Swap a soda or sweet dairy beverage for water, tea or coffee every day and significantly slice your risk of developing diabetes, according to a new study.
Researchers analyzed diet and diabetes data from more than 25,000 British men and women ages 40 to 79. During approximately 11 years of follow-up, 847 study participants were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
After adjusting for body mass index, calorie intake and a range of diet, behavioral and socioeconomic factors, the researchers found that one serving per day of either a soft drink or sweetened milk drink increased the risk of diabetes by 14 percent to 27 percent. The study was published in the journal Diabetologia and noted on the New York Times’ Well blog.
For every additional five percent of total calories consumed that consisted of sweetened drinks, a subject’s risk of diabetes rose by 18 percent. Chugging sweetened tea or coffee did not change the risk for diabetes. Consuming those beverages without sugar actually lowered the risk.
“We hear a lot about the bad health effects of these drinks,” the study’ senior author, Dr. Nita G. Forouhi of the University of Cambridge, told the Times. “We usually give the bad news, but here we have some solutions for what good replacement drinks are: water and unsweetened tea and coffee.”
Consumers’ negative attitude toward sugar is driving changes in trends, with people making a conscious effort to either reduce their sweet food and drink intake, or eschew sugar completely, according to recent research. Euromonitor’s Global Consumer Trends Survey revealed that 42 percent of consumers seek out food labels with limited or no added sugar.