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If You’re Diabetic, You Might Want to Avoid These Things

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

A new report shows that when it comes to sugary products, the worst one of all for diabetics and their blood glucose levels is soda. The findings were derived from 155 previous studies on the topic, assessing people with and without diabetes, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Joining the soft drinks on the dangerous-for-diabetics list were breakfast cereals, baked goods and sweets.

Interestingly, the same study found that foods with natural fructose, i.e., fresh fruits and vegetables, do not affect blood glucose levels.

While the scientists admitted that this particular study had “some limitations,” you really don’t need another study to know that neither sugar-sweetened soft drinks, nor their artificially-sweetened counterparts are good for your body. In fact, giving up any kind of soda is one of the most fundamental steps you can take to improve your health.

If you need a reason, research suggests sugary beverages are to blame for about 183,000 deaths worldwide each year, including 133,000 diabetes deaths, 44,000 heart disease deaths and 6,000 cancer deaths. And when it comes to diabetes, sugar-free sodas are just as bad, as research shows that artificial sweeteners impair the body’s response to glucose, reducing control of blood sugar levels.

Not only that, artificial sweeteners may increase your risk of weight gain, obesity, metabolic syndrome and other related problems like Type 2 diabetes by inducing "metabolic derangements." This means obese individuals who use the sweetener aspartame, for example, may have higher blood sugar levels, which in turn will raise insulin levels, leading to related weight gain, inflammation and an increased risk of diabetes.

It’s true — and tragic — that public health agencies, including those advising diabetics, say that artificial sweeteners can help you stay away from real sugar. But I would not recommend waiting for public health agencies to catch up to the science and change their stance on artificial sweeteners before making changes to your diet.

If you're currently an artificial sweetener fanatic, or even if you consume sweeteners in moderation, ditching them from your diet is a smart move for your health. Be aware that they're found not only in diet sodas but also in many low-calorie and reduced-calorie foods, from yogurt and ice cream to bread and salad dressing.

Stevia is an acceptable replacement, but I also suggest curbing your sweet cravings by eating fermented vegetables or drinking water with lemon or lime juice added — the sour taste helps reduce cravings, as does organic black coffee.

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