Put Down the Diet Soda if You Want to Save Your Feet

Putting down the diet soda is a good step towards diabetic foot health For those of you with diabetes, you probably know that your feet are very vulnerable to numbness, wounds that won’t heal and dangerous infections. In order to keep your feet safe, it is very important to maintain good control of your diabetes.

Losing weight is generally a good idea if you have diabetes, but you have to be smart about the diets you choose. While we all know that cutting out sugary drinks is one way to drop pounds, a new study from Purdue University is teaching us that replacing those beverages with diet sodas won’t help us reach our goal weight.

Quite the opposite actually occurs, according to the study; Purdue researchers can now link diet sodas to a number of health problems from obesity to diabetes to heart disease, making them just as bad as their calorie-ridden counterparts.

To reach her findings, lead researcher Susie Swithers reviewed several previous studies in an attempt to discover whether long term consumption of diet soft drinks increases the likelihood of overeating, weight gain and other health problems.

In a surprising twist, Swithers actually discovered that people who drink diet soda are more likely to gain weight than those who drink the regular kind. The study examined several different diet drinks: those sweetened with aspartame, sucralose and saccharin.

In spite of this new evidence, the American Diabetes Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics still support the use of low- and no-calorie sweeteners to help maintain a healthy weight, citing studies that show drinking diet beverages doesn’t lead to weight gain or increased desires to eat sweets. Swithers still holds her ground, pointing to evidence that artificial sweeteners somehow throw off the body's calorie intake meter. "We think there's a much more basic fundamental learning process that's getting interrupted (with diet drink consumption),” she said. "You get this kind of confusion and that can lead to overeating, and at least in the animal model, that can lead to an increase in blood sugar spikes.”

Blood sugar spikes, as diabetics well know, can allow your illness to spin out of control, putting you at risk for debilitating foot problems or even amputations. Before your uncontrolled diabetes permanently affects your feet, make an appointment to see Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider at Tanglewood Foot Specialists. He can work with you to ensure your diabetes will not derail your long-term foot health. 

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.