Who says dietary changes have to be painful?
A recent study in the journal Diabetologia found that substituting just one serving a day of water or unsweetened tea or coffee for one serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage can significantly reduce the incidence of Type 2 diabetes.
Researchers studied 25,000 British men and women ages 40 to 79, tracking their consumption of soft drinks, sweetened tea, coffee beverages, fruit juice, and other drinks like flavored milks and hot chocolate.
After adjusting for body mass index, calorie intake and a range of diet, behavioral and socioeconomic factors, the researchers found that one serving per day of either a soft drink or sweetened milk drink increased the risk of diabetes by 14 percent to 27 percent. After an adjustment for all the variables, fruit juice had no effect on the risk of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes has become a serious problem in the United States. Some 30 million people have it, with another 21 million undiagnosed cases.
Beverages are a primary culprit. Consider the sugar content of these 12-ounce drinks:
Coca-Cola: 39 grams
Pepsi: 41 grams
Gatorade (fruit punch): 21 grams
Mountain Dew: 46 grams
Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino with whipped cream: 42 grams
Tropicana original orange juice: 33 grams
Snapple iced tea with lemon: 27 grams
Every 4 grams is equal to 1 teaspoon of sugar, so if you have a one-Coke-a-day habit, you are drinking about 68 teaspoons of sugar a week—about a cup and a half worth of sugar! Rethinking your liquid intake yet?