The simple beverage swap to reduce risk of diabetes

By: Dr. Victor Marchione | Diabetes | Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - 05:01 AM

reduce risks of diabetesWe all know we should be drinking water throughout our day, but a lot of us are still grabbing a can or bottle of soda. It’s no secret that Americans like their soda.

But sugary beverages – top-selling sodas included – have come under a lot of scrutiny in the last while because they’ve been linked to numerous health concerns. But what if you knew that swapping a can of soda for water, coffee or tea could lower your risk of diabetes, would you switch?

Over the years, there has been a strong link shown between diets containing high amounts of sugar and the development of type 2 diabetes. Now researchers have uncovered that for every soda you drink, you’re actually increasing your risk of diabetes up to 18 percent.

Swap your beverage, lower your diabetes risk

sugary beverageThe study, published in Diabetologia, recorded the beverage consumption of 25,639 U.K. residents between the ages of 40 and 79. None of the participants at the beginning of the study had diabetes. Diets and beverage consumption were recorded and particular attention was paid to the types of beverages consumed on a weekly basis.

Over the span of 11 years, by the end of the study, the researchers noted that 847 participants were diagnosed with early onset of type 2 diabetes.

The researchers concluded that with every added sugary beverage – soda, sweetened milk, artificially sweetened beverages – the increase in risk of diabetes jumped 22 percent. Furthermore, those who were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes were overweight, confirming the importance of weight management in deterring diabetes.

Concluding findings suggest that by replacing a sugary beverage with either water, coffee or tea – unsweetened, of course – could significant reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

Cut down on sugar

cut down on hidden sugarOh, sugar! There is a strong correlation between sugar, obesity and the risk of diabetes. As such, reducing your sugar intake, while keeping your weight down, are two key factors to staying healthy.

It may seem difficult to cut down on sugar – it’s in just about everything we consume, but having healthy sugars instead of artificial ones is beneficial. For example, fruits have natural sugars but are also good for our health, so consuming this type of sugar is safe. On the other hand, enjoying soda, baked goods and adding sugar to our meals and beverages cannot only put on extra pounds, but increase how much sugar we take in.

Being conscious of the amount of sugar we take in on a daily basis is the first step in cutting back. Also, becoming aware of sugar’s many names – dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, invert sugar and maltose are some – is another way we can become smarter consumers and avoid unwanted sugars.

Lastly, making healthy sugar swaps is also a useful way to reduce your sugar. If you’re baking a cake, you can remove the sugar and use substitutes such as honey, organic maple syrup or even applesauce or bananas. These are healthy sugar swaps that will ensure you don’t overdue the sugar.

Further reducing diabetes risk

prevent diabetes naturallyBesides making sugar swaps, there are other means to reduce your risk of diabetes. For starters, get active. Committing to regular exercise is important to staying healthy, maintaining a healthy weight and lowering your diabetes risk.

Also, know your risk. When diabetes runs in your family, knowing this prior can allow you to adopt healthy habits and prevent the onset of diabetes. And always remember to eat healthy. A diet full of whole grains, fruits and vegetables and lean proteins is optimal for protecting against diabetes.

By following these lifestyle habits you can easily cut down your risk of developing diabetes. As a great first start, try cutting down your soda habit and replace it with water, coffee or tea.

 

Related Reading:

Simple steps for preventing diabetes

We all know that diabetes is a disease where there is excess sugar in the blood. Why is it there? How can I prevent it? Why does everyone not get it? All good questions. And I’ll try and answer all of them here. Let me start by explaining the causes of diabetes without getting too technical.

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Dairy is good for your whole body – heart, bones, teeth – and a new study has singled out yogurt from the dairy food group for its ability to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. The yogurt study was conducted by Harvard School of Public Health and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


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