Diabetes: The simple diet swap that could cut risk of the condition by up to 25%

Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert

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There is strong evidence that the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Beverages to watch out for include soft drinks, sweetened-milk beverages, sweetened tea and coffee, cordials, and fruit juice. When consuming drinks like these, the body might enter a state of hyperglycemia. This results in a series of unpleasant symptoms that can affect one’s everyday life.

Among the most common symptoms are increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, and infections.

But type 2 diabetes could eventually lead to more serious disorders in the cardiovascular, nervous, and immune systems.

According to a study in Diabetologia, replacing one serving of a sugary drink a day could lower the risk of developing the condition by 14-25 percent.

Some valid and safe alternatives could be water and unsweetened tea or coffee.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge studied data from more than 25,000 participants, men and women, aged 40-79 and living in the UK.

Lead scientist Doctor Nita Forouhi explained that by asking participants to fill in a detailed food diary, focusing on sugar, they were able to study the impact of several different types of sugary beverages.

“We examined what would happen if water, unsweetened tea or coffee or ASB (beverages containing non-nutritive sweeteners) were substituted for sugary drinks,” she added.

The study found that there was a 22 percent increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes for each daily extra serving of soft drinks and sweetened milk beverages and ASB.

Researchers found that when study participants replaced one serving of a soft drink with a serving of water or unsweetened tea or coffee, the risk of diabetes could be cut by 14 percent.

While for those who replaced one serving of a sweetened milk beverage with water or unsweetened tea or coffee, the risk of developing the condition could be cut by 20-25 percent.

Doctor Forouhi commented: “The good news is that our study provides evidence that replacing a daily serving of a sugary soft drink or sugary milk drink with water or unsweetened tea or coffee can help to cut the risk of diabetes.

“This offers practical suggestions for healthy alternative drinks for the prevention of diabetes.”

A healthier lifestyle could be a game-changer when it comes to preventing type 2 diabetes.

Some people may already be at increased risk of getting the disease, because of excess weight, obesity, high cholesterol, or a family history of diabetes.

There’s no specific cure for type 2 diabetes, but losing weight, eating well, and exercising can help people prevent and manage the disease.

Losing extra weight, for example, could reduce the risk of developing diabetes up to 60 percent.

Exercise too could help in lowering glucose levels in the blood, as well as boosting sensitivity to insulin, which helps to keep blood sugar within a normal range.

Aside from reducing the intake of sugary drinks, healthy eating habits are essential when preventing and dealing with diabetes.

Fibre-rich foods promote weight loss and decrease blood sugar levels.

Preferring unsaturated fats could also promote healthy blood cholesterol levels as well as good heart and vascular health.

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