Sweetened drinks may significantly heighten risk of diabetes. A latest study published in the journal BMC revealed that these sugary drinks are devoid of healthy nutrients and produce more harmful effects than fruit and other foods containing fructose. Study lead author Dr. John Sievenpiper is a researcher in the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada. “These findings might help guide recommendations on important food sources of fructose in the prevention and management of diabetes,” said Dr. Sievenpiper. “But the level of evidence is low and more high quality studies are needed.”
Fructose is a kind of sugar that occurs naturally in foods such as fruits, natural fruit juices, vegetables and honey. Fructose is added in great quantities to these drinks to make then sweeter. Previous studies have suggested that fructose plays a major role in the development of diabetes and heart disease. For the study, the research team analysed 155 studies involving the impact of fructose sugars on blood glucose levels in people with and without diabetes.
The findings revealed that foods containing fructose sugar do not have a harmful effect on blood glucose levels, if they are not laden with excess calories and fats. In terms of nutrition, these sugary drinks add nothing to your body except empty calories. “Until more information is available, public health professionals should be aware that harmful effects of fructose sugars on blood glucose seem to be mediated by energy and food source,” wrote the researchers.