- Regular consumption of sugary drinks can lead to belly fat accumulation
- They can lead to weight gain
- They increase calorie intake and provide no nutritive value
Sugary drinks health risks: Nutritionists and health experts are of the belief that sugary drinks are anything but good for you. Sure, they satiate your thirst, especially during the hot and sultry summer days. They also make a great addition to your comfort meals. But, the amount of calories they add in your diet are shocking enough to make you quit them almost instantly! Nutritionist Nmami Agarwals, in an Instagram post, said that studies have shown that consuming sugar in liquid form is much worse. This is because liquid sugar is highly concentrated and easy to consume in large amounts.
Sugary drinks: Know the health risks associated with sugary drinks
Consuming sugary drinks is like consuming empty calories, which means that only provide you with calories but no nutrition. Agarwal feels that sugary drinks are one of the most fattening food items.
According to a study published in Journal of American Heart Association, daily intake of sugary drinks has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The study was conducted on data from 1,06,000 women over the past 20 years. It was found that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages daily was associated with nearly 20% increased likelihood of women having cardiovascular disease as compared to women who rarely had them.
1. Weight gain
Consuming sugar in liquid is worse that eating sugary foods or desserts, says Agarwal. "This is because the brain does not compensate for this intake of calories by consuming lesser food. Either the brain does not register these calories or it does not realise the amount of calories you load up on by consuming these sugary drinks. They increase your overall calorie intake, and make you prone to weight gain and other metabolic diseases," she says.
It goes without saying that sugary drinks, including diet soda, should be avoided by people with diabetes. Even if some of these drinks come with claim of zero sugar or low calories, it has to be understood that they have no nutritive value. Instead of these drinks, diabetics can have homemade buttermilk, coconut water, lemon water, iced green tea etc to satiate their thirst during the warm summer days.
3. Belly fat
High sugar intake has been associated with weight gain. It can lead to accumulation of fat around your belly and organs. Excessive belly fat can increase risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
4. Sugary drinks may be addictive
Sugary drinks have powerful effects on the brain's reward system as this may lead to addiction. This is the reason why it is difficult to stop at one glass or can of cola.
5. Dental health
Soda contains phosphoric and carbonic acid. These acids create a highly acidic environment in your mouth and make your teeth vulnerable to decay. These acids, when combined with sugar, can be even more damaging for your teeth. Bad bacteria in mouth feed on sugar. It can lead to cavities and bad breath amongst others.
(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)
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