Wow. I did not see that coming! That is, the outcry to Jennifer’s post asking is Diet Coke gluten-free? First, I’m not a soda drinker. And that’s not me being judgmental. My vice is tequila. 🙂 But since I’m not a soda drinker, I had no idea how much the drink meant to people! So when I agreed to publish the post, it wasn’t because I was scheming to “drive traffic” or out of “fear mongering,” as we’ve been accused.
In fact, I personally strive to back up most of my statements with science, which is why when I’m talking about health issues, you will find references to medical literature throughout my posts. And so I appreciate Juli’s video where she tests Coke Zero (not Diet Coke) with her home kit (to presumably 10 ppm, although she doesn’t say).
With so much grey area in our gluten-free world, it really is important to back up our statements with science, when we can. That being said, I also believe that anecdotal evidence does have its place. Have you ever been to a restaurant and been “glutened”? Of course you don’t have any empirical evidence to back you up, but you know. Furthermore, there are countless stories of moms who have put their autistic children on a GFCF diet and have seen marked improvement, as well as many a person with an autoimmune disorder who has found that they get much better on a grainfree diet, rather than just the standard gluten-free diet.
So far, there isn’t a great deal of scientific, peer-reviewed evidence that shows that a gluten-free diet is beneficial for autism. Neither is there a lot of evidence supporting that a completely grain-free diet is beneficial for autoimmune disorders. But sufferers of these diseases (or their caretakers) aren’t going to sit around to wait decades for definitive confirmation. They want to get better, today! And if they see and feel results on their diet, regardless of what science tells them (or doesn’t tell them), that’s worth something.
So I guess the real question is, if you are one of the 63 million diet soda drinkers (in the US)*, AND you are gluten sensitive, have you ever felt a reaction? If you are gluten-sensitive, drink Diet Coke and feel great, then there’s nothing to worry about. If you’re gluten sensitive, drink Diet Coke, and DON’T feel well, then I wouldn’t think it could hurt to eliminate it from your diet for a couple of weeks, just to see. Because in the end, your body knows better than anything.
* Consumption of Diet Drinks in the United States, 2009‒2010. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NCHS Data Brief. Number 109.November 2012. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db109.htm