Researchers say the findings, which also recommend fruit juice and unsweetened tea and coffee, could reduce the spread of the condition. Swapping a daily sugary drink for water can cut your risk of diabetes by up to a quarter, research reveals.
Soft drinks or sweetened-milk beverages were linked to a higher incidence of type 2 diabetes, while unsweetened tea or coffee, fruit juice and artificially sweetened soft drinks were not. Researchers studied 25,000 people aged 40 to 79 in Norfolk who recorded everything they ate and drank.
During around 11 years of follow-up, 847 participants were diagnosed with new-onset Type 2 diabetes. The team estimated that replacing one soft drink or sweetened-milk beverage a day with a serving of water or unsweetened tea or coffee reduced the incidence of diabetes by between 14% and 25%.
They hope that the promotion of alternative beverages “may help curb the escalating diabetes epidemic”. Lead scientist Nita Forouhi, of the UK Medical Research Council at Cambridge University, said: “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.
“Our new findings add further important evidence to the recommendation from the World Health Organisation to limit the intake of free sugars in our diet.” The research, published in Diabetologia, follows a previous study which showed habitual daily consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was linked with higher risk of type 2 diabetes. More than three million people in the UK have Type 2 diabetes.
Published: April 30 2015. By Andrew Gregory
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