It is important to note that the correlation with diet soda and diabetes is not the same as causation (16). Switching to diet soda is a great way to reduce your sugar intake while you work to quit your soft drink habit. It is NOT a pass for you to increase your sugar intake through other sweet products – which is what researchers found most people were doing.
If you cant give up soda right away, then switch to diet in the short term ONLY. Drink naturally flavored carbonated beverages (think La Croix) or add a squeeze of lemon juice or FDA-approved essential oils to your water. Better yet: switch to tea (17 )!
5. Commercial Fruit Juice
There’s a reason fruit juice isn’t mentioned as an option to soda: it’s almost as bad as soda (18). Especially for diabetics.
In its whole form, fruit still contains sugar – but it also contains fiber (19). Fiber lowers your body’s glycemic response by slowing digestion, as well as keeping you full. Juicing removes the fiber, leaving you with nicely-flavored sugar water.
Commercial fruit juices take this one step further and actually ADD sugar to make the juice sweeter! Subsequently, research studies now confirm that regular consumption of fruit juice increases your risk of type 2 diabetes (20).
Homemade fruit juice is just slightly better: the fiber is still gone, but there’s no added sugar (unless you add it yourself). The good news is that eating whole fruit is associated with a lower risk of diabetes. Whole fruit are loaded with micronutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins, in addition to the fiber (21 ).
If you’re not in the mood to munch on whole fruit, then give smoothies a go (22). You’ll keep the fiber, and there are endless, delicious combinations to come up with (23 ). To really keep your glycemic index low, add some more fiber to your smoothies with some flaxseed, chia seeds, or spinach.