What Scientific Research Says
Over the years, numerous studies have reported links between diet soda with weight gain and serious, life-threatening diseases.
Scientific opinion is mixed and, at times, conflicting. While studies focus on the dangers of artificial sweeteners, whats important to understand is they aim to find correlations, not necessarily cause-and-effect:
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Why You Need To Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is vital for general health, and even more so for people with diabetes. Drinking ample fluid throughout the day can help support glucose control by flushing out excess sugar in the blood through urine.
At the same time, being dehydrated is a common side effect of diabetes. When the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or becomes less sensitive to insulin , sugar can build up in the bloodstream. This forces the kidneys to work extra hard and increases the amount of urine produced and how often you need to urinate .
Ultimately, the body becomes dehydrated as fluid is pulled from the organs and tissues. Keeping on top of your fluid intake can help to support your kidneys and keep your other organs healthy, while at the same time stabilizing your glucose levels.
Water is the best fluid to drink whether you have diabetes or not. It doesn’t raise blood sugar.
What Other Studies Show
A Japanese study in 2014 found that men who drank diet soda were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who didnt. The study findings even controlled for age, BMI, family history, and other lifestyle factors.
Additionally, in 2014, a meta-analysis revealed that ones risk of developing type 2 diabetes rose by 13% for every 12oz can of diet soda they consumed in a day, and this was whether or not they had a high BMI or were overweight.
Finally, in a 2017 study of over 2,000 people, researchers determined that drinking only one diet soda per day tripled ones risk of stroke and Alzheimers disease.
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Benefits Of Diet Soda
Diet soda contains no nutrients, hence providing no health benefits. But it has some comparative advantages over regular soda. Here is the list of advantages:
- Unlike regular soda, it doesnt contain any calories. So, people can drink diet soda in moderation.
- Secondly, as the quantity of sugar is zero too, so for individuals with insulin-dependent diabetes, it doesnt require an additional affront dosage.
Once in a while, people with diabetes can enjoy refreshing diet soda with proper diet and exercise.
The Role Of Sugary Drink Marketing
Beverage companies spend billions of dollars marketing sugary drinks, yet generally rebuffs suggestions that its products and marketing tactics play any role in the obesity epidemic.
Adding to the confusion, studies funded by the beverage industry are four to eight times more likely to show a finding favorable to industry than independently-funded studies.
Its also important to note that a significant portion of sugary drink marketing is typically aimed directly at children and adolescents.
- A 2019 analysis by the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity found that kids ages 2-11 saw twice as many ads for sugary drinks than for other beverages, and they also saw four times as many ads for certain drinks than adults did. Researchers also analyzed nearly 70 childrens drinks , and found that sweetened drinks contributed 62% of childrens drink sales in 2018, including $1.2 billion in fruit drinks and $146 million in flavored, sweetened water sales.
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Its Linked To Preterm Delivery And Childhood Obesity
Drinking diet soda while pregnant has been linked to some negative outcomes, including preterm delivery and childhood obesity.
A Norwegian study in 60,761 pregnant women found that intake of artificially sweetened and sugar-containing drinks was associated with an 11% higher risk of preterm delivery .
Earlier Danish research supports these findings. A study in almost 60,000 women found that women who consumed one serving of diet soda per day were 1.4 times more likely to deliver preterm than those who did not .
However, recent research in 8,914 women in England did not find any association between diet cola and preterm delivery. However, the authors admitted that the study may not have been big enough and had been limited to diet cola .
Its important to note that these studies were only observational and offer no explanation of exactly how diet soda may contribute to preterm birth.
Furthermore, consuming artificially sweetened drinks while pregnant is significantly associated with an increased risk of childhood obesity .
One study found that the daily consumption of diet drinks during pregnancy doubled the risk of a baby being overweight at 1 year of age .
Further research is needed to analyze the potential biological causes and long-term health risks for children exposed to artificially sweetened sodas in the womb.
Soft Drinks And Other Health Risks
There has been a lot of debate about the safety of sweeteners with some health campaigners taking the view that they can lead to a range of problems ranging from depression to digestive disorders and the aforementioned type 2 diabetes.
In response to the concerns about safety, pro-artificial sweetener lobbying groups such as the Calorie Control Council have funded studies and conducted PR campaigns to reassure consumers.
It should be noted that the Calorie Control Council actively represents the interests of a number of large companies which sell soft drinks, sweeteners and sugary foods, including:
Is Diet Soda Ok For People With Diabetes
|& check Fact CheckedXThis DiabetesIQ content is fact-checked and expert-reviewed to ensure strict editorial guidelines. Our content is evidence-based and provides objective analysis while maintaining the highest editorial standards in accordance with our integrity policy.|
|XThis DiabetesIQ content is fact-checked and expert-reviewed to ensure strict editorial guidelines. Our content is evidence-based and provides objective analysis while maintaining the highest editorial standards in accordance with our integrity policy.|
Managing blood glucose levels is a never-ending story forpeople with diabetes. Every day is a new challenge to control carb and sugarintake. One mistake in sugar consumption and regretful consequences wont makeyou wait. Letting it slide continuously may lead to even more unpleasantresults.
Even if you dont have diabetes, although sugar by itselfwont cause the disease, getting too enthusiastic with sugary food or drinkwill gain you pounds that you dont want to gain and being overweight or obeseis linked directly to the development of type-2 diabetes. The statistics speaksfor itself. More than 30% of Americans have obesity while over 34 millionAmericans have diabetes. So keeping yourself in good shape and away from foodand drink high in sugar will keep you away from diabetes if you dont have thedisease or will help you keep diabetes under control if you have it.
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Can You Eat Sugar
When it comes to diabetes management, experts believe that sugar-free candy is a healthier choice than candy prepared with ordinary sugar, at least according to current data. “Having the choice of sugar-free sweets to satisfy a sweet appetite without triggering a surge in blood glucose might be quite beneficial,” explains Rizzotto.
However, this benefit depends on whether you choose wisely. Many sugar-free candies contain artificial ingredients instead of sugar, which can cause other health problems for people with diabetes. For example:
Black licorice contains glycyrrhizin, which can increase the amount of urine produced by the kidneys and may lead to an increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease over time. Black licorice also contains iron, which can increase the risk of irregular heartbeat and heart failure symptoms.
White chocolate has sugar in addition to milk proteins, so it’s not recommended for those who have dairy allergies. Also, white chocolate contains vitamin D, which most people get from their diet anyway. Therefore, eating more candy isn’t going to help your body get the necessary nutrients it needs.
Brown sugar contains grains such as corn or wheat, which some people cannot eat due to various food allergies. Also, brown sugar contains less fiber than regular sugar, so it can cause a spike in blood sugars if used excessively.
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Risk: Fatty Liver Disease
Type 2 diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease too often go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, 70% of people with type 2 diabetes, also have NAFLD according to the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. Thats important to know when thinking about diet drinks. According to a study published in The Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology, both regular Coke and aspartame-sweetened Diet Coke resulted in an increase in fatty liver. The researchers guessed that other ingredients in the sodas besides sugar like aspartame and caramel food coloring likely contributed to the higher risk.
Can Diabetics Drink Pepsi Zero Sugar
Are diabetics permitted to drink Diet Pepsi? The American Diabetes Association notes that although diet sodas may be used as a short-term substitute,generally, persons are recommended to reduce their consumption of sweetened and nonnutritive-sweetened drinks and replace them with other beverages, with a focus on water.
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Is a sugar-free diet beneficial for diabetics? Substitutes for sugar have no effect on your blood sugar level. Indeed, the majority of artificial sweeteners are classified as free foods. Free meals are those that have less than 20 calories and no more than 5 grams of carbs, and hence do not count as calories or carbohydrates on a diabetic exchange.
Which is worse, Coca-Cola or Coke Zero? Diet Coke and Coke Zero have relatively few distinctions. As such, there is no reason to believe that one is better than the other on a physical, quantifiable level. There are no major nutritional differences. Their component and caffeine amounts are also comparable, indicating that none is necessarily healthier than the other.
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Drink Alcohol Sparingly And On Special Occasions
While previous research, such as a study published in May 2014 in Diabetes Care, found that moderate alcohol consumption may offer heart-protective effects for people with diabetes, more recent research published in September 2018 in The Lancet suggests that no amount of alcohol is safe.
If you choose to imbibe, do so in small quantities, especially because alcohol can cause blood sugar fluctuations, notes the American Diabetes Association . According to the ADA, moderate drinking is defined as up to one drink for women and two drinks for men per day. One drink equals 1½ oz of liquor, 12 oz of beer, or 5 oz of wine.
And because the benefits of alcohol are debated, for people with diabetes and the general public, if you dont already drink alcohol, dont start, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises.
Cons Of Drinking Diet Soda With Diabetes Include
- Youre consuming few to no calories but gaining no nutritional benefit.
- Its full of potentially harmful additives.
- Long-term diet soda drinking is still associated with weight gain and other health risks.
- Research shows an increased risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome with both diet soda and regular soda intake.
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Carbohydrates Sugars Protein Fat And Fiber
Looking at the nutrition information for fats, carbohydrates, sugars, protein, and fiber, we know that Diet Coke contains none of these. Try to eat a consistent amount of carbohydrates and make sure to include lean proteins and healthful fats.
Glucose is the primary source of energy for your body, so dont feel guilty eating healthful carbohydrates .
What Are Some Alternatives To Soda For People With Diabetes
If youre looking for some alternatives to soda, here are some suggestions:
- Water: Hydration is important for everyone, but its especially critical for people with diabetes. Water can be a great substitute for soda if you dont like the taste or if you want to cut calories. Just be sure not to add any sugar to your water its best to drink it plain.
- Juice and other flavored drinks: Most juices contain natural sugars that can raise your blood sugar levels quickly if theyre consumed in large amounts. But some juices, such as grape juice and cranberry juice, have a low glycemic index score and dont cause much of a rise in blood sugar levels after eating them. If youre trying to cut back on sugar intake, try diluting fruit juices by mixing them with water or club soda instead of drinking them straight-up. Youll get fewer calories that way, too!
- Tea and coffee : Both tea and coffee can be great substitutes for soda if theyre prepared correctly! Try adding cream half-and-half or milk to your tea or coffee instead of using sugar or artificial sweeteners this will keep your drink from being too sweet without raising your blood glucose levels.
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What About Those Studies That I Read Saying Diet Soda Was Bad
That was most likely a survey or epidemiological research. This is research that aims to find correlations between two variables, and sets up future studies to find which variable causes what.
There are many studies that note that diet soda is frequently consumed by unhealthy people, but no studies that compare people with equivalent diets. One study was able to control a fair number of variables and found a weak correlation between diet soda and vascular events, but these differences disappeared when pre-existing health conditions were considered.
When comparing diet soda against other non-caloric beverages in an intervention study, and you control the rest of the diet, no difference in weight loss is noted. This suggests that the problem is likely the habits of people who drink diet soda, rather than the diet soda itself. The Northern Manhattan study suggested that diet soda use may be correlated with disease as it its consumption was an attempt by individuals to reduce calories and take control of their health.
Is Coke Zero Good For Diabetes
Coke Zero is a zero-calorie version of the classic Coca-Cola beverage. It uses artificial sweeteners in place of sugar and is marketed as a healthier option. It is commonly favored among those trying to reduce or manage their blood sugar levels or their body weight.
Diet sodas, like Coke Zero, are often suggested as a good option for those with diabetes as they are sugar-free, but are they actually better for you?
In this article, were going to be taking a look at Coke Zero as an option for those with diabetes and whether or not it is the better option. Take a look now to find out more about this diet soda.
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What Causes Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes results from the destruction of beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. This occurs as a result of an autoimmune process, where the body attacks itself by mistake.
The exact cause of this process is not known at this time, but it may be due to genetic predisposition combined with environmental factors like viruses or malnutrition early in life.
Are Bananas Beneficial For Diabetics
Bananas have a low glycemic index, making them an excellent option for diabetics. According to Upasana Sharma, dietitian and head nutritionist at Max Hospital, Bananas are high in sugar and carbohydrates. However, it is a good source of fiber and has a low glycemic index. Diabetics may consume bananas in moderation.
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Summary Of The Evidence
As the effectiveness of substituting ASBs for SSBs for weight loss and improvement of glucose control in type 2 diabetics has been called into debate, the obvious question arises: could these compounds have the opposite of their intended effect and actually negatively influence blood sugar control? Relatively few high powered randomized controlled studies have been done to study this. Hence, the most reliable articles tend to be meta-analyses.
According to a 2014 meta-analysis by Christopher Gardener et al, the body of evidence for the direct effects of ASBs on glycemic control is severely limited.4 Many studies have compared Non-nutritive Sweeteners to placebo looking for any ill effect on glycemic control with null results. However, these studies fail to address the potential effect of replacing SSBs with ASBs in the diet. The studies that directly compare NNS to sugars are limited by low sample size and other potential confounders.
Water: The Gold Standard
While sugar substitutes are generally healthier than what theyre replacing, Benavides says water is still the best beverage of all.
Water is the gold standard of beverages, Benavides said. It has no calories, no carbs and goes with just about any meal.
If you find yourself getting tired of plain water, try infusing it with some fruit or fresh mint. Infused water is virtually calorie-free because the nutrients from infused fruit is negligible. However, sugar, calories and fiber can still be consumed if you eat the fruit itself.
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Is Coke Zero A Safe Beverage For Diabetics
Coke Zero has no sugar. However, the sugar replacements it includes may not be the healthiest choice for those wanting to lower their risk of diabetes. In a 14-year study of 66,118 women, researchers discovered a link between artificially sweetened beverage use and an elevated risk of type 2 diabetes .