Drinks that are high in sugar (think soda, lemonade, artificially flavored fruit juice like fruit punch, and even some sports drinks) are already linked to weight gain, increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and stroke. But that’s not all: a Harvard study from March 2019 recently linked sugar-sweetened beverages to an early death.
Researchers conducted two large studies of more than 110,000 men and women “who responded to questionnaires about their lifestyle and health for about three decades or longer.” The results were simple but startling: the more sugary drinks the individuals consumed, the higher the risk for death from any cause during the study period (30 years). Those who drank 2-6 sugary drinks per week had a 6% increased risk for an early death; 2 or more per day had a 21% increased risk of early death, especially from cardiovascular disease (and especially for the women studied).
With evidence like this, it’s easy for us to simply opt for artificially sweetened or “diet” beverages. While that does reduce the above risks, artificial sweeteners still interferes with our brain’s response to sweetness. When we consume sugar or similarly sweet ingredients, our brain responds with signals to eat more, which can add up to excess calories. The bottom line is this, according to the Harvard team: avoid sugary drinks of any kind, and avoid drinking more than one artificially sweetened beverage per day.
Next time you are in the juice aisle or picking up refreshments for a summer gathering, check the labels! Opt for the lowest possible sugar content, and that doesn’t mean just going with diet. The key is to find a juice that boasts 100% fruit and zero added sugar. This is one of the many reasons there is a huge demand for adding custom juices to your diet. Whether you are buying juice at the store or making it yourself, remember that while it is an excellent source of an array of vitamins, always discuss any new diets with your healthcare provider.
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Best of health,