Is Diet Soda Safe For Diabetes?
Managing blood sugar levels is an everyday goal for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. While eating sugar doesn’t cause either type of diabetes, keeping tabs on carbohydrate and sugar intake is an important part of managing both types of diabetes. Eating healthfully can also reduce your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Being overweight or obese is linked to the development of type 2 diabetes. In fact, obesity is one of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of American adults are considered obese. Obesity puts you at risk for diabetes, as well as other troublesome conditions. Eating processed foods that are high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and empty calories increases your risk of gaining too much weight. Drinking sugary drinks is also a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. If you are working to keep your blood sugar in check or manage your weight, you might choose diet soda. Low in calories and sugar, diet sodas appear to be a good alternative to sugary drinks. Diet coke and A&W’s diet root beer, for example, claim to be entirely sugar-free. Unfortunately, even though they contain no actual sugar, they are loaded with artificial sweeteners and other unhealthy additives. At one time, there was much debate over the safety of artificial sweeteners. Many feared that these sweeteners caused certain types of cancer. Studies performed in the 1970s suggested that the artificial sweetener saccharin was linked to bladder cancer. Since that time, however, saccharin has been deemed safe. Both the National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) consider the sweetener nontoxic. Aspartame, another common yet controversial sweetener, has also gained clearance fo Continue reading >>
Effects Of Stevia, Aspartame, And Sucrose On Food Intake, Satiety, And Postprandial Glucose And Insulin Levels
Go to: The twin epidemics of obesity and Type 2 diabetes continue to increase in industrialized nations. Approximately two thirds of adult Americans are currently overweight or obese and therefore at increased risk for a number of deleterious health conditions including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer (Roth, Qiang, Marban, Redelt, & Lowell, 2004). Although there is not specific evidence that sucrose, a disaccharide that consists of 50% glucose and 50% fructose, consumption affects the development of diabetes (Laville & Nazare, 2009), diets consisting of high amounts of sucrose have been found to cause weight gain (Raben, Vasilaras, Moller, & Astrup, 2002) and to have adverse effects on glucose tolerance in healthy volunteers (Cohen, Teitelbaum, Balogh, & Groen, 1966). Overconsumption of fructose has also been found to cause dyslipidemia and ectopic lipid deposition in healthy subjects with and without a family history of type 2 diabetes (Le et al., 2009), as well as increase visceral adiposity and decrease insulin sensitivity in overweight individuals (Stanhope et al., 2009). In animal models, high glycemic diets and high consumption of the natural sugar fructose have been shown to induce a number of metabolic complications including hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia, hypertension, and insulin resistance (Barros et al., 2007). Moreover, recent human studies demonstrate that fructose infusions can induce hepatic insulin resistance (Wei, Wang, Topczewski, & Pagliassotti, 2007). The consumption of added sugars in the United States has increased by almost 20% over the past few decades with current consumption estimated to be 142 lbs per person per year (Wells & Buzby, 2008). Consumption of sugar-sweetened foods and beverages can significantly influence the glycemic Continue reading >>
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The Relationship Between Diabetes And Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are always a “hot topic” and many people tend to have strong feelings about them, one way or another. It seems like every other month we get a report on the latest study on what artificial sweeteners do or don’t do to us. The data alternates between saying artificial sweeteners are good for us or they are going to kill us – so which is it? It can be hard to know what to believe and what to do, especially if you have diabetes and see artificial sweeteners as a healthy alternative. They seem like a great option for lowering calories and carbohydrates, but are they too good to be true? Let’s look at some of the claims, myths and facts related to artificial sweeteners. We’ll start with the basics. The Background and the Basics Artificial sweeteners, also called sugar substitutes, were originally created to help people lose weight and manage diabetes. They were thought to be a great alternative. Saccharin was the first artificial sweetener, accidentally discovered by scientists at John’s Hopkins. Eventually there were concerns over the safety of saccharin based on studies done in rodents. Even though the FDA was leaning toward banning it, but they didn’t, and it was partially because of consumer uproar over that possibility. The final ruling was that saccharin was only required to have a warning label about cancer, but could remain on the market. In 2000, the warning label was removed because they could only prove its carcinogenic affect in rodents and not in humans. You will still find saccharin “the pink packet” on the market today. Now, we have a total of 8 sugar substitutes. There are two different kinds, nutritive and non-nutritive. Nutritive means it adds to the caloric value of food and it contains more than 2% of the amount o Continue reading >>
How Natural & Artificial Sweeteners Affect Blood Sugar
I have wanted to write a post about sweeteners for a while now. Mainly because I get a little frustrated when reading or hearing outright incorrect claims about how some of the natural and artificial sweeteners affect your blood sugar. As a person with diabetes, I want to know exactly what will happen to my blood sugar when I eat or drink something, and I don’t take kindly to half-true marketing claims. I’ve decided to focus on how natural & artificial sweeteners impact blood sugar rather than on whether they are healthy or not, since I think that is somewhat out of my domain and because plenty of others have already covered that. What are natural & artificial sweeteners? FDA defines sweeteners as: “…commonly used as sugar substitutes or sugar alternatives because they are many times sweeter than sugar but contribute only a few or no calories when added to foods”. This means that regular sugar, honey, and Agave nectar/syrup don’t fall into the sweetener category. However, I do want to address these shortly before moving on to the real artificial sweeteners, since I’ve seen claims of how honey and agave won’t impact blood sugar in the same way as sugar. Honey and agave nectar Let’s start with honey because, let’s face it, it’s sugar in liquid form. It’s delicious, but an October 2015 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that when subjects were given honey, cane sugar, or high-fructose corn syrup, they saw no notable difference in blood sugar increase. As for agave, I think that the corporate marketing machine has been very clever when declaring this a health food, for as Dr. Jonny Bowden points out“..It’s basically high-fructose corn syrup masquerading as healthy food.” Agave nectar may have a lower glycemic index than sugar or honey, but Continue reading >>
Aspartame And Diabetes – Is It A Deadly Combination?
So what is the concern over aspartame and diabetes? The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is recommending and accepts the FDA’s conclusion that the consumption of Aspartame is safe and can be part of a healthy diet. Despite the research that is sounding the alarm all over the country and all over the world and despite the fact that an entire state, New Mexico, is trying to ban Aspartame, this dangerous substance is still being considered a “part of a healthy diet.” YIKES! Let’s let the experts tell us if we should be concerned about aspartame and diabetes: According to research conducted by H.J. Roberts, a diabetes specialist, a member of the ADA, and an authority on artificial sweeteners, Aspartame: 1) Leads to the precipitation of clinical diabetes. 2) Causes poorer diabetic control in diabetics on insulin or oral drugs. 3) Leads to the aggravation of diabetic complications such as retinopathy, cataracts, neuropathy and gastroparesis. 4) Causes convulsions. In a statement concerning the use of products containing aspartame by persons with diabetes and hypoglycemia, Roberts says: “Unfortunately, many patients in my practice, and others seen in consultation, developed serious metabolic, neurological and other complications that could be specifically attributed to using Aspartame products. This was evidenced by: “The loss of diabetic control, the intensification of hypoglycemia, the occurrence of presumed ‘insulin reactions’ (including convulsions) that proved to be Aspartame reactions, and the precipitation, aggravation or simulation of diabetic complications (especially impaired vision and neuropathy) while using these products.” “Dramatic improvement of such features after avoiding Aspartame, and the prompt predictable recurrence of these problem Continue reading >>
Artificial Sweeteners May Promote Diabetes, Claim Scientists
Artificial sweeteners may contribute to soaring levels of diabetes, according to a controversial study that suggests the additives could exacerbate the problem they are meant to tackle. Researchers in Israel found that artificial sweeteners used in diet drinks and other foods can disrupt healthy microbes that live in the gut, leading to higher blood sugar levels – an early sign of diabetes. Sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame and sucralose are widespread in western diets and are often used to cut calories or prevent tooth decay. The additives are so common that scientists behind the latest study called for a reassessment of the “massive usage” of the chemicals. “Our findings suggest that non-caloric artificial sweeteners may have directly contributed to enhancing the exact epidemic that they themselves were intended to fight,” the authors write in the journal Nature. Eran Elinav, a senior author on the study at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, said that while the evidence against the sweeteners was too weak to change health policies, he had decided to give them up. But the study has left many experts unconvinced. The findings draw largely on tests of just one sweetener in mice, raising doubts about their relevance for people, and to other sweeteners. Large studies in humans have found that sugar substitutes can help people maintain a healthy weight and protect against diabetes. “This new report must be viewed very cautiously,” said Stephen O’Rahilly, director of the Metabolic Diseases Unit at Cambridge University, “as it mostly reports findings in mice, accompanied by human studies so small as to be difficult to interpret.” Brian Ratcliffe, professor of nutrition at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, said: “Most of the effects t Continue reading >>
Artificial Sweeteners: Any Effect On Blood Sugar?
Can I use artificial sweeteners if I have diabetes? Answers from M. Regina Castro, M.D. You can use most sugar substitutes if you have diabetes, including: Saccharin (Sweet'N Low) Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal) Acesulfame potassium (Sunett) Sucralose (Splenda) Stevia (Pure Via, Truvia) Artificial sweeteners, also called sugar substitutes, offer the sweetness of sugar without the calories. Artificial sweeteners are many times sweeter than sugar, so it takes a smaller amount to sweeten foods. This is why foods made with artificial sweeteners may have fewer calories than those made with sugar. Sugar substitutes don't affect your blood sugar level. In fact, most artificial sweeteners are considered "free foods" — foods containing less than 20 calories and 5 grams or less of carbohydrates — because they don't count as calories or carbohydrates on a diabetes exchange. Remember, however, other ingredients in foods containing artificial sweeteners can still affect your blood sugar level. More research is needed, but studies are increasingly finding that the benefits of substituting sugar-sweetened food and beverages with those that have been sweetened artificially may not be as clear as once thought, particularly when consumed in large amounts. One reason may be a "rebound" effect, where some people end up consuming more of an unhealthy type of food because of the misperception that because it's sugar-free it's healthy. Also, be cautious with sugar alcohols — including mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol. Sugar alcohols can increase your blood sugar level. And for some people, sugar alcohols may cause diarrhea. Continue reading >>
Correcting Internet Myths About Aspartame
An article circulating on the Internet has called into question the safety of aspartame. To the best of our knowledge, none of the symptoms the writer and her "sources" have attributed to aspartame have been proven in any clinical scientific studies. We would like to respond to her comments to assure people with diabetes, who use products with aspartame, that we are unaware of any credible scientific evidence that aspartame is associated with any of the adverse effects noted in the Internet communication. Aspartame is made up of two amino acids called aspartic acid and the methyl ester of phenylalanine. Amino acids and methyl esters are found naturally in foods like milk, meats, fruits and vegetables. When digested, the body handles the amino acids in aspartame in the same way as those in foods we eat daily. Although aspartame can be used by the whole family, individuals with a rare genetic disease called phenylketonuria (PKU) need to be aware that aspartame is a source of the protein component, phenylalanine. Those who have PKU cannot properly metabolize phenylalanine and must monitor their intake of phenylalanine from all foods, including foods containing aspartame. In the U.S., every infant is screened for PKU at birth. The Internet myth "Especially deadly for diabetics": there is no question that aspartame has been beneficial to people with diabetes, enabling them to enjoy sweet tasting foods without the carbohydrates. Since it does not contain calories in the usual amounts consumed, it cannot affect blood glucose levels or cause weight gain. The facts An 8-oz glass of milk has six times more phenylalanine and thirteen times more aspartic acid than an equivalent amount of soda sweetened with NutraSweet. An 8-oz glass of fruit juice or tomato juice contains three to Continue reading >>
Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe For People With Diabetes?
As diabetes educators, we are frequently asked if sugar substitutes are safe and which ones are best. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy Over time, there have been many sugar substitutes, and we always tell people that the one you use is a personal choice. They are safe for people with diabetes, and they can be used to reduce both your calorie and carbohydrate intake. Sugar substitutes also can help curb those cravings you have for something sweet. Youll find artificial sweeteners in diet drinks , baked goods, frozen desserts, candy, light yogurt and chewing gum. You can also find them as stand-alone sweeteners to add to coffee, tea , cereal and fruit. Some are also available for cooking and baking. Its important to remember that only a small amount is needed since the sweetening power of these substitutes is (at least) 100 times stronger than regular sugar. There are currently six artificial sweeteners that have been tested and approved by the FDAor placed on the agencys Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) list. Numerous scientific studies have been performed on each of them to confirm they are safe for consumption. The FDA has established an acceptable daily intake (ADI) for each of the products. This represents the amount of a food ingredient that can be used safely on a daily basis over a lifetime without risk.Here is a current list of sweeteners that have been approved by the FDA. 1. Acesulfame-potassium, also known as Ace-K This is generally blended with another low-calorie sweetener. Brand names include Sunett and Sweet One It is stable under heat, even under moderately acidic or basic conditions, allowing it to be used as Continue reading >>
Artificial Sweeteners And Diabetes
Is it possible to eat sweets when you have diabetes? The answer is "yes." But when you’re trying to satisfy your sweet tooth, it can be hard to know what to reach for at the grocery store (sugar-free this or low-calorie that). So, use this primer to help you choose wisely. The Sweet Facts When you’re comparing sweeteners, keep these things in mind: Sugars are naturally occurring carbohydrates. These include brown sugar, cane sugar, confectioners’ sugar, fructose, honey, and molasses. They have calories and raise your blood glucose levels (the level of sugar in your blood). Reduced-calorie sweeteners are sugar alcohols. You might know these by names like isomalt, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol. You'll often find them in sugar-free candy and gum. They have about half the calories of sugars and can raise your blood sugar levels, although not as much as other carbohydrates. Artificial sweeteners are considered "free foods." They were designed in a lab, have no calories, and do not raise your blood sugar levels. Types of Artificial Sweeteners Artificial low-calorie sweeteners include: Saccharin (Sweet'N Low, Sugar Twin). You can use it in both hot and cold foods. Avoid this sweetener if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal). You can use it in both cold and warm foods. It may lose some sweetness at high temperatures. People who have a condition called phenylketonuria should avoid this sweetener. Acesulfame potassium or ace-K (Sweet One, Swiss Sweet, Sunett). You can use it in both cold and hot foods, including in baking and cooking. Sucralose (Splenda). You can use it in hot and cold foods, including in baking and cooking. Processed foods often contain it. Advantame can be used in baked goods, soft drinks and other non-alcoholic bev Continue reading >>
Dangers Of Aspartame For Diabetics
Having diabetes means watching what you eat and drink in order to keep your blood sugar levels in check. In addition, part of managing diabetes involves maintaining a healthy weight. To achieve both, you may look for products that are low in calories, sugar and carbohydrates, which sometimes means consuming products made with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. If you are concerned about consuming aspartame, check with your doctor to see if it can be included in your diet plan. Video of the Day To cut back on sugar and calorie content, some foods and beverages are made with manufactured products called artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are much sweeter than table sugar and can add taste without all of the calories that table sugar has. One popular artificial sweetener is aspartame, which is a combination of two amino acids -- aspartic acid and phenylalanine -- and it is found under the names of Equal and Nutrasweet. While there has been much controversy over its use, there have been no clinical trials that prove that it is unsafe or that it contributes to cancer, headaches or any other type of disease, says FamilyDoctor.org. Since aspartame contains phenylalanine, you should not consume it if you have phenylketonuria, or PKU. Diabetes and Aspartame There have been claims or suggestions that diabetics can experience adverse health effects from consuming aspartame. However, there are no scientific studies to back up these claims. It appears that consuming aspartame poses no specific threat to those with diabetes, and products made with aspartame can help diabetics to satisfy a sweet tooth without ingesting too many calories or carbs, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center. Carbohydrates are the main type of food that can cause spikes and drops in blood su Continue reading >>
New Study Reevaluates Aspartame As A Safe Sweetener
A new study has reviewed evidence in animals and humans about the health effects and safety of the low-calorie sweetener aspartame at currently accepted dosage and at higher dosage. Previous research suggest artificial sweeteners like aspartame can help weight loss and may benefit people with type 2 diabetes as they've been deemed as good or even superior to water for blood sugar control. However, researchers have long debated both its recommended safe dosage (40 mg per kg of bodyweight per day) and its potential adverse effects. In this new paper, researchers from the University of Pretoria and Stellenbosch University, in South Africa, have reviewed both animal and human aspartame trials published in the last ten years or so. Many of these earlier studies concluded that aspartame consumption was not a concern at acceptable daily intake (ADI) levels, especially based on current use levels which equate to about 15 per cent of the ADI for the average adult. To put this into perspective, given that a can of diet coke has 125mg of aspartame, someone who weighs 150 pounds would have to drink 21.8 cans of the drink daily before going over the safe consumption level. Yet there are several points of potential danger that the authors of the current research are still concerned about. Although the data has been controversial and inconsistent, aspartame may modulate brain neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, and be neurotoxic because of one of its byproducts (phenylalanine) crossing the blood-brain barrier fairly easily. Researchers also suggest that, when consumed in quantities higher than the ADI or within safe levels, aspartame can increase oxidative stress and inflammation in many different cell types and tissues. These "pro-inflammatory" effects and associated da Continue reading >>
Diet Soda And Diabetes: Things To Consider
Diabetes is a condition characterized by high amounts of sugar in the blood. These high blood sugar levels are a result of the body's inability to either produce or use a hormone called insulin. Insulin's role is to move sugar from the blood and into the cells of the body where it is used to make energy. Contents of this article: Sugary sodas and diabetes Diabetes is marked by high blood sugar, known medically as hyperglycemia. As such, drinks which have a lot of sugar in them should be avoided as they cause spikes in blood sugar. There are three major types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. There is no direct cause of type 1 diabetes. Factors that can increase the risk of type 1 diabetes include: Drinking cow's milk at an early age may also play a role in type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. The body is unable to use insulin fully or make enough of it to keep up with sugar intake. Type 2 diabetes shows links to: Inactivity Genes Age Family history of type 2 diabetes Gestational diabetes Gestational diabetes affects women during pregnancy. If the body cannot make enough insulin to carry the sugar to cells to be used or if there is insulin resistance present, the woman may be diagnosed with gestational diabetes. One recent study posted in the BMJ found a link between drinking sugary drinks and the risk of type two diabetes. Another study posted in Diabetes Care found that people who drink 1-2 sugar-sweetened drinks every day have a 26 percent greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who do not. Other things to consider about sugar-sweetened sodas: Plaque loves soda: The bacteria that make Continue reading >>
Sugar Substitutes: Aspartame
Chances are you’ve tried a beverage or food that contains a “nonnutritive” sweetener. Nonnutritive sweeteners are substances that are used in place of sugar, including table sugar, honey, maple syrup, or corn syrup. Sometimes called artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes, nonnutritive sweeteners are found in many products, such as foods, beverages, chewing gum, mouthwashes, toothpaste, and medicines. These sweeteners are extremely popular because they contain little, if any, calories and carbohydrate, making them a helpful choice for people who have diabetes and/or who are overweight. Because their sweetening ability is so intense, only small amounts of nonnutritive sweeteners need to be used to provide the same level of sweetness as nutritive, or caloric, sweeteners. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved six nonnutritive sweeteners, which include aspartame, acesulfame-K, neotame, advantame, saccharin, and sucralose. (Certain extracts of the stevia plant and monk fruit also have “generally recognized as safe” status from the FDA.) Not surprisingly, perhaps, most of these sweeteners have raised a lot controversy and concern about their safety and possible effects on health. This week, we’ll take a closer look at one of the more popular and prevalent sweeteners, aspartame. What is aspartame? Better known as Equal or NutraSweet, aspartame is found in soft drinks, yogurt, gum and cereals. Discovered in 1965, aspartame is roughly 200 times sweeter than regular table sugar, or sucrose. It’s made up of two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, which are naturally occurring amino acids. When aspartame is metabolized, or broken down in the body, it forms a small amount of methanol. Methanol formation is concerning to some people because la Continue reading >>
You Asked: Do Sugar Substitutes Cause Type 2 Diabetes?
TIME Health For more, visit TIME Health. By now you’ve heard that sugary foods drive insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes. The more of the sweet stuff you swallow—whether it’s table sugar or organic honey—the more insulin your pancreas has to produce and release into your bloodstream in order to control your blood’s glucose levels. At some point, an overworked pancreas can become incapable of producing enough insulin to manage sugar loads in the blood, resulting in type-2 diabetes But what happens if you replace sugar with artificial sweeteners? The American Diabetes Association says on its website that sugar substitutes are safe by FDA standards, and “may help curb your cravings for something sweet.” But other experts are dubious. “The short answer is we don’t know what happens when you replace sugar with artificial sweeteners,” says Dr. Robert Lustig, an endocrinologist and sugar researcher at the University of California, San Francisco. “We have data nibbling around the edges, but we don’t have enough to make a hard determination for any specific sweetener.” People who consume diet soda on a daily basis are 36% more likely to develop metabolic syndrome and 67% more likely to develop type-2 diabetes than people who don’t drink diet or regular soda, found a 2009 study. That may seem damning until you consider that overweight or obese people—the groups most at risk for type-2 diabetes—may be more likely to drink diet soda in an attempt to lose weight than their slimmer pals. Newer evidence, though still far from conclusive, is more telling. A 2014 study from Israel found that artificial sweeteners changed the microbiotic makeup of rodents’ guts in ways linked to metabolic disease. For another recent study, researchers at Washington Un Continue reading >>