Is Diet Soda OK for Diabetics?

Diabetic Connect Staff
By Diabetic Connect StaffA Latest Reply 2014-06-02 16:44:49 -0500
Started 2012-02-06 11:58:12 -0600

Susan shares some great information on research around diet soda in her latest article:

What are your thoughts? Is diet soda a "do" or a "don't" for you? Any interesting research to share on the topic?

100 replies

sickpuppy 2014-06-02 16:44:49 -0500 Report

Since I was diagnosed Type 2 Diabetic I have noticed my appetite has subsided considerably. In fact I have lost over 50 lbs in the first 7 or 8 months. One soda with the evening meal or substitute with a sugar free lemon aid seems to satisfy the sweet tooth in me.

edyep3 2014-05-28 09:44:55 -0500 Report

Thanks for sharing the information about diet drinks.You answered some questions I had concerning this—-will start using a straw too.I'm glad you have this"connection"on Facebook.

edyep3 2014-05-28 09:40:36 -0500 Report

Thanks for sharing this information.The article really helped me,as you answered some questions about diet drinks.Never dawned on me to use a straw.

Chuck Fisher
Chuck Fisher 2013-04-12 03:40:00 -0500 Report

Since diagnosed two years ago for DM II, I refrain from sugared drinks in general. Green tea with a little bit of lemon tastes fine to me. Also, for those who like pizza and are allowed to drink alcohol, 10 cl of red wine is a choice. Also the use of red wine vinegar in salads also helps control blood glucose levels. Most of my fluid intake is filtered (Brita) water.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2012-05-29 11:25:56 -0500 Report

For me, no, at least not if it is sweetened with aspartame. 80% of my liquid intake is palin water, 10% milk, 10% ice tea and other liquids. I find that diet soda always seems to make me want more of it, but once I made the connections between it and my headaches and joint pain, I left it behind. I do not have that problem with regular soad, but that I reserve for my emergency sugar lows. Nothing like 1/2 can of Coke to get you back on course. The combo of sugar, caffiene and sugar do the trick.

jayabee52 2012-05-29 12:29:00 -0500 Report

you mean you've given up vodka, Jim? !0 + 10 + 80 = 100%

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2012-05-29 13:14:40 -0500 Report

Don't you know what "other liquids are?" Or maybe since it is clear like water, maybe I get the water and Vodka confused!

jayabee52 2012-05-29 13:56:24 -0500 Report

Yes, after I posted the question on Vodka I saw what you said about "other liquids" and blew it off. My apologies!

robertoj 2012-05-29 03:30:10 -0500 Report

I haven't had a soda of any kind since my dx in 2008. I don't miss it. I drink water and unsweetened tea.

Armourer 2012-05-29 02:55:42 -0500 Report

Yes to your question . . . but . . . I quit all sodas four months ago and drink only water now. The only difference I can tell is that about the time I quit my kidneys were starting to hurt, now they don't. I have a few extra bucks to put towards healthy foods. Ya water has no taste, but ice cold isn't bad, and I put a lemon in it.

Controlled 2012-05-27 00:26:46 -0500 Report

Take a look at Zevia. It is "soda" with Stevia. You can also find online coupons for it. I stopped drinking all other diet or "regular" "sodas" and had great success with it. It gets old just drinking water, or water with lemon or another variation so you have to find healthy alternatives.

RETIRED IN TAOS 2012-05-26 21:44:34 -0500 Report

I don't buy the statement that diet soda dehydrates you. it's mostly water!

Happily retired and divorced in El Mirage, AZ

jlively1 2012-02-27 21:06:16 -0600 Report

I have noticed that I have a more difficult time managing my weight whenever I drink too many diet sodas. I also notice that my blood sugar levels drop whenever I drink too many diet sodas.

tiny22021 2012-05-26 21:10:46 -0500 Report

The last part of your statement baffles me, why do your BS drop?

jlively1 2012-05-26 22:11:49 -0500 Report

Because I'm actually a hypoglycemic and when I have too much "sweet" taste even though it's fake sugar, it tricks my system. The reaction is a blood sugar drop.

tiny22021 2012-05-27 18:16:57 -0500 Report

That's quite a shot in the dark, very strange. I tested myself a little while ago an I was over seven hundred. I'm high as a kite and sick. My Mom made hump cookies for me, I had two. (Fudge Oatmeal) I haven't been this high for eleven years. I've been type 2 since 1986. I'm interested in hearing more of what you have to say. I'm Tiny

jlively1 2012-05-28 18:44:42 -0500 Report

My experiences may be a little different since I am not diabetic. I like this site because I have to eat like a diabetic and avoid sugar too. I have the extreme lows like a diabetic but I do not have the highs like you do. This site helps me too. I check my blood sugar regularly as well to make sure it's not too low. I have to eat regularly to keep it up. I rely on glucose tablets whenever I experience a blood sugar crash. I have a lot of the similar issues of diabetics so this site has a great deal to offer me as well.

robertoj 2012-05-29 03:33:05 -0500 Report

I used to be hypoglycemic. If I didn't consume enough carbs I'd break ou in sweat when I ate. I was very active and ate six small meals daily. I think I developed T2 because I broke my back and it ruined my daily routine.

tiny22021 2012-05-29 11:03:58 -0500 Report

After I took a shot it came down to 290, this took 2hrs. its strange for me to have such a high from these cookies as its never happened before.

Caroltoo 2012-05-29 12:53:25 -0500 Report

Have you considered that you may be gluten intolerant? Many diabetics are, but are also undiagnosed. G-I is not much on our AMA's radar, but is much more frequently identified in Europe. I am and when I found that out, I realized I was spiking off of foods that had wheat, rye, barley, and oats in them. Other high carb foods I could modulate, but these would just send me off the charts.

If you decide to try this, be aware it takes a minimum of 2 weeks w/out any gluten to begin to see a difference and perhaps as long as 2 months before you notice a lot of difference. There is a lot of healing that needs to happen in the stomach and small intestines, before you begin to see the big results.

Once I made it through that stage, I've found it MUCH easier to keep my BGs down where I want them. Since I'm med free, I can't use a shot or a pill to counter the effects; I've got to just keep the BGs down where they need to be.

Caroltoo 2012-05-29 15:35:49 -0500 Report

Hope you find it helpful. FYI: you have to be a bit of a sleuth to do this successfully. There is a lot of gluten in products that you don't associate with wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Really have to become a label reader, if you don't already.

tiny22021 2012-05-30 17:21:50 -0500 Report

I understand what your saying, I've damn near lived in a hospital setting for the last thirteen years. I worked in a Diet Kitchen and am very aware of what's needed.

Caroltoo 2012-05-30 17:26:01 -0500 Report

Good. My sister is a dietician and also worked in a hospital. That knowledge made the transition to Celiac fairly easy for her. I've been helped by her example. Her example really did make it easier for me.

Caroltoo 2012-05-27 18:45:17 -0500 Report

Since you are feeling sickish, I don't doubt it is up, but you could also have something (like sugar) on your hands that made the reading extra high. Wash your hands and retest. If it's still that high I'd call my doctor or ER.

jayabee52 2012-02-28 16:04:38 -0600 Report

The drop in your BG levels when one drinks diet sodas seems strange to me.

TSasabuchi 2012-02-28 17:25:23 -0600 Report

Another scary fact is that the apspartameen(bad spelling, i know) has been proven to kill brain cells. And the other diet drinks that use artificial sweetners, they can cause larger amounts of testosterone or other hormones to be produced. what i like is to put some agave nectar in some water or fruit smoothies and drink that. Hope this helps!

jayabee52 2012-03-06 06:57:17 -0600 Report

I am low in Testosterone! Maybe I ought to get back on Aspartame! (j/k on the aspartame - not kidding on the low T)

liquorish 2012-02-27 18:38:15 -0600 Report

I agree that two things can taste good together, and not so good without the other. Unforunately I used to smoke, and drank about a pot of coffee a day. When I quit smoking, the coffee didn't taste as good, so I only drink one cup a day now, and maybe not even that. Coke goes with pizza and burgers, but tea does not. Whether the coke makes you want to eat more, I don't really think so.

tiny22021 2012-05-26 21:20:13 -0500 Report

I agree, I stopped smoking and the taste of everything changed. I drink Hot Tea with pizza, but I didn't use too. I stopped drinking coffee in excess to, so now I may drink one sixteen ounce cup once i awhile.

GabbyPA 2012-02-28 09:17:50 -0600 Report

The way it often works is that our bodies are wired to expect a dose of calories with a sweet taste. When we get the sweet without the calories, the body will encourage you to make that connection by eating more calories. Usually carb calories. So that is one reason that it becomes a weight game.

liquorish 2012-02-28 15:59:47 -0600 Report

Hi Gabby: I know a few people who stopped drinking sodas of any kind and lost weight and kept it off. I find that if I eat something sweet, it makes me want more sweets, but diet cokes don't. I don't drink many, mostly when I'm shopping alot. I try to drink unsweet tea at restaurants, and flavored drinks at home. The "clear" sodas like Sprite are too sweet, even the diet ones, and leave me thirsty. It is funny, however, that cokes and carb. high foods do go together.

GabbyPA 2012-02-29 18:23:47 -0600 Report

Yeah, I have lost a good bit of weight and kept it off. I do drink a diet soda once in a while, but when I do, I am reminded of how bad they really taste. I drink unsweet tea, water and water with lime and truvia in it. That is pretty much it.

jayabee52 2012-02-27 18:43:29 -0600 Report

i think it is the Diet sodas which does that — make you want to eat more. I was absolutely ravenous when I was drinking diet sodas. Now not so much since I have stopped using diet products.

woof1951 2012-02-27 14:32:18 -0600 Report

Diet soad is definetly a no no. Too much sodium. One option I have gone to is to drink LaCroix fruit flavored sodas. You get the carbonation but no sugar or sodium with a light fruit taste. (orange, lemon, or lime) Can be purchased at Costco for a cheaper price!

Festivus109 2012-02-27 13:57:53 -0600 Report

If you use just a tiny bit of Stevia (which is all you need) it isn't bitter. Mine isn't. You need to seriously read about aspartame. I started to eat yogurt that was sweetened with aspartame (didn't know it had aspartame in it) and started getting a headache about 10 minutes after eating it. I have done a lot of research on aspartame. It isn't good for anyone. It builds up in the brain and eventually causes problems. Check it out yourself, folks. Have a nice day.

hagar2935 2012-02-27 11:56:19 -0600 Report

MODERATION!!!! Like in ALL things moderation is a must. Too much of ANYTHING will be bad for you. A diet soda here and there will not harm you.

I prefer Splenda over any other sweetener. Stevia, for some reason, tastes horribly bitter to me and I won't drink anything with it in it as i do not enjoy it.

I DO like Lemonade made with Splenda but it does tend to dehydrate me, while diet soda (in moderation) does not.

What REALLY angers me are the "food police" type of people who go around screaming "this is bad for you…that is bad for you". What we need is more common sense people and fewer "Chicken Littles"

tiny22021 2012-05-26 23:56:56 -0500 Report

Yes sir. I like Splenda and have used it for some years. I also prefer Wylers flavored drink mix. I too can't stand Stevia and I gave it a chance, but that taste yuk! Nobody could say it better, the Chicken Littles far outnumber us that believe as you do. But thanks for saying it.

TSasabuchi 2012-02-28 17:33:55 -0600 Report

Unfortunatly, even in moderation you are getting the same negative effects of drinking much more. Not menaiung ro sound like a "Food police", but one guy i know who has INCREDIBLE stuff is a man named Dr. Golob, he is one of those holistic beleivers, and the stuff he sells actually works. Search him, and man, my life has been made ten fold better by this stuff. At least try him, please

roshy 2012-02-27 11:32:53 -0600 Report

a can of diet coke wont kill anyone i think!! so far for me, i have too many food restrictions and i enjoy pepsi max but dont drink too much of the stuff; water is cheaper . . . . .

jayabee52 2012-03-06 07:01:11 -0600 Report

If you LIMIT it to one in your LIFETIME won't kill you. However it may be those repeated diet sodas which may get one in trouble. I choose to err on the side of caution. What you do, is of course up to you!

TSasabuchi 2012-02-28 17:30:47 -0600 Report

THe problem with all the no calorie/carb/sugar drinks is then they get loaded with chemicals and acids to make the flavor. They are one of the worst kind you can drink. Diet is bad to, it can kill brain cells, with regular soda being the best, except for diabetics…

jayabee52 2012-02-27 15:50:10 -0600 Report

it might kill me since I have kidney problems Roisen!

Any dark cola type drink (except for Root Beer) contains Phosphoric Acid. People with Kidney Problems have to avoid phosphorus, potassium and other substances.

Put that on top of a diabetes friendly meal plan and one has a real headache

roshy 2012-03-05 12:08:50 -0600 Report

ok water is the best option for i think my friend!!! but when i speak of my food restrictions im talking about everything that comes with type one diabtes and then theres my newly adapted cieliac disease, which can be alot worse when it comes to convienences and food choices!!! i have to walk into a shop an hunt out foods that are safe and tasty and cheap!!! its not easy but sure things could be worse!!!

pepsi max for me is all three and the medicine man hasnt yet taken it off my list of what i can consume!!! so ill enjoy it until he does!!!! i try to balence it out though, too much of the stuff makes you feel iffy!! so when i want some illl have some and when i realise i havent had water in a while ill make sure i choose the H20!! its all about balance!!!

Labitaouais 2012-02-27 10:36:27 -0600 Report

The only way I drink soda is with splenda, it is the only one that does not give problems

jayabee52 2012-02-27 15:45:31 -0600 Report

That is different for me. The only problem I have is with sodas sweetened with splenda. It gives me gas/the trots if I have more than 2 cans of the stuff. Just shows we're all different!

Festivus109 2012-02-27 10:31:46 -0600 Report

I don't do diet pop at all because it has aspartame in it. Gives me migraine headaches. If everyone would read about aspartame, they would not use anything that is sweetened with it. I use Stevia in things that need to be sweetened.

CWMecca 2012-02-27 10:06:17 -0600 Report

I quit drinking a lot of Pepsi, regular not diet, but I do allow myself 4 ounces every once in awhile for a change from water. I drink filtered chilled tap water mostly or Propel. I also use those 10 calorie drink mixes on occasion but not often. I can't stand the taste of diet anything.

GaryFB 2012-02-27 07:24:37 -0600 Report

Let's put it this way: I do like diet Coke, but I drink maybe 3-4 lg cups a week from McDonald's and that's it. It's a road drink when we're traveling somewhere. I drink iced tea with lemon and Splenda when we go out to eat. I drink regular black coffee and water the rest of the time. I fit it all in my philosophy that I need to control what I ingest, and so far it is working.

Linda2 2012-02-20 13:40:13 -0600 Report

avoid it if you can. Diet pop increases you appetite and the biggest thing I noticed when I stopped drinking diet pop is the lowering of pain in my feet, my neurophothy is much better and not suffering the pain I was before.

joanne denison
joanne denison 2012-02-27 09:00:35 -0600 Report

try lowering your carbs AND eating as much organic as you can. many diet drinks raise your blood sugar level (BSL) anyway (stevia and Truvia do not do this), probiotics should help also because bone and joint pain is inflammation and that means either your BSL is being affected by some processed food OR you have toxins building up in your gut and the probiotics should help. Some mushroom extracts are very anti-inflammatory. Celery and celery seed is very detoxing and might help.

jayabee52 2012-02-20 14:06:53 -0600 Report

I stopped using the diet soda about 3 yrs ago now. Discontinued using tea and coffee about 2 yrs ago. Now it is pretty much water with lemon or lime in it.

My pain in my feet hasn't gone away yet, but the intensity seems to be diminished by tight control of my Blood Glucose (BG) and taking a couple of different suppliments.

Nikkigriff 2012-02-10 11:52:53 -0600 Report

I drink mostly water, I drink a lot of water during the day and I was a very big milk drinker, but I have maybe 8oz a week. I'm trying to gradually get me to like Silk but it's not working very well. Most of the time it's filtered water from my ice box

digitaldoorbell 2012-02-09 00:57:19 -0600 Report

Take a look at Zevia. It is soda made with Stevia.
I will be interested in seeing any comments posted here.
Please let me know if you know anything that I don't.

joanne denison
joanne denison 2012-02-27 09:06:51 -0600 Report

I think it's an excellent product and going in the right direction. Stevia is all natural and you can get organic Stevia. I drink Zevia and Steaz, which are organic and use stevia.
Someone recently told me the best organic Stevia is actually green in color because it is minimally processed by just drying the leaves and chopping them up.
We need to get rid of the 53 billion tons of chemicals we dump on our crops every year. I do hear complaints from diabetics that when they went organic, their BSL's improved too. Also, there has been some recent research on dirty electricity and EMF's and that may be a problem too. Mfgrs are actually supposed to cancel out the polarity of electric by using alternate poles, but they don't and the technology isn't here yet.

jayabee52 2012-02-09 22:51:52 -0600 Report
GabbyPA 2012-02-10 10:31:58 -0600 Report

That is a good, but very old article. 4 years old actually and so it falls into some erroneous information now.

digitaldoorbell 2012-02-09 23:24:48 -0600 Report

Looks good to me. Stevia wasn't approved for years and it was an economic issue favoring artificial sweeteners. It was finally approved on the basis stated. I am usually very cautious on this site; but, search "aspartame and Donald Rumsfeld" on the internet. I have a lot of respect for the people who post here. So I mean no insult or controversy and I am not trying to make this a political issue. In fact, I've honestly learned a lot and been directed to interesting and useful sources of information so I respect your choice of sweeteners and everything else. I did stop using all of the colored little packets and after researching the alleged safety of the products, I'm glad to be away from it.

Like others here, 99% of the time I drink iced tea also. I know it contains caffeine and I also know the process of decaffeination is not without it's controversies either. When all is said and done, we all have to trust the advise of our physicians and/or others and use our best judgment regarding what we put into our bodies.

GabbyPA 2012-02-10 10:34:19 -0600 Report

Yes, this is always a troubling issue. We try to cut out "bad" things and end up with worse. What we really should do is go back to the way our ancestors used to eat and that was a total of 4 pounds of honey a year. Yes, that is a YEAR. Now we consume on average 150 pounds of refined sugars a year. It is in EVERYTHING. So if we cut that, we would find we have less of a need for sweet and would all fare healthier.

If you read the book "Sweet Deception" or watch the DVD "Sweet Misery" you will find out a lot about Mr. Rumsfeld and Aspartame and all the ways having friends in high places gets special treatments. That is what opened my eyes to it all. It has been a struggle ever since to find a safe sweet.

And thanks to Jaybee, I now know that brown sugar is a scam as well. Sheesh...and I thought I was doing well. Back to the drawing boards.

jayabee52 2012-02-09 23:49:06 -0600 Report

Well due to my kidney issues I have stopped drinking anything EXCEPT water out of a activated carbon filter bottle. Because of that I don't get my knickers in a twist either way. I just thought it was interesting and so shared it.

joanne denison
joanne denison 2012-02-27 09:03:48 -0600 Report

Are you trying chromium GTF to help your kidney issues? Also 1 to 3 gr of Lypospheric or lyposomal vit. C per day is likely to help. The kidney is a huge filter with a huge need for blood and your artieries must be strong. Most people are highly deficient in vit. C and on the verge of scurvy. Also read "vitamin C,the real story". get it on and read on your pc or in the cloud in minutes.

digitaldoorbell 2012-02-10 10:37:15 -0600 Report

It is interesting…thank you for sharing.
Water with a carbon filter…I'm assuming that's like Brita?
I use one of those, it's great and tastes better than most bottled water
(perhaps only beause it's cold). I'm just curious, is that what you mean?

Thank you for responding.l

jayabee52 2012-02-11 11:25:27 -0600 Report

I use a Brita pitcher at home and I found a Brita squeeze bottle with a carbon filter at walmart about a year ago and so have been carrying that around everywhere.

I drink most of my water at room temp.

joanne denison
joanne denison 2012-02-27 09:18:42 -0600 Report

But Brita and on tap or on counter water filters do not filter out fluoride and all the chlorine. Best to just drink distilled water, if you are having problems. Or, get a quality all house water filter.

GabbyPA 2012-02-27 09:20:11 -0600 Report

We have a whole house filter because it takes out more. But also, your skin absorbs so much as well, and when you bathe in that combination of chemicals, you still get them in your body.

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