HealthDangerous truth: Sugary drinks linked to premature death risk

Dangerous truth: Sugary drinks linked to premature death risk

Consumption of sugary drinks increases the risk of premature death.
Consumption of sugary drinks increases the risk of premature death.
Images source: © Unsplash | Shane

12:04 PM EDT, June 14, 2024

Sugar is added to many products. We can find it in drinks commonly considered harmful, such as fruit juices, flavored waters, and isotonic drinks. Beyond a substantial dose of sugar, they sometimes contain other substances that are very harmful to health. This is why nutritionists often call them "liquid death." But why are sugary drinks so dangerous?

Killer doses of sugar

Researchers have warned for years that consuming sweet, colorful drinks harms our health. Studies indicate that drinking them contributes to the development of diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, gum disease, cavities, and even cancers. It also increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. Sugary drinks can be hazardous to health and life.

Scientists from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have confirmed from long-term studies on Americans that long-term consumption of sugary drinks increases the risk of premature death by up to 21 percent.

Sugary drinks are any products to which sugar is added, often under different names. This can include brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, fructose, glucose, glucose-fructose syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, crystalline dextrose, honey, malt syrup, molasses, and white sugar.

In which drinks is sugar most commonly added? These are primarily carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks, juices, energy drinks, lemonades, sweet teas, flavored waters, and milk-based drinks. Such drinks can contain large amounts of sugar, which is harmful even to the mouth.

Dangerous insulin spikes

Sugary drinks are unhealthy also because they cause rapid spikes in insulin and glucose levels in the blood. Frequent consumption of sugary beverages is also a straightforward path to developing insulin resistance and hormonal imbalance. This acts as a cause-and-effect chain. First, it leads to a prediabetic state, which creates carbohydrate intolerance, eventually leading to type 2 diabetes. In turn, diabetes and obesity increase the risk of cancers of the pancreas, colon, kidneys, esophagus, blood, and uterus.

Sugary drinks are addictive, which is why it is so hard to refrain from consuming them. The more sugar you provide to your body, the harder it is to quit the harmful eating habit from one day to the next. It is worth starting with small steps—limit consumption and control how many sugary drinks you consume.

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