Sodas Can Increase The Risk Of Diabetes More Than Other Sugary Foods, Study Shows

Glass of cola and cubes of sugar
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Drinking too many sodas can adversely affect a person’s health. In fact, sodas have the potential to increase the risk of diabetes more than other sugary foods, a new report has revealed.

The report was prepared by the researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital and Toronto University in Canada who conducted a study to determine how different foods that are rich in sugar can affect the levels of glucose in the blood.

According to an article published by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), the current research — published in the British Medical Journal — examined 155 previous studies on the said topic. Researchers involved in the project assessed diabetic and non-diabetic participants for up to 12 weeks.

After the analysis of the results, it was revealed that most foods naturally contain fructose sugar — including fruits, natural fruit juice and vegetables — that do not affect blood glucose levels, the report said.

As compared to that, foods which contain added sugars, such as soft drinks, baked goods, sweet, and breakfast cereals, can negatively affect people’s bodies.

The team of researchers explained that foods that add excess “nutrient poor” energy to a person’s diet — particularly sodas — can be damaging to a person’s health.

In a statement released by the team, the study’s lead author John Sievenpiper said the following.

“These findings might help guide recommendations on important food sources of fructose in the prevention and management of diabetes. But the level of evidence is low and more high-quality studies are needed.”

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Per AJC, the analysis acknowledged some limitations to the study, including short follow-up periods, small sample sizes, and a limited variety of foods. The research, however, was in-depth and through.

The study further added that per the current dietary guidelines, a person should reduce the intake of free sugars, especially fructose that comes from sweetened beverages, but said that it is still not clear whether this holds for all food sources of these sugars.

The researchers hope to continue with investigating the topic and urged health care providers to “be aware that harmful effects of fructose sugars on blood glucose seem to be mediated by energy and food source.”

And it is not just sugar-containing foods and drinks that are harmful, but those with artificial sweeteners can be detrimental to one’s health too. Earlier this year, a report published by the Washington Post stated that long-term use of foods and drinks containing artificial sweeteners like Aspartame — which is found in diet sodas — are associated with a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes. The report added that “sweeteners such as saccharin have been shown to change the type and function of the gut microbiome, the community of microorganisms that live in the intestine,” according to Nature.