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Can Drinking Soda Give You Diabetes?

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Did you know that drinking too much soda will not just give you a gut? Soda can also raise your risk of developing prediabetes as well. That is according to a new study published in The Journal of Nutrition suggests.

soda and diabetes risk
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Study

In a study of over 1,600 people, those who drank regular soda more than 3 times per week were 46% more likely to develop prediabetes. Prediabetes is a disease where your blood sugar is elevated, but it is not quite at the diabetes threshold. It is just over a 14-year period than those who did not drink any of the beverage.

Even just drinking 1, 12-ounce can of soda, at least more than three times a week is enough to raise your health risk.

This association between prediabetes and soda persisted even after the researchers adjusted for potential factors that may be affecting the relationship, like physical activity levels, calorie consumption and body mass indexes or BMI.

How Does Drinking Soda Affect Your Diabetes Risk?

One reason is that the sugar content of a regular soda may overwhelm the drinker’s system with excess fructose and glucose, as per the lead study author from Tufts University.

The extra sugar rush can raise the amount of sugar in your body in the short-term. But it can also mess with your system in the long-term, by changing the way the pancreas releases insulin. Insulin is a hormone that allows your body to absorb glucose for energy.

As a result, you can develop insulin resistance, a condition where your body needs higher amounts of insulin to function. When your body cannot produce enough insulin to keep up with that demand, the glucose builds up in your blood, which can result in the develop prediabetes, and eventually diabetes.

Conclusion

Diet soda, on the other hand, does not contain sugar. This may be why the study saw no association between the consumption of that kind of soft drink and prediabetes risk. But, other research has found mixed results regarding diabetes and diet soda.

For regular soda drinkers, the risk toward prediabetes should be a wake-up call. To prevent prediabetes, quit drinking the soda and focus instead on eating a nutrient-dense diet. Consume lots of protein, vegetables, fruits and complex carbohydrates such as whole grains that will not spike your blood sugar.

Also, dropping at least 5% of your body weight can help keep your blood sugar in check. If you will not make lifestyle changes after being diagnosed with prediabetes, you are likely on the trajectory to developing diabetes.

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