When starting a healthier lifestyle, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by all the products and food on the market. I am a firm believer that simple swaps add up and make a difference over time. Each Saturday I will feature a Smart Swap! These Smart Swaps will be healthier choices and recommendations for your favorite not-so-healthy foods.
Today’s Smart Swap: Zevia
I’ve never been much of a soda drinker, but occasionally I like to switch it up and sip on something bubbly! Rather than reaching for a soda, I choose Zevia!
Let’s break it down!
Typical diet soda has 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbohydrates and 0 grams of sugar. So why is it bad? Why would we want to swap it out with something else?
Instead of sugar, most diet sodas are sweetened with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, cyclamate, saccharin, acesulfame-k or sucralose, according to Healthline.
In addition to the artificial sweeteners, diet sodas are artificially colored. The carmel color that is added to many sodas may sound harmless, but the artificial coloring potentially contains carcinogenic chemicals.
In August 2019, PepsiCo removed the artificial sweetener aspartame from their formula. They have now replaced it with sucralose and acesulfame potassium. The company says customer feedback drove the decision, as more Diet Pepsi customers were raising concerns about aspartame, an ingredient that some believe is linked to cancer. However, the artificial coloring is still present.
Healthy Swap: Zevia
Zevia has 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbohydrates and 0 grams of sugar.
Zevia is the first soda sweetened with stevia. According to Zevia’s website, “this was the first soda brand to use stevia, combining the leaf extract with citric acid, carbonated water, and natural flavors. Don’t let the word “acid” scare you; citric acid is a safe additive that’s naturally found in many fruits, and all of these ingredients add up to a yummy, sometimes caffeinated, zero-calorie soda.”
According to their website, “All Zevia products are free of artificial ingredients, including artificial colors. Zevia sodas, energy drinks, and mixers are clear in color and proud of it, and our teas are the natural color of brewed tea leaves with no coloring additives. While scientists and researchers dispute whether caramel color is or isn’t linked to cancer, it just didn’t make sense to us to continue using an ingredient that has significant health concerns. After all, caramel color is just that – a color, not a flavor.”
Zevia is also free of Phosphoric Acid. This common soda ingredient can have negative side effects for your bones, teeth and kidneys. In our quest for better ingredients, Zevia formulated their drinks without Phosphoric Acid.
Another neat fact about this brand- the parents who founded Zevia wanted healthier soda options for their kiddos to drink!
- Zevia comes in a wide variety of flavors and is the first soda brand to use stevia as a sweetener.
- Zevia has no calories and no sugar
- Unlike typical soda, Zevia products are free of artificial ingredients- including artificial colors
Have you ever tried a healthier soda option? What did you think?