Recently, Harvard researchers compared the health records and responses to questionnaires on diet and activity of nearly 52,000 female nurses who participated in the Nurses Health Study II. They found that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages played a significant role in both weight gain and an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.
On average, the women whose consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages increased over time -- from one or fewer a week to one or more a day -- typically gained about 10 pounds over a 4-year period. And it's not just sugar-sweetened soft drinks! Fruit punch beverages that contain minimal amounts of fruit juice and loads of high-fructose corn syrup fared even worse than soft drinks. They were found to double the risk of type 2 diabetes.
However, the study did not link natural, 100% fruit juice to diabetes. Though it was still linked to weight gain, as were fruit punch and soft drinks. It's hypothesized that the weight gain and increased risk for type 2 diabetes noticed is due to the excessive calories and rapidly absorbable sugar these drinks provide.
So what's a person to drink?
By making simple changes that put your beverages on a diet, you'll be on the right track for lowering your weight and your risk for type 2 diabetes.
Now I'm ready for that naturally carbonated fruit-infused seltzer on the rocks!
Megan Porter, RD