America has become the land of diabetes. An estimated 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes, and in 90-95% of the cases, it’s type 2 diabetes, a disease marked by obesity, lack of exercise, and generally poor diet and lifestyle choices. It’s a preventable and reversible disease. All it takes is a dedicated commitment to turning around your nutritional habits and stepping up the exercise. And, as evidenced by research published July 21 in BMJ, requires ditching sugary drinks, like soda, that raise your diabetes risk by 18%.
What’s in that Bottle of Soda?
Did you know that a 20-ounce bottle of soda contains 16 teaspoons of high fructose corn syrup, one of the most harmful forms of sugar to consume? Within 20 minutes of drinking your favorite soda, your insulin levels have spiked through the roof.
Your liver responds by storing all the excess sugar as fat, so it’s no wonder that high-sugar diets lead to weight and fat gain. If you drink sugary drinks and sodas on the regular, then chronically elevated insulin levels put you at risk for all sorts of chronic disease, including diabetes and cancer.
Numerous studies have linked sugary beverages to increased diabetes risk, and the latest from British researchers is no exception. Scientists examined the link between sugary beverages, fruit juices, and artificially sweetened “diet” drinks. What sets this study apart, however, is that they adjusted for obesity factors. Do sugary drinks raise diabetes risk even if you aren’t overweight or obese?
According to the meta-analysis of 17 observational studies, they do. Researchers culled 38,250 type 2 diabetes cases, all of which reported regular consumption of sugary drinks, fruit juices, and artificially sweetened beverages. Results showed that 250 ml of a sugar-sweetened drink (like soda) increased diabetes risk by as much as 18%…13% after adjusting for body fat.
Researchers estimate that reducing consumption of these sugary drinks over the next 10 years could prevent nearly 2 million diabetes cases in the United States, and 80,000 in the United Kingdom.
Ditch the Diet Drinks
Artificially sweetened drinks don’t fare much better than sugary sodas. Since the introduction of artificial sweeteners 30 years ago, obesity and diabetes rates have gone up, and research has shown that these man-made sweeteners have similar effects to those of sugars.
2013 research out of Purdue University showed that diet soda drinkers experience the same health problems as regular soda drinkers: weight gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Start safeguarding your health today. Cut out the sugary drinks, drink more water, eat a balanced diet, and get that body moving!