Should I Kick The Diet Soda Habit?
I drink a great deal of diet soda and have read that it can cause blood sugar spikes in people with type 2 diabetes. Is this true? Should I avoid diet soda? — Karen, Ohio The short answer is that drinking diet soda does not cause a rise in blood sugar level. Some studies have linked artificial sweeteners, such as the aspartame (NutraSweet) used in many diet sodas, with weight gain. Weight gain increases insulin resistance, which leads to an increase in blood sugar level. However, this finding has not been confirmed in other studies. Nonetheless, I would caution you against drinking a "great deal" of soda. First, excessive intake of diet soda might edge out of your diet nutritious alternatives like whole juices, fresh fruits, and other healthy foods that contain essential vitamins and minerals. Second, there is a limit to the acceptable daily intake (ADI) of artificial sweeteners that you should not exceed. The ADI depends on the type of sweetener — 5 mg/kg/day for Splenda (sucralose) on the lower end, and 50 mg/kg/day for aspartame on the higher end. This can represent somewhere between 6 to 18 12-ounce cans of diet soda for a person weighing about 150 pounds, or 68 kg. Also, remember that other low-calorie or no-calorie food products that you may be eating also contain artificial sweeteners. While you may not reach the level of intake that is considered unsafe, as it is 100 times more than the above limits, all the effects of artificial sweeteners in people with diabetes have not been studied enough to be considered completely safe. Some diet sodas also contain caffeine. Sodas such as Diet Mountain Dew contain up to 55 mg of caffeine in a can, and the majority of diet sodas have about 40 mg of caffeine. Just to give you a comparison, a cup of espresso contains abou Continue reading >>
Is Diet Soda Ok For People With Diabetes?
Susan B. Sloane, BS, RPh, CDE, has been a registered pharmacist for more than 20 years and a Certified Diabetes Educator for more than 15 years. Her two sons were diagnosed with diabetes, and since then, she has been dedicated to promoting wellness and optimal outcomes as a patient advocate, information expert, educator, and corporate partner. “I’ll have a burger and a diet cola, please!” No matter where we eat out these days, from fast food to fine dining, you hear this order a lot. I know I sometimes feel like I can consume more calories at a meal because I chose the diet beverage, but how accurate is that way of thinking? Should we be drinking as much diet soda as we do? First, to be clear, there is no absolute right or wrong about food or beverage consumption. I provide information I hope is useful to your own lifestyle. I always say that education is the best prescription. The power of soda Just to give you some idea of the popularity of soft drinks, our country produces 10.4 billion gallons of soft drinks yearly. Diet soda is often paired with unhealthy food choices, such as burgers and pizza. My husband is a pizza lover who cannot eat pizza without diet soda. He says the pizza tastes better with soda, and after all, it’s “diet” soda. But if the food actually tastes better to him, will he eat more pizza than he normally would with say, water as a beverage? This is a question that has actually been posed in studies. Do diet beverages allow and/or cause us to eat more calories? Data presented recently at the American Diabetes Association’s scientific sessions suggest that diet soft drinks may actually contribute to weight gain. One theory as to why this may happen is that your brain tastes something sweet, which triggers a release of insulin and elicit Continue reading >>
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 >>
Two Diet Drinks A Day Could Double The Risk Of Diabetes, Study Finds
Two diet drinks a day could double the risk of diabetes, study finds Diet drinks were linked with a raised risk of diabetesCredit:John Taylor Two fizzy drinks a day could double the risk of diabetes - even if they are diet versions -a Swedish study has found. Research by the Karolinska Institute on 2,800 adults found that those who consumed at least two 200ml servings of soft drinks daily were 2.4 times as likely to suffer from a form of type 2 diabetes. Many fizzy drinks are sold in 330ml cans, meaning that one and a half cans would be enough to double the risk. Those who drank a litre of such drinks saw a 10-fold rise in their chance of suffering from the condition. The increased risks were the same regardless of whether the drinks were sugary or artificially sweetened, the research published in the European Journal of Endocrinology found. Researchers said the sugary drinks may have induced insulin resistance, triggering the cases of diabetes. The new research examined links between soft drink consumption and diabetesCredit:Frank Augstein/AP The artificial sweeteners in the diet drinks may stimulate and distort appetite, they said, increasing food intake, and encouraging a sweet tooth. Such sweeteners might also affect microbes in the gut leading to glucose intolerance. The research was a retrospective study, which relied on participants to recall their diet habits. Josefin Edwall Lfvenborg, lead author, said soft drinks might influence glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, leading to the increased risk of latent auto-immune diabetes, a form of type 2 diabetes. In this study we were surprised by the increased risk in developing autoimmune diabetes by drinking soft drinks, he said. We next plan on investigating what could counter this risk. More research was nee 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 >>
Diet Sodas Might Not Raise Diabetes Risk
November 15, 2016 / 8:00 PM / a year ago (Reuters Health) - Drinking colas and other sugary drinks is tied to an increased risk of so-called pre-diabetes, a precursor to full-blown disease, but diet soda is not, a recent study suggests. Regular and mini cans of Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi are pictured in this photo illustration in New York August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri Previous studies on the link between diet sodas and diabetes have been mixed; some research pointing to a potential connection has suggested this relationship may be explained at least in part by soda drinkers being overweight or obese. In the current study, however, adults who routinely consumed at least one can of soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages a day were 46 percent more likely to develop elevated blood sugar levels than people who rarely or never drink cola. Emphasis should be placed on substituting sugar-sweetened beverages with water, unsweetened teas, or coffee, said senior study author Nicola McKeown, a nutrition researcher at Tufts University in Boston. For daily consumers of sugary drinks, kicking the habit may be a difficult challenge, and incorporating an occasional diet soda, while increasing fluids from other sources, may be the best strategy to ultimately remove sugar-sweetened beverages from the diet, McKeown added by email. Globally, about one in nine adults have diabetes, and the disease will be the seventh leading cause of death by 2030, according to the World Health Organization. Most of these people have Type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes, which happens when the body cant properly use or make enough of the hormone insulin to convert blood sugar into energy. People with blood sugar levels that are slightly elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis, are sometime Continue reading >>
Can Diabetics Drink Diet Soda?
When you have diabetes, it's easy to feel limited by what you can eat and drink. Although you might occasionally be tempted to stray from your healthy meal plan, you're best to avoid dietary temptations and consume only what your doctor deems appropriate. If you've been previously accustomed to drinking soda, diet alternatives should be safe for you. Video of the Day The American Diabetes Association lists diet soda among the beverages that are safe for diabetics to consume. Diet soda is typically sweetened with one of five artificial sweeteners, including aspartame. These sweeteners do not contain calories, and the ADA reports that they will not cause a blood glucose reaction. Many common flavors of soda are available in diet versions, including cola, root beer, lemon-lime and orange. Risks of Diet Soda The safety of artificial sweeteners is highly contested, although the National Cancer Institute reports that no proof exists linking the Food and Drug Administration's approved artificial sweeteners to cancer. A greater risk in frequently consuming artificially sweetened soda is consuming unhealthy foods because you aren't drinking a high-calorie beverage. A study published in 2010 in the "Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine" that found those who drink heavy amounts of diet soda are more likely to be obese than those who don't drink diet soda, and obesity is a major risk factor for type-2 diabetes. Even if drinking diet soda is safe for diabetics, you shouldn't make a habit of consuming this type of beverage. Diet soda has little nutritional value, and consuming a caffeinated flavor can harm your ability to sleep soundly. Excessive caffeine consumption can also lead to side effects, including anxiety and restlessness. Ceasing to consume caffeine can lead to symptoms su Continue reading >>
Do Diet Sodas Cause Diabetes?
I’m confused by news that drinks containing artificial sweeteners can lead to diabetes. I know you advise against the use of artificial sweeteners, but does this study mean that we should drink “regular” instead of diet sodas? You will be much better off not drinking any sodas at all. The results of the study connecting artificial sweeteners with metabolic syndrome, a collection of conditions that together dramatically increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, by no means vindicate sugar. Instead, they suggest that artificial sweeteners are as bad for health as too much sugar. The study, from Israel, showed that artificial sweeteners altered the collection of bacteria (known as the microbiome) in the digestive tract in a way that caused blood glucose levels to rise higher than expected and to fall more slowly than they otherwise would. This finding may solve the longstanding mystery of why drinking artificially sweetened diet sodas doesn’t lead to weight loss. It also strongly suggests that the use of artificial sweeteners has been contributing to the worldwide obesity epidemic and rising rates of type 2 diabetes. To arrive at their conclusions, the Israeli researchers gave 10-week old mice water sweetened with saccharin, sucralose or aspartame, plain water, or sugar-sweetened water. After one week, the mice that received the artificially sweetened water had developed glucose intolerance, the first step on the path to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. With glucose intolerance, the body cannot easily handle large amounts of sugar. The researchers next gave the mice antibiotics, which killed the bacteria in the animals’ digestive systems. The glucose intolerance disappeared, supporting the hypothesis that this condition is caused by a change Continue reading >>
The Best And Worst Drinks For Diabetics
Drinks for Diabetics iStock When you have diabetes, choosing the right drink isn’t always simple. And recent studies may only add to the confusion. Is coffee helpful or harmful to insulin resistance? Does zero-calorie diet soda cause weight gain? We reviewed the research and then asked three top registered dietitians, who are also certified diabetes educators, what they tell their clients about seven everyday drinks. Here’s what to know before you sip. Drink More: Water iStock Could a few refreshing glasses of water assist with blood sugar control? A recent study in the journal Diabetes Care suggests so: The researchers found that people who drank 16 ounces or less of water a day (two cups’ worth) were 30 percent more likely to have high blood sugar than those who drank more than that daily. The connection seems to be a hormone called vasopressin, which helps the body regulate hydration. Vasopressin levels increase when a person is dehydrated, which prompts the liver to produce more blood sugar. How much: Experts recommend six to nine 8-ounce glasses of water per day for women and slightly more for men. You’ll get some of this precious fluid from fruit and vegetables and other fluids, but not all of it. “If you’re not in the water habit, have a glass before each meal,” recommends Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and author of The African American Guide to Living Well with Diabetes. “After a few weeks, add a glass at meals too.” Drink More: Milk iStock Moo juice isn’t just a kids’ drink. It provides the calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D your body needs for many essential functions. Plus, research shows it may also boost weight loss. In one study of 322 people trying to sl Continue reading >>
Will Diet Coke Raise Blood Sugar Levels Up In Diabetics?
People with diabetes often switch to sugar-free products if they want to indulge a craving. For example, they might try sugar-free cookies or diet products that are made especially for diabetics or contain no added sugars. Based on that concept, switching to drinking Diet Coke might seem like the best choice. However, diabetics need to consider certain things before trying diet sodas. Video of the Day Diet Coke contains two sweeteners: aspartame and acesulfame-K, also known as acesulfame potassium. Diet Coke also contains artificial colorings and flavorings that have no effect on blood sugar. Blood Sugar Reactions Both sweeteners used in Diet Coke are considered safe for diabetes, according to Mayo Clinic. However, while the artificial sweeteners won’t raise blood sugar, the caffeine in it might. A 2004 study led by researchers at Duke University showed that caffeine consumption can increase blood sugar levels by up to 8 percent. Scientists are not sure why caffeine has this effect on glucose but are still recommending diabetic patients cut down their caffeine consumption as much as possible. Although the sweeteners in Diet Coke don’t directly affect blood sugar levels, they can still lead to other problems. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the sweet taste of Diet Coke can confuse your brain. In normal circumstances, sweet foods have lots of calories. When you drink diet soda, your brain is expecting you to consume calories. When you don’t, your hunger will increase, forcing you to eat more to make up for the calories your brain is expecting. The cravings for extra food can be cravings for carbohydrates as well, which would affect your blood sugar. So indirectly, Diet Coke can affect your glucose if you don’t pay attention and give in to the cra Continue reading >>
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How Does Diet Soda Affect Diabetes?
Many of us who enjoy fizzy drinks select diet soda as a healthier option than the normal soda. Even if we have with diabetes, we feel that diet soda has less sugar and is therefore not harmful to us. Sadly, that’s not entirely true. Let’s find out how does diet soda affect diabetics. Pros of Drinking Diet Soda with Diabetes: Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners, which are also referred to as non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) or non-caloric sweeteners. They have a higher intensity of sweetness per gram than caloric sweeteners like sucrose. Popular artificial sweeteners like aspartame, acesulfame-K, neotame, saccharin, and sucralose are regulated as food additives by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). Aspartame and saccharin, commonly found in diet sodas, are both FDA reviewed and approved. Besides FDA, most sweeteners used in diet sodas are approved by World Health Organization (WHO) and/ or Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The American Diabetes Association (ADA) lists diet soda as safe for diabetics to consume. Diet soda is typically sweetened with one of five artificial sweeteners. These sweeteners do not contain calories (or have less than 20 calories), and the ADA reports that they do not cause a blood glucose reaction. Furthermore, carbohydrate content in diet soda is less (less than 5 gm) when compared to that of regular soda. Also, the calorie content in diet soda is less than that of regular soda. Risks Of Diet Soda For Diabetics According to Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit medical practice and medical research group based in Rochester, Minnesota, while the artificial sweeteners may not raise blood sugar, the caffeine in it might. A 2004 study at Duke University showed that caffeine consumption can increase blood sugar levels by up to Continue reading >>
Diet Soda Intake And Risk Of Incident Metabolic Syndrome And Type 2 Diabetes In The Multi-ethnic Study Of Atherosclerosis (mesa)
OBJECTIVE We determined associations between diet soda consumption and risk of incident metabolic syndrome, its components, and type 2 diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Diet soda consumption was assessed by food frequency questionnaire at baseline (2000–2002). Incident type 2 diabetes was identified at three follow-up examinations (2002–2003, 2004–2005, and 2005–2007) as fasting glucose >126 mg/dl, self-reported type 2 diabetes, or use of diabetes medication. Metabolic syndrome (and components) was defined by National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria. Hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% CI for type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and metabolic syndrome components were estimated, adjusting for demographic, lifestyle, and dietary confounders. RESULTS At least daily consumption of diet soda was associated with a 36% greater relative risk of incident metabolic syndrome and a 67% greater relative risk of incident type 2 diabetes compared with nonconsumption (HR 1.36 [95% CI 1.11–1.66] for metabolic syndrome and 1.67 [1.27–2.20] for type 2 diabetes). Of metabolic syndrome components, only high waist circumference (men ≥102 cm and women ≥88 cm) and high fasting glucose (≥100 mg/dl) were prospectively associated with diet soda consumption. Associations between diet soda consumption and type 2 diabetes were independent of baseline measures of adiposity or changes in these measures, whereas associations between diet soda and metabolic syndrome were not independent of these factors. CONCLUSIONS Although these observational data cannot establish causality, consumption of diet soda at least daily was associated with significantly greater risks of select incident metabolic syndrome components Continue reading >>
Should You Ditch Diet Sodas?
The debate about which foods belong in a “healthy diet” (and which don’t) is ongoing – especially when it comes to diabetes. Are carbs the enemy? Should you cut out gluten? Should you sign up for that 21-day detox? And, one of the most controversial questions: Should you drink diet soda? While many organizations, such as the ADA and AND take a fairly neutral stance on artificial sweeteners found in diet sodas, stating that there is room for nutritive sweeteners (non-caloric, alternative sweeteners) in an otherwise healthy diet, I personally take a more conservative approach with my clients. Nutritional science is still a relatively new scientific field, relative to other bodies of scientific research, leaving a lot to still be discovered about long-term effects of many processed foods that have not even been around for a century. In general, I am an advocate for whole foods—foods that are as minimally processed as possible and provide an abundance of nutritive value to those that consume them. Within this logic, since diet sodas fall short of providing any nutritional value, they should be treated more as a novelty than a dietary staple. If you are still on the fence about consuming diet sodas regularly, here are some things to consider before picking up that sugar-free cola: Even “natural” sugar alternatives are processed Some sodas get their sweetness from more natural sources than others – but this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you. Stevia, for instance, is a sugar substitute derived from the stevia plant, which has been used for over a thousand years by native tribes in South America to sweeten foods and teas. Unfortunately, the stevia that is found in your local grocery store is a cousin far removed from the traditional stevia leaf vers Continue reading >>
Diet Soda And Diabetes
In reply to my recent blog entry “Stopping Diabetes Medicines,” Patsy wrote: “I have stop[ped] drinking Diet Cokes, or anything with artificial sweeteners. I can’t tell you what a difference that has made! … I am overweight and have lost 14 pounds. My blood sugar has gone down, too.” How could this be? How could diet sodas, which have essentially no carbohydrates and no calories, raise blood glucose and weight? Or is the whole thing an illusion? Four studies in the last decade have raised concerns about diet soda. In 2005, University of Texas researchers reported that people who drank diet soda were more likely to gain weight than those drank regular soda. Fewer calories = more weight! Strange… In 2006, Dartmouth scientists found that people with diabetes who drank one or more cans of diet soda a day raised their A1C levels by an average of 0.7%, compared to those who didn’t. In 2007, the American Heart Association found that those who drank either regular or diet soda had a higher risk of “metabolic syndrome,” which includes diabetes, high blood pressure, high levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and obesity, compared to nondrinkers. This is just a correlation; it doesn’t show cause, but it’s still interesting. In the January 16, 2009 issue of Diabetes Care, a group of analysts reviewing the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis found that “Daily consumption of diet soda was associated with… a 67% greater relative risk of… Type 2 diabetes compared to non-consumption.” They said the increased diabetes was not due to increased weight, although that happened too. “Associations between diet soda consumption and Type 2 diabetes were independent of baseline measures of adiposity or changes in these measures,” they wrote. The data was adj Continue reading >>
Diet Coke Won’t Stop You Getting Diabetes: Two Glasses Of Calorie-free Drinks A Day 'doubles The Risk'
Many of us have ditched our favourite sugary drinks for their diet alternative in a bid to boost our health and keep off the pounds. But it seems that diet drinks can be just as bad for you, according to a study. Scientists found drinking just two glasses of diet drinks a day more than doubles the risk of developing diabetes. They believe that calorie-free drinks make us feel hungrier, prompting us to crave sugar-laden snacks. And they also suspect that artificial sweeteners interfere with the bacteria in our gut – which may trigger diabetes. The team from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden studied 2,874 adults who had completed a year-long diary about their intake of drinks. Those who had two or more sweetened drinks a day were 2.4 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. This included sugary beverages and artificially sweetened ones, such as Diet Coke or sugar free cordials. Having five or more sugar-free drinks a day increased the risk by 4.5 times. In fact, the researchers found that artificially–sweetened drinks were almost as bad as those laden with sugar. They established that every 200ml glass of a sugary fizzy drink consumed each day increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 21 per cent. Meanwhile every diet drink increased the risk by 18 per cent, according to the findings published in the European Journal of Endocrinology. Lead researcher Josefin Löfvenborg said diet drinks may ‘stimulate the appetite’, leading to weight gain. She added that artificial sweeteners may cause chemical reactions within fat tissue and with bacteria in the gut. This can lead to the body becoming less tolerant of glucose – a form of sugar – triggering type 2 diabetes. She said: ‘One hypothesis is that consumption of diet soft drinks may stimulate appetite making u Continue reading >>