The WHO (World Health Organization) put out a news release announcing that aspartame (a commonly used artificial sweetener) is “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” This has put aspartame back in the news cycle, with some outlets offering sensationalized takes on its harmfulness. Others, like The Irish Times, are more reasonable, with a headline that states “Aspartame is not, repeat not, a dangerous carcinogen.”
Even so, this news is very alarming to many. Diet sodas are, for better or worse, a big part of daily life for millions of people. Thankfully, there are plenty of aspartame-free low/no calorie sodas out. Here are the best ones we recommend trying:
- Virgil’s Zero Cola
Virgil’s uses a stevia/monk fruit extract blend as its sweetener. I think the taste of that blend works well with the cola flavor that Virgil’s packs in. If you’re a diet cola lover, try this out! It doesn’t attempt to be a Coke dupe, instead opting for a more unique and “natural” cola flavor that certainly goes down a bit smoother (though still retains the bite you’d want from a soda).
Related: 5 Best Colas
- Diet Rite Pure Zero Cola
Owned by the Dr Pepper company, Diet Rite Pure Zero Cola uses a blend of sucralose and acesulfame potassium. The company claims that their blend leaves no aftertaste and makes for a longer shelf-life. While I cannot speak on the shelf life, I can confirm that there is no aspartame-ish aftertaste.
Related: Best Sodas if You Don’t do Caffeine
- Zevia Ginger Ale
Zevia Ginger Ale is a good alternative to a Canada Dry Zero or Diet Schweppes. If you don’t like stevia—or if stevia doesn’t agree with you—avoid this soda. But if you like the taste and want a light and refreshing ginger ale with lunch, Zevia is a solid choice!
- Olipop Strawberry Vanilla
Olipop’s not a zero calorie soda, but each can comes in at under 50 calories and is sweetened with stevia leaf and cassava root syrup. Olipop certainly has a unique taste, and strawberry vanilla is no different. It has a roundness and the strawberry/vanilla flavor definitely tastes authentic. And, unlike most sodas, many of the flavors include a decent amount of dietary fiber, so there’s at least a bit of a health benefit.
Related: Best Olipop Flavors
- Poppi Orange
Orange Poppi ranked fourth in our Poppi taste test, and rightfully so. The orange flavor is far more authentic than any other orange soda I’ve had, plus it comes in at a nice, lean 30 calories. The stevia sweetener isn’t overpowering, plus it can help contribute to a healthy gut! If you want to make a switch from Diet Sunkist you could do far worse than Poppi Orange.
Related: Best Poppi Flavors