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Can Diet Soda Cause High Blood Sugar?

by
author image William McCoy
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.
Can Diet Soda Cause High Blood Sugar?
The lack of carbs in diet soda means it won't cause a blood sugar response. Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Whether you are a diabetic who is vigilant about monitoring your blood sugar or someone who is careful to avoid blood sugar spikes because of how they affect your energy, it's safe to include diet soda in your diet. Unlike traditional flavors of soda sweetened with sugar, diet soda doesn't contain carbohydrates and won't cause high blood sugar.

No Blood Sugar Reaction

Diet soda products are sweetened with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose and acesulfame potassium. These sweeteners are an alternative to sugar and not only result in the drink having zero or very few calories, but also no carbohydrates. The lack of carbs in your diet soda means the drink itself won't cause your blood sugar to increase. These drinks are a stark contrast to the traditional forms of soda, which causes a rapid blood sugar increase.

Consider Your Diet

Although your diet soda won't result in an increase in your blood sugar, be wary of the snacks you eat while enjoying your drink of choice. Snacks such as fries and crackers, despite not tasting overly sweet, rank high on the glycemic index. This ranking means they cause a rapid blood sugar increase, which can be problematic even if you're not diabetic. A quick rise in your blood sugar soon results in a quick blood sugar fall, which can make you feel hungry and tired.

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Problems of Diet Soda

Although diet soda won't cause an increase in your blood sugar, there's evidence that regularly including artificial sweeteners in your diet can play a detrimental role in your health. According to a 2013 article in "Cell Press" journal by Susan Swithers, a researcher a Purdue University, artificial sweeteners can heighten your risk of weight gain, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The article analyzed numerous medical studies that theorized that artificial sweeteners interfere with your body's typical response to consuming glucose.

Skip the Diet Soda

Despite diet soda not impacting your blood sugar, it's ideal to limit your intake of this drink. Diet soda provides no nutritional value. Instead, turn to water. Not only does it not affect your blood sugar or contain calories, but it also keeps your body hydrated. Limit your intake of fruit juice, as it's packed with calories and sugar.

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