Aren’t sensationalist titles fun? While yes that might be a bit of a stretch, it really isn’t too far off.
In November of 2010 in the journal Diabetes Care there was a study published that pretty much made such a declaration. In the study, involving over 300,000 people, they found that drinking only one or two sugary drinks per day increased your risk of developing diabetes by 26%!
Surprisingly to some, this risk was apparent regardless of bodyweight. Just because you are thin does not mean you are healthy or not at risk for diseases like diabetes.
This also brings me to another point about all of those Naked and Odwalla “protein shakes” and fruit smoothie concoctions. Would I put them in the same class as soda? No not entirely as they do contain a wee bit of fiber, some vitamins and minerals as well as phytonutrients and antioxidants.
However, they too are sugary drinks that can absolutely increase your risk of diabetes. While they do provide more overall nutrition, be aware that they can contribute significantly to your sugar intake for the day, as one bottle can easily supply 60-70 grams of sugar/carbohydrate. That is more than a 12oz can of soda!
To further support that point here is a 2008 study by Bazzano et al. The study was a huge (over 71,000 nurses), long term (18 years) look at the impact of fruit, vegetable and/or juice consumption on the development of type-2 diabetes. A daily increase of fruit and vegetable consumption of 3 servings per day had no impact on diabetes development, and an increase of 1 serving of leafy green vegetables actually slightly decreased risk.
The real shocker was that an increase in just 1 serving of fruit juice daily was correlated with an increased risk of developing diabetes. Now this was a correlational study, it was not a cause and effect study, so it doesn’t prove that consuming juice will lead to diabetes, it merely suggests that it might.
Plus if you are a highly active individual who otherwise eats a whole-foods based diet, are some Odwalla or Naked juice drinks here and there going to give you diabetes? Highly unlikely. Is a daily intake of that going to increase risk? It seems it might. It depends on many factors, and in context with the rest of your diet, but it surely is not helping your cause.
Finally, this leads me to diet soda.
I think many of you know my thoughts on diet soda and artificial sweeteners in general, and new research is only furthering my distaste for them all.
In the newly published Northern Manhattan Study, it was found that drinking just one diet soda every day increased risk of heart attack and stroke by 61% compared to non-drinkers!
This just piles on top of the fact that artificial sweeteners might destroy your intestinal flora, increase risk of cancer, increase risk of pre-term delivery for pregnant women, and if exposed to in-utero may exponentially increase the risk of some of these problems (such as cancer). Yay for artificial sweeteners!
While the occasional soda, diet or regular, won’t be a problem, consistently consuming these products is not good for your short or long-term health.
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