Most everyone knows that too much sugar is bad for your health. Drinking just two sugary soft drinks a day could double your risk of diabetes, according to new research.

A Swedish study found that drinking more than two 200 ml (about 6.7 oz) of soda each day more than doubled the person’s chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. The risk remained even when consuming diet soda sweetened with artificial sweeteners.

Researchers from the Karolinska Institute compared soft drink consumption among 2,800 people – some who had diabetes and some who did not. They found that drinking soda increased the risk of three different kinds of diabetes – Type 1, Type 2 and Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults.

Sugar and Diabetes Risk

Diabetes disrupts the way your body uses food for growth and energy. Because of problems with the way the body uses insulin, sugar (or glucose) builds up in the blood and passes out of the body in the urine without fulfilling its role as the body’s main source of food.

This is why consuming too much sugar can eventually cause diabetes, explained Bonnie Alexander, RD, an outpatient dietitian at Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital.

The new study suggest that even diet soda is bad for your health because drinking artificially sweetened drinks can actually boost your appetite, causing you to eat more and gain weight, which boosts your diabetes risk.

“One of the easiest ways to cut sugar from your diet is to drink water instead of soda, juice or sports drinks,” said Alexander. “Try fruit-infused water, or topping of a glass of seltzer with a splash of natural fruit juice.”

Sugar and Your Heart

Geetha Pinto, MD, a cardiologist and director of the Heart Failure Program at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center

Geetha Pinto, MD, a cardiologist and director of the Heart Failure Program at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center

Cutting sugar also protects your heart, according to Geetha F. Pinto, MD, a cardiologist and director of the Heart Failure Program at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center.

“Excessive sugar intake can lead to obesity, high blood pressure and other conditions that can eventually cause plaque to build up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart,” explained Dr. Pinto. “What’s more, people with diabetes are two to four more times likely than people without diabetes to have heart disease.”

“Always read nutrition labels and be aware of the sugar content so you can make informed decisions about what you put into your body,” recommends Dr. Pinto.

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