Could Artificial Sweeteners Raise Your Blood Sugar
Editor’s note: This story was updated on Sept. 18, 2014.
Sept. 17, 2014 — If youre 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 , sucralose and aspartame 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 teams findings. Both of the scientists are on the faculty of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.
Is Carbonated Water Healthy
Maybe the question should beif you want a YES! answeris carbonated water healthier than other beverages?; In this case, the answer is definitely yes!
Carbonated water is healthier than diet or regular soda, healthier than alcoholic drinks, healthier in general than coffee, healthier in some ways than juices and possibly healthier than some teas, particularly in some circumstances.
Carbonated water is healthier than diet or regular soda because it contains nothing but CO2 and watercarbonated mineral water will have extra minerals in it as well, but diet and regular soda contains sugars, sugar substitutes, concentrated sugars like High Fructose Corn Syrup , phosphates and phosphoric acid, caffeine, added colors and preservatives, artificial and natural flavors, and other substances.
On top of that list, sodas and diet sodas generally have no nutritional valuethey are empty calories meaning they provide calories but no nutrition.
Carbonated water is healthier than alcoholic beverages because alcohol contains sugars and empty caloriesplus, if you overdo alcohol, you can also create liver, kidney and addiction issues.
Carbonated water is healthier in general than caffeine, though caffeinated drinks do have some benefitscaffeine can, for example improve your energy levels and your cognitive abilities .
Caffeine can also help burn fat , and, for reasons that are not clear, may lower the risk of T2D, Alzheimers disease and dementia.
Is Sucralose Safe For Diabetics
Foods andbeverages that are made with sucralose are often recommended for people with diabetesas an alternative to sugary foods and drinks. ;A large body of research shows that sucralosedoes not raise blood sugar levels or negatively affect blood sugar control.
Productscontaining sucralose are lower in carbohydrates than those containing sugar,which is helpful for people with diabetes who are trying to monitor their sugarintake. ;
The 2018American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes report thatsweeteners may have the potential to reduce overall calorie and carbohydrateintake if substituted for sugar.
Sucraloseis generally safe to use within the defined acceptable daily intake levels,according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Diabetes UK, and DiabetesCanada. ;
However,opinions seem to be mixed regarding the safety of sucralose for people withdiabetes or those predisposed to the disease.;
Anotherstudy published in the Journal of Diabetes Care reported a link between sucraloseand the risk of developing diabetes. ;Thisstudy indicated that daily consumption of diet soda was associated with a 36% highrisk of developing metabolic syndrome and a 67% high risk of developing type 2diabetes. That means sucralose could be a trigger for the disease.
If you suffer from this serious condition, check with your physician for advice on whether or not you should consume Sucralose.; ;
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Facts About Blood Sugar
Blood sugar, or glucose, comes from the carbohydrates that we take in. Its level in your blood is regulated by your pancreas, liver and small intestine. Glucose provides the energy that fuels your nervous system, feeds your organs and allows your muscles to work.
When you take in too many carbohydrates, your pancreas sends out insulin, which converts the extra glucose to glycogen. If you have too little glucose in your bloodstream, your body releases glucagon, which raises your blood sugar levels. Maintaining this balance is crucial to keeping your body functioning at its healthy best.
Lets Look At The Ways Sugar Wrongs Us
- suppresses your immune system
- Excess sugar consumption is linked to cancer and tumor growth
- promotes weight gain and obesity
- disrupts the mineral balance
- contributes to depression, anxiety and mood swings
- promotes gut dysbiosis and fungal overgrowth in the gut
- contributes to insulin resistance and diabetes
- can cause hormonal imbalances
- increases risk for Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis
- disrupt the bodys pH balance
- can cause hypoglycemia
- will reduce good HDL cholesterol and increase bad LDL cholesterol
- prohibits weight loss
Some people are more sugar sensitive than others, and part of that depends on your genetics. Regardless, you can bio-hack your diet by manipulating certain macronutrients, like protein and fat, to balance your blood glucose levels and ward off cravings.
Heres an example: Lets say you start your morning with coffee and a pastry. You probably feel pretty good because that sugar is plugging up feel-good receptors in your brain, and maybe you get a little high as your blood glucose levels spike. But a few hours later, you crash when your blood glucose plummets again, and then youre hungry, jittery, anxious, moody, irritable. You eat lunch, probably too much because youre starving and you miscalculated your hunger needs, and then you may feel tired as all your energy is diverted into digestion. You may crave sugar in the afternoon, because your body knows it gives you a quick energy boost. Does that rollercoaster sound familiar?
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When To Avoid Exercise
People with blood sugar levels above 240 mg/dL should check their urine for ketones before engaging in physical activity. If ketones are present, do not exercise. Ketones are the result of stored fat being broken down for energy. Your liver starts breaking down fat when theres not enough insulin in your bloodstream to absorb blood sugar into cells. When too many ketones are quickly produced, they can cause DKA. In this state, ketones may actually make your blood sugar level go even higher and you may need intravenous fluids to rebalance.
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Does Aspartame Raise Blood Sugar
Over the years, various studies have concluded that aspartame does not affect the bodys blood sugar levels.
It has a glycemic index value of 0. This means that it does not affect the blood glucose of the body. One must limit daily aspartame to 50mg per kg of body weight to avoid any complications.
It has been deemed safe for individuals with diabetes. Nevertheless, it is crucial to check the items that contain aspartame as they may have other items that include sugars, chemicals, or preservatives, which can affect the diabetic levels.
It is important to maintain your overall diabetic health levels and use aspartame to encourage measures of control.
Melinda Maryniuk Med Rdn Cde Fada
Avoiding sugary beverages is an important part of maintaining healthy blood sugar levels for people with diabetes and those who are at risk for it. While some forego drinking soda altogether, others opt for diet sodas, which get their flavor from artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin and sucralose.
Artificially sweetened diet sodas typically have no calories, so they were once believed to have no effect on blood glucose or insulin levels. But mounting evidence suggests that while consuming artificially sweetened beverages doesn’t raise blood sugar in the short term, it can negatively affect the body in other unexpected ways, including increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Diet Soda: What It Bubbles Down To
Diet soda, of course, has much less sugar and zero calories when compared to regular, sugary soft drinks, technically making it a good alternative. You can even snag some popular choices that are delicious and totally sugar-free .
But lets be real, diet soda is not actually good for us living with diabetes or not. It doesnt contribute any nutritional value but could help control blood sugars if substituted for the sugar-laden type.
In fact, a new study that tracked 450,000 Europeans over 16 years found that heavy drinkers of sugary sodas OR artificially sweetened beverages were more likely to die prematurely than those who hardly ever consumed sodas.
Those who gulped down two or more glasses of regularly sweetened soft drinks per day had a higher chance of dying from gut disorders, while those who drank the same number of diet drinks had a higher chance of dying from heart disease.
The authors did point out that those who consumed more soda were more likely to be current smokers and that participants who were overweight may have switched to sugar-free soda to help control weight.
This is just one study, so were not going to tell you to never touch soda again. Instead, you might try subbing out some of your daily soda for one of the following diabetes-friendly beverages:
- Bonus: If you can down enough daily water , it can help your body get rid of extra glucose through your urine. Ew, but helpful.
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Bottom Line: Its Important To Cut Down On Both Sugar And Artificial Sweeteners
Evidence is emerging that some artificial sweeteners could produce an insulin response, and could be affecting our gut bacteria in negative ways however, effects are variable depending on the type of sweetener. My advice is to avoid artificial sweeteners if you can.
That all said, we know for sure that consuming actual sugars in high amounts causes insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity, heart disease and more chronic health problems. Itâs imperative that people avoid juices, sodas, and sweets as much as possible. I also recommend an overall low-carb diet and this is, of course, even more important for people who already have insulin resistance and diabetes.
But if youâre addicted to sweets, like many of us are â including myself! â you likely give into a craving once in a while. In this case, youâre better off choosing sweets and drinks flavoured with artificial sweeteners over sugar. Itâs important to remember that while a jolt of a sugary beverage is definitely going to spike insulin, a single diet coke every once in a while isnât going to wipe out your good bacteria or cause insulin resistance. So far, Stevia and erythritol are considered to have the safest profile, but these are both new sweeteners so not a lot of research has been done on them.
Best Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Quickly
When treated early, you can bring high blood sugar levels down and prevent complications, including DKA.
Some sources suggest that drinking water or eating a high protein snack can quickly lower your blood sugar levels, though there isnt enough research to support this.
If you have high blood sugar and need to lower it fast, try the following methods:
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Does Coke Zero Raise Insulin
Do Artificial Sweeteners Raise Blood Sugar Levels? Artificial sweeteners wont raise your blood sugar levels in the short-term. So, a can of diet coke, for example, wont cause a rise in blood sugar. However, in 2014, Israeli scientists made headlines when they linked artificial sweeteners to changes in gut bacteria.
Can Artificial Sweeteners Cause Other Health Problems
Even though artificial sweeteners donât cause the same huge insulin spikes that sugar does, they could cause other problems. Evidence shows that bacteria in the gut could play a big role in the development of insulin resistance and diabetes. Studies show that there are differences in the gut bacteria of people with Type 2 diabetes and people who donât have diabetes.
Do sweeteners cause harmful changes in our gut bacteria? It could very well be. Evidence shows that when mice consume high amounts of sweeteners, the mice have marked changes in their gut bacteria â namely decreased âgood bacteriaâ and increased âbad bacteria.â When these gut bacteria changes occur, the mice begin to exhibit signs of insulin resistance. This has been demonstrated with aspartame, as well as saccharin and sucralose . Acesulfame K has led to bacteria changes in mice associated with obesity.
Stevia, considered one of the safest sweeteners, has also come under question, as a study from December showed it may lead to affects bacteria communication in the gut. Stevia doesnât seem to kill bacteria, however, and itâs not clear if its effect on bacteria communication causes problems or not.
No one knows how bacteria in our intestines could contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes. Some speculate that bad bacteria in our gut might send signals to our brains and produce a sugar craving. This is, once again, an area to watch.
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Making Better Soft Drink Choices
Switching to plain water is not going to satisfy you if it’s the bubbly carbonation and sweetness of diet soda that you enjoy. Carbonated water will give you the same effervescence; you just have to figure out how to get the sweetness you crave. One way is to add a splash of grapefruit, orange, cranberry, apple, mango or other fruit juice to plain sparkling water. It won’t be quite as sweet as diet soda, but the sugar is healthier because it’s natural. Read the labels on the fruit juice bottles and avoid any that have high fructose corn syrup or other added sugars.
Once you’ve learned to enjoy carbonated water, you can experiment with other flavors. Try putting sliced cucumbers and a handful of blueberries in the bottom of your glass. Lime wedges and mint are refreshing, and lemon wedges with cinnamon or a dash of cayenne offer a bit of spice.
Diet Soda And Diabetes
Drinking diet soda has long been recommended as a strategy for reducing calorie intake while still enjoying sweet-tasting beverages. Because artificial sweeteners have few to zero calories, they don’t raise blood sugar, as confirmed by a March 2018 meta-analysis in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. However, artificial sweeteners may change how the body absorbs real sugar in the long run.
According to a September 2013 study in Diabetes Care, artificial sweeteners have been linked to insulin resistance, a condition caused by chronic high blood sugars. Insulin resistance increases a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes. Though more research is needed, evidence indicates that artificial sweeteners increase insulin resistance by disrupting the gut microbiome.
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What Should I Do If My Blood Sugar Is High After Eating
Blood sugar spike: What to do. Its important to know the symptoms of hyperglycemia. If you suspect that you have high blood sugar, perform a finger stick to check your level. Exercising and drinking water after eating, particularly if youve consumed a lot of starchy carbs, can help lower your blood sugar.
Drink Carefully: Diet Soda
Are fizzy, zero-calorie drinks a brilliant choice, or could they also lead to weight gain and mess with your ability to absorb blood sugar? Recent science has stirred the debate. In some studies, diet soda fans were at a greater risk for gaining weight than people who drank the regular kind. In another, diet soda drinkers were 67 per cent more likely to develop diabetes than people who didnt drink them. One explanation could be that people who sipped diet soda felt the diet drinks allowed them to have high-calorie treats later. Another theory posits that diet drinks keep taste buds primed for sweets, making it likely that people will indulge when they see cookies or ice cream. One Harvard study that followed 40,000 men for 20 years found no link between diet drinks and diabetes when factoring in body mass index, family history, and diet, which may indicate that diet soda drinkers tend to weigh more than people who skip them.
But dont give up on diet soda just yet. Though theres concern among researchers, the American Diabetes Association still suggests that diet soda is a better alternative to a sugar-packed version for people watching their blood sugar.
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Is Sucralose Keto Friendly
There are many artificial sweeteners on the market, like aspartame, acesulfame K and sucralose. ;Consuming foods sweetened with these sweeteners can help you stay within your daily carb limit.;
Diet sodas sweetened with Sucralose wont kick youout of ketosis like regular soda.; Whilefoods sweetened with sugar like baked goods or candy and beverages sweetenedwith high fructose corn syrup, like regular soda will quickly cause you toexceed your daily carb limit.
The Risks Of A Diet Soda Habit
The recent news about risks associated with diet soda has been bouncing around all over the place. So, its understandable if youre feeling a little freaked out.
The truth is, experts have yet to determine if drinks brimming with artificial sweeteners are indeed the culprits, or if its simply that those who load up on sweet diet drinks tend to live a less than healthy lifestyle overall, leading to premature death.
Many of these studies show an association but cannot conclude a cause and effect relationship.
- In observational studies, diet soda has been associated with increased risk of obesity.
- Preliminary research has linked diet soda with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
- In one study, those who consumed more than seven glasses of diet soda per week had almost twofold the risk of developing kidney disease.
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