A recent study suggests that getting our calories from soft drinks increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes – a disease that is on the rise in the large economies such as the UK. We often think that drinking tea or coffee all day is bad for us, but swapping these for sweetened drinks is even worse. In fact, tea and coffee have many benefits associated with them, whereas soft drinks’ bad effects outweigh the good effects they have on hydration. This research suggests that for every drink we consume in a day, the risk of type 2 diabetes increases proportionately!
So what about replacing these drinks with the “diet” or “lite” version? Isn’t it the sugar that’s the problem for developing diabetes? The researchers at the University of Cambridge suggest not, they found no evidence that swapping sugar-sweetened drinks with the diet or lite versions made any difference to the risk, but replacing these drinks with tea or coffee without any sweeteners or sugar does. This association is probably linked to other factors in our diet rather than the drinks themselves, but this requires further research.
The bottom line is: we really should not be consuming food and drink with added sugar as much as we do.
Seb is a writer and blogger of food and nutrition. He holds a bachelors and a masters degree in nutrition science, and has studied sports and exercise nutrition at postgraduate level. He specialises in plant-based nutrition and believes passionately that we can all live with a little less meat.