If the thought of developing type 2 diabetes scares you (and it should), here’s one thing you can give up today to reduce your risk…

If you quench your thirst with soda and sweet juices throughout the day, the simplest way to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes is simply to stop.

Regularly drinking sugar-sweetened beverages contributes to the development of diabetes, high blood pressure and other endemic health problems.

This is according to a review of a number of studies published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

Are we sipping poison?

Could our taste for sweet drinks be killing us?

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According to the analysis, there is a link between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and the metabolic syndrome – a cluster of risk factors that raises the chances of developing life-threatening conditions like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

The risk factors include:

  • Abdominal obesity
  • High levels of fats in the blood known as triglycerides
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • High-fasting blood sugar
  • Reduced high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or good, cholesterol levels

The World Health Organisation estimates that cardiometabolic conditions such as the metabolic syndrome and diabetes result in 19 million deaths a year.

“Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption is steadily rising among all age groups worldwide,” says the review’s senior author, M. Faadiel Essop, Ph.D., of Stellenbosch University in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

“Our analysis revealed that most epidemiological studies strongly show that frequent intake of these beverages contributes to the onset of the metabolic syndrome, diabetes and hypertension.”

The authors reviewed 36 studies on the cardiometabolic effects of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption from the past decade. Most of the analysed studies looked at individuals who drank more than five sugar-sweetened beverages a week.

Related: The workout that wards off type-2 diabetes

How much is too much?

Is it possible to practise moderation when it comes to sweet drinks?

Probably not, as studies reveal that consuming as few as two servings of sugar-sweetened beverages a week was linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

In addition, several of the analysed studies found drinking at least one sugar-sweetened beverage a day was associated with elevated blood pressure.

So, the next time you’re about to reach for a ‘cold one’, opt for water.

Source: The Endocrine Society www.sciencedaily.com 

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.