Artificial Sweeteners Increase Diabetes Risk

One of the biggest fallacies in the food industry is that diet sodas are better for you than regular sodas. The premise is that regular sodas are loaded with sugar (which they are) and therefore artificial sweeteners in diet sodas prevent diabetes and weight gain.

I have written before about research that demonstrates that the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas increase appetite. However, are you aware of the research showing that artificially sweetened beverages increase the risk of diabetes?

A study published in the American Journal of Nutrition found that women who drank artificially sweetened beverages doubled their diabetes risk compared with women who do not drink any sweetened beverages. The study involved 66,118 women whose intake of beverages was tracked over 14 years.  Women reported their intake of sugar sweetened drinks, artificially sweetened, and 100 percent fruit juice. Researchers were looking for a link between these drinks and cancer.

What they found was shocking in terms of the increased diabetes risk. Both sugar sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages increased diabetes risk, but the artificially sweetened risk was higher. Those consuming 100 percent juice did not have an increased risk of diabetes.[1]

The best advice to satisfy your sweet cravings is fruit juice diluted in water or consuming whole fruit. Please avoid those artificial sweeteners for which your body was not designed. They increase your appetite and seem to disrupt normal blood sugar metabolism.

[1] G. Fagherazzi, et al. Consumption of artificially and sugar-sweetened beverages and incident type 2 diabetes in the Etude Epidémiologique auprès des femmes de la Mutuelle Générale de l’Education Nationale–European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. Am J Clin Nutr. Published online ahead of print January 2013.