I miss drinking soda. What is the best soda for people with Type 2 Diabetes?
We hear this question a lot in our Type 2 Diabetes support group: what is the best soda for Type 2 Diabetes?
Much of the world now thinks that drinking juice, soda, and flavored coffees and teas is normal. It might be “normal” to drink these now. But for our entire existence, sugar was only a “sometimes” thing and not an everyday thing.
Our bodies are swimming in too much sugar. Real sugar, and 226 other forms of real and fake sugars, are in our everyday foods. Our tastes have become sugar-adapted, and many people no longer even like the “taste” of water.
There are powders and drops to add, and so many choices of sweetened beverages.
Somewhere along the way, it became “normal” and “healthy” to give our kids sugar-heavy juices every day.
Even cow milk for a young child is full of sugar. Our societies are addicted to the flavor of real and fake sugar sweetness. Major companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year on creating sweeter flavor profiles.
They do this so that you will eat and drink even more, which makes them more money.
A recent study looked into whether sugar-sweetened beverages affected insulin resistance.
They found that regular soda intake is directly linked to greater insulin resistance1
This study found that middle-aged adults who drink more than three sugary beverages per week have a significantly higher risk of developing prediabetes than those who do not drink such beverages.
When someone eats and drinks a lot of sweetened products, they often don’t know what to do when they get a Prediabetes or Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis.
We often get this question: What is the best soda for people with Type 2 Diabetes?
Well, the answer nobody wants to hear is NONE.
Any liquid that contains carbohydrates will digest in a shorter amount of time than a solid meal is chewed. This means that your blood sugar will increase faster when you drink your carbs than when you eat your carbs.
We’re here to make this journey easier, and so we have some suggestions for you.
When you get a diagnosis of Prediabetes or Type 2 Diabetes, your doctor will tell you to stop drinking sugary drinks.
Many people immediately replace those with drinks that have artificial sweeteners. The issue with this is that some of those sweeteners can actually increase blood sugar.
They also keep the body waiting for more food.
They can make you hungrier, and raise your blood sugar. How shocking is that!? Well, that’s not what we need when we have one of these diagnoses!
Some of these artificial sweeteners are linked to damage in the body long term2.
We recommend certain things only, after researching the best types of sweeteners.
The best type is no sweetener at all. When you can adjust to this, your body is so much better off.
Artificial sweeteners are damaging to your body and brain over time. Some even increase your blood sugar. Stevia is a naturally derived no-calorie sweetener that does not have much of an effect on blood sugar for many people.
Always check with your blood glucose monitor.
It does not raise blood sugar in the majority of people.
In the meantime, here’s what you can do:
- Drink plain water. I can hear some of you reading this! Yuck! Well, that’s because your taste buds have become sugar adapted.
Add sugar-free flavored drops to your water. BE CAREFUL.
Most of the brands are sweetened with sucralose (Splenda) and acesulfame potassium. Sucralose can raise your blood sugar. We do not recommend the Mio brand of flavored drops, and any with those sweeteners, for this reason.
- The Stur brand is awesome! The drops are sweetened with Stevia, which tends to have a neutral effect on blood sugar levels. Always read the ingredients!
- Another option is Sweet Leaf drops. These are also made with Stevia. Some people do not like the aftertaste of Stevia, so we have some other recommendations below.
- Choose sugar-free sodas that are sweetened with Stevia, such as the Zevia brand.
- Choose UNSWEETENED flavored soda water beverages. These days many of these are available at grocery stores and also at gas station convenience stores.
- When eating at a restaurant, you can ask for soda water, and ask for a lemon or lime to be squeezed in or brought with you. This is very refreshing and has a negligible or neutral effect on your blood sugar.
- You can always ask for a diet soda, but please watch your hunger levels after drinking these.
Some people want to know what to order when they are out at fast food restaurants
- When eating fast food you can choose to order a bottle of water. We also have an article here on what fast foods you can order with Type 2 Diabetes.
- Request unsweetened iced tea. Be careful which sweetener you add. The pink and yellow packets are artificial and not good for your health long term.
- Many people keep flavored packets of powders with no artificial sweeteners, such as Stur or Sweet Leaf drops with them. They may also bring their own Stevia packets like Truvia with them when they eat out at restaurants.
- The healthiest thing for you is to adjust to drinking plain water. We will discuss the need for electrolytes in another article on this website. The need for that is a different issue, and not related to getting used to drinking less sweet flavors.
There is almost NOTHING you can order at your favorite coffee places like Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Mcdonald’s that is actually good for you.
- You can ask them to add a packet or 2 of Stevia. Even nut milks contain a lot of added sugars. The only milk choices that are lower in sugar would be heavy whipping cream or whole milk. Those are no-nos for people who have a hard time digesting dairy. Their sugar-free sweeteners are usually made from sucralose and acesulfame potassium.
Making the shift from sweetened drinks can take a little while.
Most people drink too much sugar in their regular drinks. They don’t realize the effect it’s having on their blood sugar.
This is one of the reasons that insulin resistance is at the highest it’s ever been, all around the world.
Sugar is not our friend, in the amounts that we have become used to. So the answer to What is the Best Soda for Type 2 Diabetes is: NO SUGAR SWEETENED SODAS are ok. None.
You can join our free group here, and get some excellent dietary recommendations that may just reverse your Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis!