diabetes

The truth about diet soda and diabetes: Diet soda increases the risk of diabetes

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 by: Sandeep Godiyal
Tags: diet soda, diabetes, artificial sweeteners

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(NaturalNews) Sodas have a reputation for being among the worst drinks available health-wise. For one, these drinks contain loads of sugar, which makes frequent consumption of these drinks a potential trigger for diabetes mellitus, one of the most dreaded diseases of our time. Because of this, people are making a switch to diet soda products. But studies show that replacing soda with their diet variants doesn't necessarily decrease the risk. In fact, the opposite just might be true. Does diet soda increase the risk of diabetes?

Sugar, while it is an essential ingredient for a lot of physiological processes, is known to have a lot of negative effects to the body when consumed in excess. And with the modern eating habits and the rise of processed food, people are unwittingly putting excess sugar in their system. The increase in sugar consumption by the general public is directly proportional to the rate of obesity. In addition, it can contribute to the worsening of particular ailments such as diabetes.

Because of growing awareness to these health issues, diet variants of soda (which uses artificial sweeteners such as aspartame) are becoming very popular additions to supermarket shelves and family diets. They are very popular for what they are, having no sugar, and therefore no calories. The presence of such drinks had people going on a diet and/or those suffering from diabetes dancing with joy. But if recent studies are to be heeded, people may have to think twice before picking up that diet soda can, bottle, or glass.

This may seem to be a curious statistic, but different studies done by reputable researchers reveal that those who drank "light" sodas actually increased their risk of contracting Type II diabetes. The odds of acquiring diabetes for diet drinkers are actually higher than those who drink regular soda. These results are found to be consistent, even when measured on an "equal-serving" basis. And what's even more bothersome is that there's a craving effect associated with these drinks (more on that later). According to studies, people who frequently consume diet soda take them at almost twice the amount compared to those who drink regular soda or fruit juice.

What are the reasons behind this startling statistic? Studies have shown that those who consume products made with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame have a higher affinity for sugar. That is, those who are exposed to higher amounts of aspartame actually crave for more sugary items, leading to binges that can further increase the risk of contracting diabetes and other health complications.

Last but not least, even though aspartame doesn't contain any sugar, it had some physiological effects similar to sugar, thus increasing blood sugar levels and eventually insulin levels. It's this sudden increase in insulin production that leads to desensitization to insulin, the main symptom of Type II diabetes.

And while the risk of Type II diabetes in frequent diet soda drinkers is still under debate and investigation, what cannot be disputed is its role in other related diseases. For one, it has a direct role in the proliferation of metabolic disorder. Such a syndrome greatly increases the risk of having Type II diabetes, hypertension, central obesity, and other nasty physiological and physical risks.

It can be argued that studies have shown that as long as you keep a generally healthy lifestyle (eating healthy foods, having consistent exercise, etc.), you can avoid the health risks presented by too much consumption of diet soda. But as analysts of any craft would tell you, statistics don't lie. If you do not want to acquire Type II diabetes (among other health problems) later in life, it's better to avoid consuming diet soda instead of playing the odds.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com
http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/
http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/type-2/?loc=DropDownDB-type2

About the author:
Sandeep is an mountain climber, runner, and fitness coach. He shares his tips for staying in shape and eating healthy on quickeasyfit.

More articles from Sandeep:
The eight best foods for your heart health

Top inflammatory foods to avoid eating

The top six better substitutes for sugar

Top five ways to get more vitamin D in your diet

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