The article, “Estimated Global, Regional, and National Disease Burdens Related to Sugar-Sweetened Beverage (SSB) Consumption in 2010,” found an “estimated 184,000 deaths/year attributable to SSB consumption: 133,000 from diabetes, 45,000 from CVD, and 6,450 from cancers.” You can read the study here…
Sugar sweetened beverages were defined as any sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit drinks, sports/energy drinks, sweetened iced teas, or homemade sugary drinks such as frescas, that contained at least 50 kcal per 8oz serving. They excluded 100 percent fruit juice, which likely is almost as dangerous unless it is fresh squeezed in my mind due to the insulin stimulating effect.
In our modern world of convenience food, it takes planning and predetermined decisions if you want to stay healthy. What we eat and what we buy for our children to eat probably has more to do with our ultimate health than any other decision we make. When a 45 year old dies of an unexpected heart attack, or your loved one gets cancer or diabetes, it often seems it comes out of the blue, and we say, “why me?”
I’m not saying that it is your fault if you get cancer or diabetes or heart disease or any disease for that mater. I am saying it is worth it to do everything you can to reduce the risk that you may end up with these diseases of modern civilization.
To use myself as an example, it has been extremely hard to keep weight off as I age. I’ve dropped all alcohol, all soda, all juice except for a sip of fresh squeezed, and I’ve significantly reduced processed foods to almost none. Even with these changes and exercising, I find it hard to keep it off. I am insulin resistant, meaning the slightest intake of carbohydrates (even fruit), in the absence of fat and protein, causes an insulin spike much higher in me than it should. That insulin spike tells my body to store fat. The literature and a look around you, suggests that most Americans, and the problem itself is spreading around the world, are insulin resistant.
Avoiding beverages that are sweetened should be a must. Parents, avoid getting your children used to the sweets and the sweetened drinks and you do them a huge favor. What is not addressed in this article is that a major contributor to these diseases is the impact of inflammation. For many, dairy and grains are inflammatory, hence the move by many to eating whole foods, especially meat, fish, vegetables and fruit. The two thirds of us who are insulin resistant should probably only eat small amounts of fruit and try to eat them when we also eat fat or protein. Nuts and seeds in moderation are also healthy and less likely to stimulate insulin or inflammation.