If you like your body healthy, it’s high time you stopped drinking sugary beverages. Obesity or even some weight gain are just a few of the health complications you might face if you keep indulging in the sugar-sweetened beverages.
There’s a large body of scientific literature documenting the toll that only one or two sugary beverages may take on our bodies. Yet, the broader picture has been largely left aside until recently.
Through a thorough analysis and review of epidemiological studies, as well as meta-analyses, Dr. Frank Hu of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston and his team have helped paint the broader picture of how a daily intake of two sugary beverages affects our health.
Sugary beverages contain (as their name suggests) sugar, an ingredient that makes them all the more attractive to consumers. Some are sweetened with sucrose, while others contain high-fructose syrup derived from corn starch. Over the course of the past decade, sugary beverage consumption has slightly dropped.
Nonetheless, these are still the main source of caloric intake for 1 in 4 U.S. citizens, while over five percent of the U.S. population consume over 500 calories daily in the form of sugary drinks.
The findings of the research conducted by Doctor Hu are clear cut: one to two sugary beverages per day up the risk of type 2 diabetes with an added 26 percent. The same amount ups the risk of suffering a stroke by 16 percent, while the risk of suffering a heart attack increases by 35 percent.
The research team also looked at the differentiated impact of fructose and glucose. Glucose is absorbed directly in our bloodstream via the gastrointestinal tract. From here, it is transformed in energy needed for our daily activities.
Fructose on the other hand is metabolized in our liver. And unlike glucose, it will not turn into fuel for our body, but a large part will be metabolized into triglycerides, or fatty compounds that up the risk of insulin resistance and a defectuous liver. Furthermore, the high-fructose syrup used in the sugary drinks and metabolized in this manner may increase the level of uric acid in the blood. This increase leads to developing inflammatory arthritis.
However, if we’re willing to cut down on our consumption of sugary beverages, perhaps even eliminate them altogether, that means a substantial cut in added sugars that end up affecting our bodies.
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