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Do Diet Soft Drinks Affect Blood Sugar?

Does Drinking Diet Soda Increase Your Blood Sugar?

Does Drinking Diet Soda Increase Your Blood Sugar?

If you're watching your blood sugar levels, you're probably aware that drinking regular soda can quickly cause your blood sugar levels to spike due to the large amounts of easily absorbed sugars it contains. But you might not be aware that diet soda may also have an effect on your blood sugar levels, although research in this area isn't conclusive. Drinking diet soda by itself isn't likely to cause spikes in your blood sugar levels. A study published in "Diabetes Care" in December 2009 found that drinking diet soda had the same effect on blood sugar and insulin levels as drinking carbonated water. When consumed along with carbohydrates in the form of glucose, however, the diet soda did increase the amount of a substance called GLP-1 in the blood that may delay stomach emptying and minimize the effect of the carbohydrates on after-meal blood sugar levels, although more research is needed to verify this effect. Fasting Blood Sugar Consuming diet soda at least once a day was associated with an increased fasting blood sugar level and a higher waist circumference compared to not consuming any soda, according to a study published in "Diabetes Care" in April 2009. This translated to a 67 percent higher chance of developing type-2 diabetes and a 36 percent higher risk for metabolic syndrome. Another study, published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in April 2012, compared the effects of drinking diet soda on people following either a healthier diet or a typical Western diet and found that people following the healthier diet had a lower risk for metabolic syndrome than those following the Western diet. In addition, the study indicated that drinking diet soda sometimes, but not always, increased the risk for metabolic syndrome somewhat even when following the healt Continue reading >>

How Artificial Sweeteners Affect Blood Sugar And Insulin

How Artificial Sweeteners Affect Blood Sugar And Insulin

Sugar is a hot topic in nutrition. Cutting back can improve your health and help you lose weight. Replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners is one way to do that. However, some people claim that artificial sweeteners aren't as "metabolically inert" as previously thought. For example, it's been claimed that they can raise blood sugar and insulin levels. This article takes a look at the science behind these claims. Artificial sweeteners are synthetic chemicals that stimulate the sweet taste receptors on the tongue. They are often called low-calorie or non-nutritive sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners give things a sweet taste, without any added calories (1). Therefore, they're often added to foods that are then marketed as "health foods" or diet products. They're found everywhere, from diet soft drinks and desserts, to microwave meals and cakes. You'll even find them in non-food items, such as chewing gum and toothpaste. Here's a list of the most common artificial sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners are synthetic chemicals that make things taste sweet without any extra calories. We have tightly controlled mechanisms to keep our blood sugar levels stable (2, 3, 4). Blood sugar levels increase when we eat foods containing carbohydrates. Potatoes, bread, pasta, cakes and sweets are some foods that are high in carbohydrates. When digested, carbohydrates are broken down into sugar and absorbed into the bloodstream, leading to an increase in blood sugar levels. When our blood sugar levels rise, our body releases insulin. Insulin is a hormone that acts like a key. It allows blood sugar to leave the blood and enter our cells, where it can be used for energy or stored as fat. If blood sugar levels drop too low, our livers release stored sugar to stabilize it. This happens when we fas Continue reading >>

Does Drinking Soda Really Give You Diabetes?

Does Drinking Soda Really Give You Diabetes?

Chugging too much soda won’t just give you a gut: Soda might also raise your risk of developing prediabetes as well, a new study published in The Journal of Nutrition suggests. In a study of over 1,600 people, those who drank regular soda more than 3 times a week were 46 percent more likely to develop prediabetes—a disease where your blood sugar is elevated, but not quite at the diabetes threshold—over a 14-year period than those who didn’t drink any of the beverage. Even just one 12-ounce can of soda more than three times a week is enough to raise your health risk. This link between soda and prediabetes persisted even after the researchers adjusted for potential factors that may be skewing the relationship, like calorie consumption, physical activity levels, and body mass indexes (BMI). (Here are 15 ways to cut hundreds of calories a day.) One possible reason is that the sugar content of regular soda may overwhelm the drinker’s system with excess glucose and fructose, says lead study author Nicola McKeown, Ph.D., of Tufts University. The extra sugar rush raises the amount of sugar in your body in the short-term. But it can also mess with your system long-term, by changing the way the pancreas releases insulin, a hormone that allows your body to absorb glucose for energy. As a result, you can develop insulin resistance, a condition where your body needs higher and higher amounts of insulin to function, says McKeown. When your body can’t churn out enough insulin to keep up with that demand, the glucose builds up in your blood, and you can develop prediabetes, and eventually diabetes. Diet soda, on the other hand, doesn’t contain sugar, which may be why the study saw no link between the consumption of that kind of soft drink and prediabetes risk. (Still, oth Continue reading >>

The Best And Worst Drinks For Diabetics

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?

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 >>

Could Artificial Sweeteners Raise Your Blood Sugar?

Could Artificial Sweeteners Raise Your Blood Sugar?

Sept. 17, 2014 -- If you’re one of the millions of Americans for whom diet sodas and artificially sweetened desserts play leading roles in efforts to shed pounds and help prevent long-term diseases like diabetes, new research might give you pause. The work, done with mice and humans, suggests that artificial sweeteners could raise your blood sugar levels more than if you indulged in sugar-sweetened sodas and desserts. Blame it on the bugs in your gut, scientists say. They found that saccharin (a.k.a. Sweet‘N Low), sucralose (a.k.a. Splenda) and aspartame (a.k.a. NutraSweet and Equal) raised blood sugar levels by dramatically changing the makeup of the gut microorganisms, mainly bacteria, that are in the intestines and help with nutrition and the immune system. There are trillions of them -- many times more than the cells of the body -- and they account for roughly 4 pounds of your body weight. Scientists in recent years have focused more and more on the link between the gut microorganisms and health. In the latest research, “what we are seeing in humans and also in mice is this previously unappreciated correlation between artificial sweetener use” and microorganisms in the gut, said Eran Elinav, MD, one of the scientists involved in the new study. Elinav and a collaborator, Eran Segal, PhD, spoke at a press conference held by Nature, the journal that published their team’s findings. Both of the scientists are on the faculty of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. “Initially, we were surprised by the results, which is why we also repeated them multiple times,” Segal said. Industry groups said the small number of mice and people studied make the findings hard to apply to larger populations. But one scientist not involved in the research called the sm Continue reading >>

Diet Soda May Alter Our Gut Microbes And Raise The Risk Of Diabetes

Diet Soda May Alter Our Gut Microbes And Raise The Risk Of Diabetes

The debate over whether diet sodas are good, bad or just OK for us never seems to end. Some research suggests zero-calorie drinks can help people cut calories and fend off weight gain. But in recent years, the idea that artificial sweeteners may trick the brain and lead to "metabolic derangements," as one researcher has theorized, has gained traction, too. Now, a new study published in the journal Nature introduces a new idea: Diet sodas may alter our gut microbes in a way that increases the risk of metabolic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes — at least in some of us. In the paper, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel describe what happened when they fed zero-calorie sweeteners, including saccharin, aspartame and sucralose, to mice. "To our surprise, [the mice] developed glucose intolerance," Weizmann researcher Eran Elinav tells us. Intrigued by the findings, Elinav and his colleague Eran Segal set out to determine whether this might happen in people as well. First, they analyzed data collected from a group of about 400 people who are enrolled in an ongoing nutrition study. They found that people who were heavy consumers of artificial sweeteners had slightly elevated HbA1C levels (a long-term measure of blood sugar) — compared with people who rarely or never consumed artificial sweeteners. Next, they recruited seven volunteers — people who were not in the habit of drinking diet drinks — and asked them to start consuming the equivalent of 10-12 of those fake sugar packets during a one-week experiment. "What we find is that a subgroup [four of the seven people] developed significant disturbances in their blood glucose even after short-term exposure to artificial sweeteners," Elinav says. For example, results of a glucose tolerance test found Continue reading >>

Can Diabetics Drink Diet Coke Or Diet Pepsi?

Can Diabetics Drink Diet Coke Or Diet Pepsi?

I’m disappointed in the quality of the other answers thus far, so I’m going to give you some useful advice here. Yes, in general, diabetics can consume diet soft drinks without a risk to raising their blood sugar. There are a few caveats to this, however, and you should keep this in mind: In some countries, “diet soda” is actually low-sugar soda. That is, it’s made with less sugar, not zero sugar. This kind of diet soda will definitely raise your blood sugar, so be careful. Know what you’re putting into your body. Many diet sodas contain caffeine, and caffeine has been found to elevate blood sugar levels in a certain percentage of the population. I’m one of the lucky ones, so I can drink all the caffeine I want to. But you might be one of the unlucky ones. The best thing to do is test before and after drinking a diet soda and determine for yourself what happens to your body. If you drink “fountain drinks” in restaurants, be aware of the fact that sometimes the employees attach the fountain spigot to the wrong bottle of syrup. You’ll think you’re getting diet soda, but you might get the genuine article. With practice, you’ll be able to taste the difference, but sometimes you won’t know for sure. In that case, you can usually tell by dipping your finger in the soda. Real soda will become sticky on your finger when it dries. Diet soda will not. Artificial sweeteners are still sugars! They are sugars that are a couple of orders of magnitude sweeter than table sugar, so a lower quantity of sweeteners results in an equivalent level of “sweetness.” What this means is that if you consume a large amount of diet soda all at once (like a liter or more), your blood sugar will still probably rise because there are carbs in artificial sweeteners. If you Continue reading >>

Soft Drinks And Disease

Soft Drinks And Disease

Soft drinks are the beverage of choice for millions of Americans, but sugary drinks increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. People who consume sugary drinks regularly—1 to 2 cans a day or more—have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely have such drinks. (46) A study that followed 40,000 men for two decades found that those who averaged one can of a sugary beverage per day had a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack than men who rarely consumed sugary drinks. (47) A related study in women found a similar sugary beverage–heart disease link. (48) A 22-year-long study of 80,000 women found that those who consumed a can a day of sugary drink had a 75% higher risk of gout than women who rarely had such drinks. (49) Researchers found a similarly-elevated risk in men. (50) Dr. Frank Hu, Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, recently made a strong case that there is sufficient scientific evidence that decreasing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption will reduce the prevalence of obesity and obesity-related diseases. (51) Video: Watch Dr. Walter Willett discuss sugary drinks and health risks. Soft drinks and diabetes Strong evidence indicates that sugar-sweetened soft drinks contribute to the development of diabetes. The Nurses’ Health Study explored this connection by following the health of more than 90,000 women for eight years. The nurses who said they had one or more servings a day of a sugar-sweetened soft drink or fruit punch were twice as likely to have developed type 2 diabetes during the study than those who rarely had these beverages. (52) Learn more about diabetes. A similar increase in risk of diabetes with increasi Continue reading >>

Diet Sodas And Diabetes?

Diet Sodas And Diabetes?

In the 1980s, throughout the development of sucralose (Splenda), more than 100 studies were conducted to assess its effect on human health, including its potential to impact blood glucose, or blood sugar. There was no impact. As a result, Splenda was determined safe, including for persons with diabetes, by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration, the World Health Organization, and virtually every other leading health organization worldwide. Gut sweet taste receptors But in recent years, the discovery of gut sweet taste receptors in the body have led some to question Splenda’s safety. It appears that Splenda activates these receptors. But would activating them mean anything? Would doing so raise blood sugar? The data suggest not. Clinical trials conducted since the FDA’s approval of Splenda have significantly added to the conclusion that Splenda does not affect blood sugar levels.1,2,3 But the hysteria continued. Some anti-Splenda crusaders have argued that most of the studies involved just one dose of the sugar substitute. Splenda, diet sodas, and diabetes? | New research So this year, scientists from Leicester Clinical Research Centre in the United Kingdom decided to create an air-tight case against the Splenda-phobic crowd. They conducted an impeccably-designed, randomized controlled trial4 that investigated the effect of Splenda intake three times per day for 12 weeks. The amount of Splenda consumed was pretty hefty – the equivalent of five cans of diet soda each day. Forty-seven healthy men with no personal or family histories of diabetes participated in the study. Half of the group was randomly selected to be the Splenda consumers. The other half took a placebo. The study evaluated key measures in the prevention and control of type 2 diabetes, including: HbA1c, Continue reading >>

An Unintended Consequence Of Diet Soda: Disrupting Friendly Bacteria And Raising Blood Sugar

An Unintended Consequence Of Diet Soda: Disrupting Friendly Bacteria And Raising Blood Sugar

Diet drinks may have zero calories but those artificial sweeteners are not necessarily sliding through your digestive system unnoticed. According to new research, sugar substitutes can change the guest list at that bacterial party in your intestines known as your microbiota. The researchers who made the finding say that in mice, at least, this disturbance in the internal ecosystem actually raised blood sugar, thus defeating the purpose of these products by increasing risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity. The findings, released today in the Journal Nature, add to a growing understanding that our internal communities of symbiotic bacteria have a profound influence on metabolism and immunity. “It’s a neglected organ,” said the lead researcher on the paper, Eran Elinav, an immunologist with the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. He said he thinks of the human microbiota as a complex ecosystem with thousands of species and sub-species. While bacterial cells are small, they far outnumber those cells we think of as ours. The new results may finally offer an explanation for previous observations and studies showing that people who used a lot of artificial sweeteners don’t always lose weight. But understanding cause and effect is complicated by the fact that being overweight or at risk of diabetes may cause people to choose artificial sweeteners, rather than the sweeteners causing people to gain weight and develop elevated blood sugar. This new research included a handful of experiments on mice and people. One striking observation, said Elinav, was that after 11 weeks, mice given artificial sweeteners in solution ended up the same weight as mice given a sugar solution, even though they consumed fewer calories, and the ones on the artificial stuff had higher blood s Continue reading >>

What’s Better For You, Sugar-laden Coca Cola Or Diet Coke? We Review The Science And Find They’re Both As Bad As Each Other

What’s Better For You, Sugar-laden Coca Cola Or Diet Coke? We Review The Science And Find They’re Both As Bad As Each Other

IT'S no state secret, regularly downing a full-fat Coke is not the healthiest of life choices. Armed with the info, chances are you will save a Coca Cola for treat day and opt for the diet stuff day-to-day. But when it comes to potential health complications both full-sugar and diet versions of most fizzy drinks come with a helping of risks, according to the science. And that's why health experts and dietitians recommend drinking plenty of water to quench your thirst, reserving a can of pop for the odd day when you deserve a little something naughty. Countless studies have examined the health pros and cons of sugary and diet versions. Researchers digging into the full-sugar varieties have found links with decreased brain function and memory, increased risk of diabetes and heart attack. While their colleagues focusing on the diet alternatives have, perhaps more surprisingly, found similar concerns. Diet fizzy drinks, which are artificially sweetened, have been linked to increased risk of heart attack and even excessive weight gain. And most recently a US team found that those who drink just one can of diet pop a day - such as Diet Coke - were at three times the risk of suffering a stroke as well as developing dementia. But if this isn't enough to make you put down the pop for good, here is a run down of Coca Cola versus Diet Coke, according to the scientific findings. COCA COLA In a standard 330ml can of regular "full-fat" Coke, there are 35g of sugar, which is around seven teaspoons. To put that into perspective, that is the recommended daily intake of sugar for an adult in just one can. The sugar that is taken into our body gets converted into fat and sits snugly on our waistlines if it is not burned off by adequate activity. That alone should be enough to cause concer Continue reading >>

Is My Diet Soda Really Sugar-free? Check Its Sugar!

Is My Diet Soda Really Sugar-free? Check Its Sugar!

back to Overview You ordered Diet Coke but is that what arrived? It tastes ... funny. But you're not sure. Do your lips feel sticky? Or is that your imagination? Sugar-free or sugar-bomb? Sometimes it’s hard to tell! Living with diabetes, the difference between the Diet Coke we ordered and the regular Coke we’re served isn’t just a few extra calories. It can mean smooth sailing with our blood sugars or a day spent struggling to recover from the mix-up. Most of the time I can tell the difference between the two, but sometimes the mix is so awful that I just don’t know. Has it ever happened to you? Have you ever had a drink that you suspected might not be diet, but just weren’t sure? The little things we try Being a victim of the Diet Coke order gone wrong, a.k.a “The Sugar Bomb,” is a hard lesson to swallow. So I’ve built safety checks into my drink orders, and sometimes they help. Some examples: I always take a sip of my Diet Coke before pulling away from the drive-thru window (if it’s not diet or if it tastes weird, I still have time to ask them about it). Whenever possible I try to watch the server or attendant fill my drink cup, to make sure it’s positioned under the proper fountain nozzle. This one is hard, though, because perspective and angles can make it really difficult to tell. I annunciate like crazy. “I’d like a large DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEETTTTTT Coke, please.” And there’s nothing like being at a place where I can fill my own drink. Plus, unlimited refills? Yes, please! The awkward ask There are times, though, when it’s not possible to avoid a conversation with the server or employee. I hate being a high-maintenance patron – but not as much as I hate going thirsty or running high blood sugars. So I politely ask them to doub Continue reading >>

10 Reasons To Give Up Diet Soda

10 Reasons To Give Up Diet Soda

When taken at face value, diet soda seems like a health-conscious choice. It saves you the 140-plus calories you'd find in a sugary soft drink while still satisfying your urge for something sweet with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose. But there's more to this chemical cocktail than meets the eye. It confuses your body Artificial sweeteners have more intense flavor than real sugar, so over time products like diet soda dull our senses to naturally sweet foods like fruit, says Dr. Brooke Alpert, author of The Sugar Detox. Even more troubling, these sugar stand-ins have been shown to have the same effect on your body as sugar. "Artificial sweeteners trigger insulin, which sends your body into fat storage mode and leads to weight gain," Alpert says. It could lead to weight gain, not weight loss Diet soda is calorie-free, but it won't necessarily help you lose weight. Researchers from the University of Texas found that over the course of about a decade, diet soda drinkers had a 70 percent greater increase in waist circumference compared with non-drinkers. And get this: participants who slurped down two or more sodas a day experienced a 500 percent greater increase. The way artificial sweeteners confuse the body may play a part, but another reason might be psychological, says Minnesota-based dietitian Cassie Bjork. When you know you're not consuming any liquid calories, it might be easier to justify that double cheeseburger or extra slice of pizza. It's associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes Drinking one diet soda a day was associated with a 36 percent increased risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes in a University of Minnesota study. Metabolic syndrome describes a cluster of conditions (including high blood pressure, elevated gluc Continue reading >>

10 Reasons To Give Up Diet Soda

10 Reasons To Give Up Diet Soda

I am sending this correspondence to state my extreme disappointment in the supposed factual information presented in this article. In my opinion it is simply irresponsible and misleading when a health writer posts mostly speculative nonsense that is not backed by scientific evidence. Regarding your 10 reasons… 1. It confuses your body ("Artificial sweeteners trigger insulin, which sends your body into fat storage mode and leads to weight gain"): Sucralose (aka Splenda) DOES NOT affect insulin! An in vivo study of sucralose infusions into the gut showed that it does not stimulate the release insulin. The study conclusion was: “We conclude that sucralose, delivered by intragastric infusion, does not stimulate insulin, GLP-1, or GIP release or slow gastric emptying in healthy humans.” Another in vivo study, this time using healthy human subjects, got similar results: oral dosing of sucralose did not induce a cephalic insulin response, nor did it affect GLP-1. Not even appetite was affected. Recently, a review of in vivo studies concluded that “low-energy sweeteners” do not have any of the effects on insulin, appetite, or blood glucose predicted by “in vitro, in situ, or knockout studies in animals.” So far as I can tell according to all available literature there isn’t an appreciable insulin effect from artificial sweeteners, period. And even the Mayo Clinic says “One of the most appealing aspects of artificial sweeteners is that they are non-nutritive — they have virtually no calories. In contrast, each gram of regular table sugar contains 4 calories. A teaspoon of sugar is about 4 grams. For perspective, consider that one 12-ounce can of a sweetened cola contains 8 teaspoons of added sugar, or about 130 calories. If you're trying to lose weight or pre Continue reading >>

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