New research is the latest to show that artificially-sweetened cola could be a suitable substitute for people who want to reduce their sugar consumption – as it does not cause a spike in blood glucose levels.
Led by the University of Plymouth, the study was the first to investigate the impact on blood sugar of artificial sweeteners known as aspartame and acesulfame-K in shop-bought UK diet cola. It highlighted how drinking the diet cola drink had a comparable effect on blood sugar levels to drinking water in healthy people who had fasted.
High consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has been linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes, leading the World Health Organisation to recommend that no more than 5% of daily energy intake be derived from added sugar. Substitution with artificially-sweetened beverages may therefore be of benefit in reducing energy intake.
All 10 study participants had fasted prior to drinking three separate drinks on three separate occasions, and their blood glucose was measured pre-test and every 15 minutes over two hours:
- 25g glucose in 125ml water + 236ml water
- 25g glucose in 125ml water with 236ml diet cola drink
- 125ml water + 236ml sucrose-sweetened cola drink.
However, obesity has doubled worldwide in the last 40 years, and substituting sugar for artificial sweeteners could help tackle the problem.