A new study has found that drinking sugary beverages such as sodas, energy drinks and sports drinks increases one’s chances of experiencing heart disease, heart attacks, and type 2 diabetes by over more than a third.
Many recent studies have concluded that despite repeated warning from health experts and researchers, half of Americans drink sugary beverages on a daily basis. This is precisely why the researchers behind the new study stress that there’s an “urgent need for public health strategies that reduce the consumption of these drinks”.
The reasons sugary beverages are so dangerous to people’s health is that they contain added sugars such as corn syrup, fructose, and table sugar, as well as liquid calories, meaning that people typically consume them alongside another set of calories that they take from solid foods.
Field experts have long said that these products cause people to gain weigh and may even make them obese in they are consumed steadily. They main culprits are the added sugars that companies use as a cheaper alternative to sucrose.
It’s worth mentioning that a survey from earlier this year has revealed that the most Americans have cut down on their sugary beverage consumption in the past 10 years, however the products have remained the main source of added sugars for most US citizens.
Statistically speaking, one (1) out of every four (4) Americans takes at least 200 of their daily calories from sugary beverages. And five percent (5%) of Americans take a little over 500 of their daily calories from the same sugary beverages. This adds up to about four (4) cans of soda.
The new meta-analysis of recent epidemiological studies was conducted by a team of US researchers led by Dr. Frank Hu, PhD, professor of epidemiology and nutrition from the Harvard School of Public Health (Boston).
The team concluded that consuming just one (1) or two (2) servings of sugary beverages per day increases one’s chances of ending up with type 2 diabetes by 26 percent (26%), the chances of experiencing fatal heart disease and non-fatal heat attacks by 35 percent (35%), and the chances of experiencing strokes by 16 percent (16%).
Another point of focus of the new study was on fructose – how it is metabolized inside the human body, how it can lead to weigh gain, and how it can cause the development of metabolic conditions and cardiovascular conditions.
One major difference between glucose and fructose is that glucose is absorbed straight into the bloodstream with the help of the gastrointestinal tract, whereas fructose metabolizes in the liver.
Unfortunately, the liver often converts fructose into fatty compounds known as “triglycerides”. This in turn can lead to insulin resistance and fatty liver disease, and both of these developments make people vulnerable to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
On top of this, fructose can also increase the uric acid found in the blood, ending up in the development of gout, an inflammatory arthritis known for being particularly painful.
The findings were published earlier this week, in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
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