Soft Drinks and Diabetes Risk: What You Need to Know

sugary drinks and increased risk of diabetes

Can’t say no to a can of soda during lunch? You may be risking more than just your teeth. New studies shed light on the link between sugary drinks and increased risk of diabetes.

The Evidence

Despite the many warnings about the health risks of consuming soft drinks, many Americans still have this sugary drink. Studies show that people that drinking a couple of cans of soda, or more, daily has a greater likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. As much as 26% more likely than people who severely limit drinking sodas.

In another study, researchers found a strong correlation between sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is an umbrella term for a range of risk factors that increase the odds of getting cardiometabolic disorders.

The risk factors the experts are referring to include high blood sugar, high triglyceride level, larger waistline, high blood pressure, and lower levels of the “good” cholesterol.

The researchers also concluded that even small amounts of SSBs, as little as 2 per week, can increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, decreased insulin sensitivity due to SSB consumption may explain why the blood sugar levels were raised.

The Alternatives

Clearly, even a couple of sodas on the weekend can be detrimental to your long-term health. So, instead of reaching for a can of soda substitute, reach for water instead.

If you want a little variety, you can try flavoring your water with natural fresh herbs like mint or basil. Or put a slice of lemon or lime in your water instead. Infusing your water with fresh fruit and herbs is a healthier alternative than a soft drink.

Final Thoughts

Because of the correlation between sugary drinks and increased risk of diabetes, it would be a good idea to eliminate soft drinks from your diet as soon as possible. While water is not an appetizing substitute for some people, it is better than the alternative.

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