According to a European study published in early March of this year, drinking just one can of sugar-laced soda drink a day increases the risk of developing diabetes by more than 20%.
Using data from 350,000 people in eight European countries, researchers found that drinking just a daily 12 fluid ounce (a normal size can) serving of sugar-sweetened drink raises the risk of diabetes by 22 percent compared with drinking just one can a month or less.
"Given the increase in sweet beverage consumption in Europe, clear messages on the unhealthy effect of these drinks should be given to the population," said Dora Romaguera, who led the study with a team at Imperial College London.
The findings echo similar conclusions from research in the United States, where several studies have shown that intake of sugar-sweetened drinks is strongly linked with higher body weight and conditions like type 2 diabetes.
Patrick Wolfe, a statistics expert from University College London, said the message from its results was clear."The bottom line is that sugary soft drinks are not good for you - they have no nutritional value and there is evidence that drinking them every day can increase your relative risk for type 2 diabetes," he said in an emailed comment.
But of course you don’t drink sugary sodas! You opt for diet soda instead, which is way better of course! Well, a 14-year study of 66,118 women (supported by many other previous studies) found that the opposite seems to be true. Diet drinks may be worse than sugar-sweetened drinks.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, discovered some frightening facts that should make us all swear off diet drinks and products.
. Diet sodas raised the risk of diabetes more than sugar-sweetened sodas!
. Women who drank one 12-ounce diet soda had a 33 percent increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, and women who drank one 20-ounce diet soda had a 66 percent increased risk.
. Women who drank diet sodas drank twice as much as those who drank sugar-sweetened sodas because artificial sweeteners are more addictive and are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar.
. The average diet soda drinker consumes three diet drinks a day.
You might say that people who are overweight and just about to get diabetes just happen to drink more diet soda, but they scientifically controlled for body weight. And they found the artificial sweeteners increased diabetes independent of body weight!
This and other research shows how diet sodas make people fat and sick. And that diet drinks may be even worse than regular sugar-sweetened sodas! How does that happen?
1. Artificial sweeteners are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar, activating our genetically-programmed preference for sweet taste more than any other substance.
2. They trick your metabolism into thinking sugar is on its way. This causes your body to pump out insulin, the fat storage hormone, which lays down more belly fat.
3. It also confuses and slows your metabolism down, so you burn fewer calories every day.
4. It makes you hungrier and crave even more sugar and starchy carbs like bread and pasta.
5. In animal studies, the rats that consumed artificial sweeteners ate more, their metabolism slowed, and they put on 14 percent more body fat in just two weeks -- even eating fewer calories.
6. In population studies, there was a 200 percent increased risk of obesity in diet soda drinkers.
Bottom line: There is no free ride. Diet drinks are not good substitutes for sugar-sweetened drinks. They increase cravings, weight gain, and Type 2 diabetes. And they are addictive.
I could go on and on with more info on the side affects of artificial sweeteners. And we could debate if any of them are better than the others but for this next week let’s just take a break!
For every day that you forgo regular soda, diet soda, Gatorade, lemonade, Crystal light, Mio etc. etc. and just drink plain, clear, thirst quenching rejuvenating water you can claim the 5 bonus points. Ouch this one will be tough!
And here is a recipe shared by one of my girlfriend’s just for fun. (She substitutes lime slices for the cucumber and omits the ginger- so play around with this as you like)
2 liters water (about 8 ½ cups)
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 medium cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium lemon thinly sliced
12 small spearmint leaves.
Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and let flavors blend overnight.