Monday, 10 August 2009

Soft Drinks and Diabetes. Regular or Diet?

If the Diet soft drinks which trumpet no calories and no carbohydrate is implicated in the incidence of type 2 DM, this opens up a new chapter in the Food and Nutrition Knowledge of common man.. the current damage done by food probably is not done by calories, carbohydrates or fats but by chemicals which pass themselves as food.. this could explain the high rates of Non alcoholic fatty liver in rich countries such as USA and poor countries such as Sri Lanka..

I am begining to think that Calorie Counting and Obsession about Carbohydrate, Fats etc are symptoms of an Eating Disorder: Orthorexia...

Sugary Soft Drinks and Type 2 Diabetes

Sugary Soft Contribute to Diabetes Risk

Strong evidence indicates that sugar-sweetened soft drinks contribute to the development of type 2 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 nearly twice as likely to have developed type 2 diabetes during the study than those who rarely had these beverages. (1)


1. Schulze MB, Manson JE, Ludwig DS, Colditz GA, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Hu FB. Sugar-sweetened beverages, weight gain, and incidence of type 2 diabetes in young and middle-aged women. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2004; 292:927-934.

What About Diet Soft Drinks?

Using artificial sweeteners in soft drinks instead of sugar or high-fructose corn syrup seems like it would sidestep any problems with weight or diabetes. Artificial sweeteners deliver zero carbohydrates, fat, and protein, so they can't directly influence calorie intake or blood sugar. Over the short term, switching from sugar-sweetened soft drinks to diet drinks cuts calories and leads to weight loss. Long-term use, though, may be a different story

To date, the FDA has approved the use of five artificial sweeteners. Gram for gram, each one is far sweeter than sugar. (12) They include:

  • aspartame (Equal®, NutraSweet®, others), 180 times sweeter than sugar
  • acesulfame-K (Sunett®, Sweet One®), 200 times sweeter than sugar
  • saccharin (Sweet'N Low®, Necta Sweet®, others), 300 times sweeter than sugar
  • sucralose (Splenda®), 600 times sweeter than sugar
  • neotame (no brand names), 7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar

Some long-term studies show that regular consumption of artificially sweetened beverages reduces the intake of calories and promotes weight loss or maintenance. Others show no effect, while some show weight gain. (12)

One worry about artificial sweeteners is that they uncouple sweetness and energy. Until recently, sweet taste meant sugar, and thus energy. The human brain responds to sweetness with signals to, at first, eat more and then with signals to slow down and stop eating. By providing a sweet taste without any calories, artificial sweeteners could confuse these intricate feedback loops that involve the brain, stomach, nerves, and hormones. If this happens, it could throw off the body's ability to accurately gauge how many calories are being taken in.

Studies in rats support this idea. Purdue University researchers have shown that rats eating food sweetened with saccharin took in more calories and gained more weight than rats fed sugar-sweetened food. (14) A long-term study of nearly 3,700 residents of San Antonio, Texas, showed that those who averaged three or more artificially sweetened beverages a day were more likely to have gained weight over an eight-year period than those who didn't drink artificially sweetened beverages. (15) Although this finding is suggestive, keep in mind that it doesn't prove that artificially sweetened soft drinks caused the weight gain.

Diet soft drinks linked with type 2 diabetes risk

6 February 2009

They may not contain any sugar or many kilojoules, but diet soft drinks may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, according to the findings of a new American study.

Researchers from the University of Texas studied more than 5,000 white, black, Hispanic and Chinese adults, aged 45–84 years, who did not have cardiovascular disease or diabetes when the study began.

Five years later, the results show that drinking diet soft drinks at least daily was associated with a 36 per cent increased risk of developing the Metabolic Syndrome and a 67 per cent increased risk of type 2 diabetes, compared to those who didn’t consume the diet soft drinks.

The results published online in the 16 January ahead of print section of Diabetes Care, show that about 14 per cent of the participants consumed one or more diet soft drinks each day. 59 per cent reported never consuming the drinks.

It is the artificial sweeteners in the diet drinks that are implicated in obesity and the risk of diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

The latest findings support previous studies suggesting a link between diet soft drinks and type 2 diabetes but the American researchers stopped short of concluding that diet soft drink caused diabetes.

They say theirs was an observational study and the results could have been affected by other dietary, lifestyle and behavioural factors.

Diabetes Australia-NSW advises it is best to avoid regular soft drinks and limit diet soft drinks to the occasional treat.

Water is the best drink to quench your thirst but if you feel like something different, try natural mineral or soda water with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime.