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Is Coke Zero Good for Diabetes?
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Is Coke Zero Good for Diabetes?

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 August 8
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5 min

Wondering whether Coke Zero and other diet soda drinks are suitable for those with diabetes? We take a look at these artificially sweetened beverages in this article.

is coke zero good for diabetes

Coke Zero is a zero-calorie version of the classic Coca-Cola beverage. It uses artificial sweeteners in place of sugar and is marketed as a healthier option. It is commonly favored among those trying to reduce or manage their blood sugar levels or their body weight.

Diet sodas, like Coke Zero, are often suggested as a good option for those with diabetes as they are sugar-free, but are they actually better for you?

In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at Coke Zero as an option for those with diabetes and whether or not it is the better option. Take a look now to find out more about this diet soda.

Is Coke Zero Good or Bad for Diabetes?

While Coke Zero is a sugar-free beverage, the artificial sweeteners used in place of sugar to add sweetness to this diet soda are not necessarily the healthier alternative. Indeed, a 2013 study showed that consumption of artificially sweetened diet beverages actually increased your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Further studies in 2017 and 2018 replicated these results, showing a notable link between artificially sweetened beverages and an increased risk of diabetes. However, there are conflicting studies that show no link between the two, making the answer less certain.

While these studies may give conflicting results, artificially sweetened beverages may still be bad for those with diabetes due to the links between artificial sweeteners and obesity.

Indeed, an observational study showed that excessive consumption of diet sodas with lots of artificial sweeteners increased the risk of becoming overweight or obese.

However, these results also conflict with other studies that suggest switching out sugar-sweetened beverages for artificially sweetened beverages may actually help people to lose weight.

The data may be confusing but shows an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes as well as becoming overweight. Being overweight is a risk factor in developing not only type 2 diabetes but heart disease and stroke too.

Can People With Diabetes Drink Coke Zero?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer as to whether Coke Zero or Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is suitable for those with diabetes. Though the drink contains no calories and is sugar-free, there is a concern as to the inclusion of artificial sweeteners due to the effects these sugar substitutes can have on those with diabetes.

Artificial sweeteners are usually touted as the healthier choice when choosing between sugar and sweeteners. This is because they contain no calories and tend to have much lower glycemic loads than sugar.

However, research into the effects of artificial sweeteners on those with diabetes suggests that they may not be the healthier option at all. Indeed, some sweeteners, like sucralose, may actually decrease insulin sensitivity, and the use of artificial sweeteners, in general, has been linked to higher insulin resistance.

In addition, many critics of artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, and novel sweeteners have linked the compounds to cancer, digestive conditions, and other issues, though research is very limited and contradictory.

Does Coke Zero Raise Blood Sugar?

In the short term, Coke Zero Sugar will not raise blood sugar levels. This is because artificial sweeteners have no carbohydrate content nor glycemic load. However, some research suggests that sweeteners may have an effect on blood sugar levels in the long term.

Coke Zero, Diet Coke, and other diet sodas all utilize artificial sweeteners for replacing refined sugar like high fructose corn syrup and other added sugar. This is to make the beverages calorie-free and to ensure they have little effect on blood sugar levels. But artificial sweeteners may actually cause problems in the long term.

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A study on rats found that long-term use of artificial sweeteners could alter gut bacteria, leading to an increase in blood sugar levels. The results have not been replicated in humans, and the long-term health effects of artificial sweeteners are unknown.

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Drink Coke Zero

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, or Coke Zero, is often considered the healthiest choice when it comes to diet soda; however, there are many reasons why you should avoid drinking Coke Zero. Below, we’ve summarized a few of the reasons for this.

#1 Increased risk of developing heart disease

There is some evidence to suggest that Coke Zero may put you at an increased risk of developing heart disease later in life. Indeed, a study of women who had no previous signs of heart disease showed that consumption of artificially sweetened beverages increased the risk of developing the condition.

The study also showed an increased risk of stroke in those who drank diet Cola beverages, like Coke Zero and Diet Coke. However, the results have not yet been replicated, and more research may be needed to confirm the link.

#2 Increase risk of developing kidney disease

Phosphorus is a mineral that the kidneys usually filter out of the blood; however, the high content of this mineral in diet drinks, like Coke Zero and Diet Coke, may cause damage to the kidneys. This can put you at an increased risk of developing kidney disease.

Indeed, one study shows that drinking diet sodas to excess can double your risk of developing renal disease.

#3 May lead to weight gain

Though drinking diet sodas, like Coke Zero and Diet Coke, is often recommended on reduced-calorie diets, they may not help with weight loss as much as previously thought. Indeed, though drinking Coke Zero can help you reduce your calorie intake, the artificial sweetener content may actually increase weight gain instead.

Consuming Coke Zero and other artificially sweetened beverages has been shown to increase waist circumference and increase overall body weight, despite eating a reduced calorie intake.

Obesity and being overweight can be linked to a number of chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular conditions, type 2 diabetes, and some kinds of cancer.

#4 May cause poor blood sugar control

Though artificially sweetened drinks, like Coke Zero and other sugar-free sodas, do not contain any actual sugar, there is concern that these sugar-free sodas contain artificial sweeteners that can create an imbalance in the gut microbiome.

This imbalance may lead to an increase in blood sugar and an inability to control blood sugar levels.

In addition, some sweeteners have been linked to increased insulin resistance, which can up your chances of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. While Coke Zero is the low-calorie alternative to the original sugar-sweetened beverage, these coke beverages may not be all that much better for you, even if they do help you reduce your sugar intake.

#5 Could increase your risk of developing osteoporosis

There is evidence to suggest that frequent consumption of Coca-Cola, and other soft drinks of the like, may result in lower bone mineral density. These results are replicated in those who choose Coke Zero and other artificially sweetened drinks.

Osteoporosis is when the bone mineral density is depleted, leading to weak and brittle bones. This can cause bones to break more easily and with very little stress.

A Word From Our RD

When it comes to controlling your blood sugar levels, there are many diet choices you can make to live a healthier lifestyle and minimize your diabetes risk. If you have a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis, you may have been offered nutrition plans to combat the disease already.

Sugar-sweetened drinks, like regular soda, tend to be avoided by those with diabetes, but their sugar-free counterparts are sometimes seen as a healthier option.

They come sweetened with popular artificial sweeteners, contain no calories, and have a very low glycemic load – this makes them seem like the perfect coke beverages for those with diabetes.

There is no definitive answer on whether those with diabetes should drink diet soda, like Coke Zero, but much of the research currently underway on artificial sweeteners, like acesulfame potassium and sucralose, suggests that these sweeteners, once thought to be the healthier choice, may not, in fact, be all that good for you after all.

Among the many adverse effects, these sweeteners may include causing increased resistance to insulin, a change in gut bacteria which leads to poor blood sugar control, and an increased risk of weight gain.

In addition, these sweeteners have been linked to other adverse health conditions, like heart disease, kidney disease, and osteoporosis.

Indeed, there are many other ways you can satisfy your sweet tooth without turning to artificially sweetened beverages.

To lose weight, the best method you can try is to eat at a calorie deficit while still consuming a whole and healthy diet. If you can, you should avoid drinking your calories and try to drink more water each day.

You should also increase your activity levels by starting running or joining a fitness class, like pilates.

For people with diabetes, Coke Zero may not be the best option for a sweet beverage. Instead, look out for diabetes-friendly ways to satisfy your sweet tooth and stick to water and other nutritionally sound beverages for hydration.

Coke Zero may be a nice treat every now and then, but little is known about the long-term health effects of so many sweeteners, and it is best avoided if possible.

Conclusion

Coke Zero Sugar is a calorie-free, sugarless beverage that offers what is considered a healthier alternative to regular soda. While Coke Zero does not contain any sugar, it is sweetened artificially, which means it may not be as healthy as it once seemed.

While sweeteners are great for reducing your caloric intake and controlling blood sugar, they have still been linked to many health conditions and could actually increase your blood sugar levels over time.

Those with diabetes should consider avoiding Coke Zero and other diet sodas and instead consume water and other more diabetes-friendly beverages instead.

Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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