Drinking your way to a diabetes epidemic: How sugar sweetened beverages are damaging your health

By 2050, 33% of Americans (1/3) will be diabetic (type 2). It is fair to say that consuming excess amounts of sugar is not the only cause of this devastating disease, but it sure is a gateway, towards a multitude of complications brought directly and indirectly by this disease.

A high blood sugar can cause a gradual build up of fatty deposits, clogging up arteries and blood vessels, leading to cardiovascular disease. In fact, cardiovascular disease, is the leading cause of death for those with type 2 diabetes.

Some of the complications of T2DM:

1. Stroke

2. Heart disease

3. Skin problems

4. High blood pressure

5. Eye related problems

5. Neuropathy (nerve damage)

6. Limb amputation

7. Gum disease

8. Depression

Let's discuss the many different kinds of sweetened beverages & their health damage:


1. Sugar sweetened beverages:

These drinks are sweetened with refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup, including soft drinks, fruit juice, vitamin water, iced tea and energy drinks.

High fructose corn syrup:

Many studies have linked high fructose corn syrup to diabetes (type 2). It is estimated that HFCS is now a major source of fructose in USA. One might ask what fructose and HFCS have in common!

Although fructose is present in fruit, honey, and some other carbohydrate sources, the quantities consumed from these sources are not as large as is found in foods and beverages sweetened by HFCS, and this is why products with HFCS pose an even bigger health risk than foods with honey and fruit.

In another blog post I will explain the mechanism of fructose and high fructose corn syrup with respect to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, but respectively to this post, beverages with HFCS and refined sugars AS WELL AS 100% fruit juice do indeed raise your risk of T2DM.

> 1 serving of sugar sweetened beverage a day, increases the risk of type 2 DM by 13% as well as increasing adiposity/weight gain, and raising the risk of insulin resistance.

> 1 serving of 100% fruit juice a day, increases the risk of type 2 DM by 7%.


2. Artificially sweetened beverages:

These drinks are those with the label "diet" written on the bottle. They include diet Coke, diet Pepsi, diet 7-Up and even Coke 0.

What do coke zero and diet sodas have in common? Aspartame!

Aspartame and weight gain: a bitter paradox!

Most people are under the impression that choosing a beverage with "diet" written over it, will not contribute to weight loss. Surely, if you are on a diet, you do not want to gain weight, but what a scam would it be to learn that the very same products you are buying to help you lose weight, or maintain your weight, is actually indirectly making you put on the pounds!