Put The Diet Coke Down

Do Artificial Sweeteners Lead to Diabetes?

September 30, 2014   50 Comments

I know what you are thinking, “No, Snack Girl, you put it down.”

All right, I will. In truth, I stopped drinking Diet Coke when I became pregnant with my daughter, Ruby, about 10 years ago.

I didn’t pick it back up again because I got hooked on coffee.

Why should YOU put it down? It doesn’t have any calories so it isn’t adding to the size of your hips.

Saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame has been linked to a marked intolerance to glucose. Type 2 Diabetes is caused by glucose intolerance, which means the body is less able to cope with large amounts of sugar.

You don’t want to be glucose intolerant if you can help it.

Many people substitute artificial sweetener for sugar because they want something sweet and they want to lose weight. The problem is that artificial sweeteners may not help in weight loss – some studies even show weight gain when participants use them.

My conclusion is that Diet Coke may not help you lose weight and could hurt your health if you drink many Diet Cokes over a long period of time.

I can hear some of you saying, “But I gave up Oreos, Doritos, and bacon and cheese on my hamburgers! I am not giving up my Diet Coke! Hey, the FDA approved these sweeteners so they must be safe.”

It is very difficult to prove that artificial sweeteners increase glucose intolerance in humans (the study was done in mice) and so it might be a bit preliminary to toss them out, BUT why not make a healthier choice anyway?

Could this new information push you over the edge and away from your habit? You don't want to get diabetes from the artificial sweeteners you are using to avoid getting diabetes!

A few suggestions:

  • Give up Diet Coke for a day. The next day – take a sip. How does it taste? Is it really that good?
  • Put all the money you spend at the vending machine in a jar and at the end of the week – spend it on some new fancy underwear (who doesn’t love new underwear?).
  • Try sparkling water with a twist of lime or lemon. You will be the envy of the work lunchroom.

Do you have a diet soda habit? Have you thought about giving it up?

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First 20 Comments: [ see all 50 ]

What about Stevia? Would that also be considered a counterproductive sugar substitute?

on September 30, 2014

Diet coke is truly addictive. I'm trying to quit and have only had one in the last three months, but I find that I crave it. I hope the cravings go away over time.

on September 30, 2014

STOP DRINKING DIET COKE YESTERDAY....TODAY MAY BE TOO LATE. Do you want a TWO INCH (yes! two inches)? You can have mine, which had to be surgically removed in two separate operations because it was so big. Can't prove it was from Diet Coke, but I was addicted to it and it is the only excess that I engaged in for fifty years (I drank other diet drinks, also).

I feel so much better, lost weight, and look younger since I stopped drinking that 'legal liquid poison." I should have listened to my kids who blamed my Diet Coke addiction every time I complained of s physical ailment. They claimed that cigarettes were harmless when I was a kid. Read the ingredients for Diet Coke and tell me it's a healthy drink. STOP DRINKING DIRT COKE YESTERDAY! Today may be too late.

on September 30, 2014

Is it just Diet Coke? Seems like Coke is getting the bad rap, isn't it "ALL" diet drinks? I do not drink diet drinks because I don't like the taste but it seems like all diet drinks would be bad for you...

on September 30, 2014

I would also like to hear your opinion of Stevia, although it is a sugar substitute they claim it is derived from natural plant. So is it good or bad?? I use it because I drink green tea (4 to 5 20 oz cups)all day and I don't want all that extra sugar, because I can't seem to do it with none. I value your opinion and would love to hear what you have to say on Stevia (I use the truvia). Thanks Lisa keep up the great work.

on September 30, 2014

I was addicted to Diet Coke and finally gave it up. I tried a sip from my daughters drink a couple of years ago and it tasted awful. Took a lot of effort and a few headaches but so worth it to give it up.

on September 30, 2014

All things in moderation, is my motto. Your philosophies are usually sound. Surprised at you on this, or maybe you are just following the trends to have column material?

on September 30, 2014

I gave up all artificial sugars 10 years agon while pregnant also. I stopped drinking anything except water (an occasional glass of wine) five years ago. I don't miss the sodas, juices, and other sweet drinks at all.

on September 30, 2014

hi, I'm Jasper and I am a Diet Coke Addict. (Room: Hi, Jasper). It's been about a year since I had my last Diet Coke. My head is clearer then it ever has been and you wouldn't believe all the money I've saved by not buying soda everyday. I've found love for unsweetened tea or water with a little lemon. Giving up diet coke was the best thing I've done for my health. Now if I can just lose all the weight I put on over the years drinking a "diet" drink. Slowly but surely it is coming off. :)

on September 30, 2014

My addiction was to Diet Pepsi - same thing, just as bad for you. Not a single ingredient on the label has any nutritional value. I gave it up years ago when I started Weight Watcher's (again). Rarely do I have a Diet Pepsi - only when there are no other options. I figure that's the 'moderate' side of me coming out. But for the most part, my habit is no where near what it used to be...only took a few months to stop the craving.

on September 30, 2014

I drink soda as a treat like twice a month. I don't keep it in the house so my kids don't have it a lot either. The times I do drink it, I only drink Sprite or Ginger ale. I never was a Coke drinker even when I drank a dark soda it was to carbonated.

on September 30, 2014

What about drinks such as Crystal Light? Are those as bad as Diet sodas?

on September 30, 2014

I never got into drinking anything with artificial sweeteners in them. Reading the results from how the mice react to them and seeing family members become addicted to diet sodas and gain weight were enough for me. But then I got fibromyalgia and found that aspartame does cause pain flare up I go out of my way to avoid the stuff as much as possible. I can't even buy a pack of gum that doesn't contain aspartame. I do take queue's from my body when I eat or drink something and one of the things I experience when I've had something that has aspartame is a breathing issue. I have a hard time breathing. There has been studies done on the side effects and they are very serious effects ranging from something as simple as diarrhea to seizures. If you want to read more up on it here's a link http://www.sweetpoison.com/aspartame-side-effects.html

on September 30, 2014

I don't drink colas regularly, so does the 'once or twice a month' diet coke apply here? That said, I don't like the feel of sugar coating my tongue after drinking a sugar-loaded soda.

I use stevia in my coffee, so I would hope that it's okay to use, since I drink a lot of coffee.

on September 30, 2014

I can't have any artificial sweeteners they are headache inducers for me. They show up in everything so I have to be really careful about label reading. Even Reb-A shows up in orange juice. Also, for folks that mentioned Stevia--people on blood pressure meds should not eat Stevia. There's more information about that particular danger with Stevia on WebMD. Also, Truvia (created by the soda industry) is made using 40 chemical compounds. Only real sugar, honey (from our own bees!) and maple syrup in my house. :)

on September 30, 2014

Hi, great article.
I have a question, I know about aspartam but as the lady above, what about stevia or agave syrup, does it have the same issue?
Have a good day

on September 30, 2014

I have given up soda now for about 6 months - and have tried to steer as clear as possible of sugar - you know what? I don't have the cravings I used to - if I am hungry I eat something and am satisfied. If you had told me sugar/soda was the cause of cravings and never feeling satisfied I would have laughed. I can only say for me it is true - I feel like, for the first time in my life, I have a normal relationship with food. AMAZING - yes I also worked out and watched what I ate but this time it is totally different. I have dropped 30 lbs and I don't feel like every day is a struggle between me and wanting to eat everything I see! Try it - you may be shocked to see what the sugar, sweeteners and chemicals are doing to you. Good luck if you try it!

on September 30, 2014

I think like most things, to each his/her own. I have lost weight after I switched from regular to soda to diet sodas. I am also blessed to have great blood pressure and I not diabetic or prediabetic. I am not addicted as I do not have to have a diet soda all the time, but when I want one, I drink one.

on September 30, 2014

Totally agree. I also gave up diet coke (actually gave up anything with artificial sweeteners in it) while pregnant two years ago and stuck with it. Now on the rare occasion that I might take a sip of a diet drink...yuck, doesn't taste good AT ALL!

on September 30, 2014

I will drink anything that does not contain sugar, and that includes diet sodas. I have given up the artificial sweeteners before and have noticed no difference in my weight, mood, or energy. I do try to avoid the dark soda that contain a lot of phosphorous as it is not good fot your bones.I have had lengthy discussions about the "dangers" of artificial sweetener with several endocrinologists. The general opinion is moderation in everything. So it goes....

on September 30, 2014

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