What causes type 2 diabetes?
There are many myths and misconceptions about what causes type 2 diabetes, but one of them has been proven by a study at Harvard University, which showed that people who drink even just one or two sugary drinks per day – such as a sweetened cuppa, so-called ‘vitamin waters’, or full-sugar soft drinks – are more than 25% more likely to develop the disease than those who had no more than one sugary drink per month.
The finding is included in the 2012 American Diabetes Association’s recommendations for preventing and treating type 2 diabetes, in which diet, exercise and weight loss are all advised. Weight loss in particular has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and in people already suffering with the disease, losing weight can reduce or even negate the need medication.
Other studies have also linked sugar intake with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease via a detrimental effect on cholesterol levels, and having diabetes also increases your risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions.
So be aware of your intake of sugar in the form of daily drinks – if you have two spoons in your coffee and a full-sugar soft drink everyday with lunch, you could be putting yourself at risk.
Instead, why not try:
* Having sweeteners in your tea and coffee.
* Cutting out sugar in hot drinks altogether – if you cut down gradually over a few days or weeks, you can retrain your tastebuds not to need the sugar anymore. Add a little more milk to soften the bitterness.
* Switching to diet soft drinks and choosing ‘no added sugar’ varieties wherever possible.
* Opting for water instead – add a splash of lemon juice for extra flavour.
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