weird and truly questionable recipes trending on TikTok, and the latest craze is no exception. Known as "healthy Coke," the viral recipe has been deemed a healthier alternative to soda, but the trend may not be so good for you after all (via CNET). Created by TikToker Amanda Jones, the "healthy Coke" recipe consists of sparkling water and balsamic vinegar. In a TikTok video that has now amassed more than six million views, Jones tells her viewers that the concoction is healthy and tastes just like Coke. However, health experts advise against drinking it because "healthy Coke" can contribute to diet culture.

While the recipe does contain less sugar and calories than regular Coke, that doesn't mean it's necessarily healthy or good for you. Generally speaking, an overconsumption of sugar is not good for your overall health, but that doesn't mean you can't consume any sugar at all. "It implies that sugar is the enemy and that there are certain foods that will make or break your health, which is all a product of diet culture," Gabriela Barreto, a registered dietitian and sports nutritionist, told CNET. Diet culture assigns moral values to foods and beverages, labeling some foods as "good" and others as "bad." This can create a negative relationship with food and lead to disordered eating.

Drinking 'healthy Coke' can erode your tooth enamel

Drinking "healthy Coke" can also erode your teeth. That's because the concoction is highly acidic, and acid can break down the protective enamel coating on your teeth. According to Insider, both sparkling water and balsamic vinegar can cause enamel erosion, especially when consumed in excess. This poses a double threat to your tooth enamel. "The stickiness of the balsamic vinegar will adhere to your teeth long after you've finished your meal, and the acidity has a dual effect of wearing away at your tooth enamel and staining your teeth," dentist Dr. Marc Sclafani told Insider.

As a result, tooth erosion can not only stain your teeth but can also lead to tooth sensitivity and an increased risk of infection and decay. That's why Dr. Sclafani would rather have people drink regular Coke than the so-called healthier version going viral on TikTok. If you do drink an acidic beverage, however, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends using a straw to sip and swallow the drink. This can actually help reduce your risk of enamel erosion.