You are diabetic, and you have carefully managed your diabetes-friendly meal plans. But, you love soda. Sugary drinks are virtually off limits. Can you drink diet soda if you have diabetes?
If you are craving sugar, but can’t consume it because of your blood sugar levels, diet soda makes a nice substitute. It contains artificial sweeteners, so it will not affect your glucose the same way that real sugar would.
Also, diet sodas contain fewer calories and carbohydrates. This translates to maintaining your blood sugar levels, at least relatively so, in comparison to regular sodas. And, if you are trying to keep your weight under control, fewer calories are also good news.
Unfortunately, the very thing that may be a pro is also a con. True, there are fewer calories in diet sodas than in regular sodas. But, they are empty calories. Meaning, you don’t get any nutritional value from those calories that you do consume in diet sodas.
And, diet sodas can still cause unhealthy weight gain as well as other health problems if you drink them long-term. As a diabetic, you are especially susceptible to major health conditions.
Additionally, though diet sodas may not include sugar, they contain other unhealthy additives.
Finally, research shows that drinking either diet sodas that are artificially sweetened, or regular sodas with sugar, both increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
There are a variety of options available depending on the reason you want a diet soda to begin with. If you prefer something flavored, you can try water infused with real fruit. Choose low-sugar varieties like berries to keep your glucose levels under control. Add fresh herbs for an interesting twist to regular water.
If you are missing the carbonation of soda, you can try infusing mineral water with fresh fruits. The fruit will add flavor and nutrients without the added sugar and other unhealthy additives.
Alternately, you can also drink unsweetened tea. Whether hot or cold, tea will also be more flavorful without the artificial sweeteners.
It is possible to drink diet soda if you have diabetes. However, you should practice moderation if you decide to do so. Keep it limited to special occasions, and try other healthier alternatives with your daily meals.