Beverages

Can you save your sugary drinks and manage your diabetes risk? A study says yes

For people at risk or with diabetes, sugar-sweetened beverages can help, according to a study published Monday.

In one meta-analysis published in JAMA Network Openresearchers found that replacing sugary drinks with low-calorie or no-calorie sugary drinks (called “LNCSB” by nutrition professionals) was associated with small reductions in weight and cardiometabolic risk factors, according to the study.
“Universally everyone recommends a reduction in sugar,” said the study’s lead author. Dr. John Sievenpiper. “Now the next question is, what’s the best way to replace it?

“Certain beverages will give you the benefits you expect and in a way similar to what you expect from water,” said Sievenpiper, consultant physician at St. Michael’s Hospital and associate professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto. .

The study was well put together and adds evidence “that in the medium term, LNCSBs are a viable alternative to water for people who are overweight or obese”, but more evidence is needed to know the impact long-term,” said Julie Grim, director of nutrition. for the American Diabetes Association, by e-mail. Grim did not participate in the study.

The goal is still to drink water as often as possible, Sievenpiper said, but the results may be good news for people looking to manage their weight or diabetes risk.

“You know you have a choice, and I think it’s important for a lot of people that they have that,” he added.

Debate

This study may present a positive outlook for beverage choices for people with weight issues and diabetes, but there has been a long debate about alternative sweeteners and overall health.

According to a 2019 study, drinking two or more artificially sweetened beverages daily is linked to an increased risk of strokes, heart attacks and premature death in women over 50.
Another study the following year found that diet sodas can be just as bad for your heart as regular sugary foods.
The 5 Best Ways to Cut Sugar From Your Diet

This is despite the fact that artificial sweeteners have been deemed safe by regulators, said Danielle Smotkin, spokeswoman for the American Beverage Association, a US trade association representing the soft drink industry.

This recent study did not identify increased risk factors, but it could not account for long-term impacts and was unable to identify whether a low-calorie or no-calorie sugary drink was more effective. than another, Grim said.

Water is best, experts say, but it can be hard to go cold turkey on sugary drinks, said Lisa Drayer, CNN nutrition contributor and registered dietitian.

“Reduce by one serving a day until you only have one drink a day,” Drayer told CNN in a previous interview. “Then aim for one every other day until you can completely eliminate carbonated drinks.”

She recommended sparkling water, infused fruit and a two-week sugar-free challenge to help curb cravings.

Your taste buds will adjust to find “natural foods with sugar more satisfying,” she said.