Attention, diabetics — diet soda could blind you

I know I’ve talked about the dangers of diet soda here before many a time. And I hope I’ve convinced you to stop drinking that poison. Because the fact is, it’s just as bad for you as regular soda, but for entirely different reasons.

That’s why it drives me absolutely insane whenever diet soda is marketed as a safer choice. It’s just plain dangerous — especially for people with diabetes, who assume the most risk in using artificial sweeteners. But marketing is a powerful thing. And clearly, there are people out there still buying Big Soda’s lies.

So today, I want to share a new study that I hope will convince anyone who’s still on the fence to kick the habit today. And as always, I hope diabetes patients are paying extra close attention…

Diet soda doubles the risk of diabetic retinopathy

This new study is the first to examine the connection between soft drinks and microvascular diabetes complications. As I’ve mentioned many times, microcirculation — that is, your body’s tiniest blood vessel network — is one of the first areas to suffer from this disease.

And as it turns out, diet soda is fuel on this fire. Results of this latest research show that drinking it raises your risk of proliferative diabetic retinopathy — a serious eye disease that can leave diabetics blind.

Have I convinced you yet? Can we just stop here?

Because here’s the scary part: You don’t have to drink a lot to be at risk. According to this study, drinking more than four cans of diet soda per week — yes, I said per week — more than doubled the odds of having proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

The research looked at just over 600 adults with diabetes (either type 1 or 2). And it found that, compared with subjects who never drank diet soda, drinkers who consumed more than four cans per week faced roughly 2.5 times higher risk of eye disease.

Drink a glass of water instead

Again, the thing that bothers me the most in this instance is that Big Soda peddles diet soft drinks as a healthier alternative to the regular, sugar-sweetened variety. This, despite an ever-growing mountain of evidence suggesting that artificial sweeteners are just as dangerous.

As a refresher, past research has linked diet soda to a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. (And that’s just a few highlights.)

It’s not especially surprising, of course. Like I said in the February 2018 edition of my Logical Health Alternatives newsletter (“URGENT WARNING”: New research reveals why diabetics should avoid ‘diet’ products at all costs”), artificially sweetened diet drinks can trick your body into similar responses it would have to sugar. Which ultimately leads to similar outcomes — like increased hunger and higher calorie intake — in the long run. (Not a subscriber? Click here to learn more or sign up today.)

Can we all just ditch diet beverages now? Because this research really is just the tip of the iceberg. Ultimately, who knows what those chemicals we call artificial sweeteners really do to us?

At the very least, it’s clear that the term “diet” is about as deceptive as they come. I can tell you that sometimes, the only thing keeping my patients from maintaining their goal weight (or even reaching it in the first place) is diet soda.

What’s wrong with water? You can jazz things up with lemon, mint, a couple fresh berries, or cucumbers. But if regular old tap water isn’t exciting enough for you, there’s always sparkling mineral water, coffee or tea.

And you should know you don’t have to drink your coffee or tea plain, either.  If there’s one sweetening agent that gets my approval, it’s Stevia — a safe, all-natural, non-nutritive sweetener that you can add to any beverage you want. I recommend the Sweet Leaf brand.

So today, I challenge you to rid your home of any and all “diet” beverages. The amounts of health benefits you’ll reap far outweigh the inconvenience of cutting it out of your diet.

P.S. – If you’re interested in other strategies to prevent, manage, or reverse type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, or metabolic syndrome, I encourage you to look into my online learning tool, the Metabolic Repair Protocol. Simply click here to learn more or to get started today!


“Diet Soda Linked to Increased Risk for Diabetic Retinopathy.” MedScape Medical News, 12/31/18. (