Just ONE of These Each Day DOUBLES Your Diabetes Risk
For all the naysayers still denying the link between diabetes and diet soda, a new study just put several more nails in the coffin of your arguments. The study, from the prestigious Karolinska Institute in Sweden, found that drinking just 200 ml (less than 7 ounces) of diet soda per day made people a whopping 2.4 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. And drinking a liter a day—roughly one-and-a-half standard 20-oz bottles—made them a shocking ten times more likely to become diabetic.
If you feel like you’ve heard this before, you have.
At least once a year we get another well-designed study showing that diet soft drinks increase the likelihood of diabetes. Usually this is met with one or two inferior studies claiming that no, it’s sugary soft drinks that make you diabetic and diet versions are blameless.
Well. This study does what no other study to date has, at least to my knowledge. It found that both types of soft drink increase the risk of diabetes, and by about the same percentage. And there’s something the major news stories aren’t reporting about these studies. Soda doesn’t just up the likelihood of type 2 diabetes. It also increases the risk of something known as “Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults” or LADA. And that, folks, should be enough to make you avoid soda like it’s rat poison.
If you drink soda, these numbers should scare your pants off
Health-related stories like to throw around disturbing-sounding numbers without putting them in context. It’s an old trick for turning molehills into mountains…especially when it comes to diseases. For instance, a story might say that drinking coffee raises your risk of getting Disease X by fifty percent. What the story writer might not be telling you is that only one person in 500,000 gets disease X in the first place, so a 50% increase is miniscule. The point is that while numbers like this always sound scary, in reality they’re often not.
This isn’t one of those cases.
Currently, one person in 10 has diabetes. So a 2.4 times increase isn’t a drop in the bucket. It’s millions more people developing diabetes each year. And if the incidence is one in 10, a 10-fold increase actually amounts to one hundred percent.
So let’s put the study results in perspective: the population as a whole has a 1 in 10 chance of becoming diabetic. However, if you drink just seven ounces of soda per day—which is far less than a single can or even a single glass—your risk jumps up to 2 in 10. And if, like far too many people, you consume 1.5 or more 20-oz bottles or a single “large” soda from many convenience stores or fast food places, you end up with a 10 out of 10 chance of developing diabetes.
Think about that for a moment. That’s basically guaranteeing you will get type 2 diabetes eventually.
And that’s not even the scariest part. You probably already knew that a diet soda habit leads to type 2 diabetes. You’re probably already aware of the link between high fructose corn syrup—used to sweeten sugary soda—and type 2 diabetes. What you’ve probably never heard before is the link between both types of soda and LADA, which even shocked the researchers involved.
Type 2 diabetes is reversible. LADA is not
LADA is a sort of a hybrid of types 1 & 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, it’s something that most people have never heard of. It’s time to talk about it, though, because it’s becoming more common.
In type 2 diabetes, your body makes insulin but isn’t able to use it properly. It’s associated with overweight and obesity. Until recently it was called “adult onset diabetes” because it didn’t usually develop until middle age—and excess belly fat—hit. But as we’ve gotten fatter as a society, the incidence of type 2 diabetes has skyrocketed and it now affects all ages.
Type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease. It primarily affects kids and young adults (it’s commonly referred to as juvenile diabetes). In type 1 diabetes your immune system goes haywire and attacks a part of your own body—in this case, your pancreas. The insulin-producing cells there lose their ability to make insulin. Since their bodies can’t make insulin, 1 diabetics must take insulin shots daily.
LADA has components of both the other two types. It’s an autoimmune disease like type 1, but it usually affects people over 30. It also develops more slowly than type 1. The pancreas doesn’t suddenly stop producing insulin but slows down over the space of months or even years. As insulin production shuts down, you must supplement your own insulin with insulin shots and eventually must rely on them completely.
Like type 2 diabetes, LADA can be managed for a time with diet and lifestyle changes. But where type 2 diabetes can be reversed with a very low calorie diet and loss of fat in the pancreas, LADA cannot. Unlike type 2 diabetes, LADA has nothing to do with weight—thin people are as likely as anyone else to get it.
And according to this study, people who drink soda are twice as likely to develop both LADA and type 2 as people who don’t.
So what does that mean for you? First and foremost, that you should put soda back in its place.
Americans drink around 45-50 gallons of soda per year, or an average of 2 cans per day. And while having a Coke once in a while isn’t the end of the world, making it a regular part of your diet just might be. There’s nothing wrong with having a soda every now and then, but it should be an occasional treat…not a daily beverage.
And don’t replace the carbonated stuff with fruit juice thinking it’s “healthier”—it’s not. Most fruit juice is just as high in sugar as soda, if not higher. Stick to water and unsweetened tea or coffee as your go-to drinks, and let the sweet stuff—including fruit juice—be a special indulgence.
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