Consuming coffee instead of soda may help people with type 2 diabetes live longer.

May 16, 2023

The BMJTrustedSource has published a new study that shows drinking sugar-sweetened beverages can increase the risk of death for people with type 2 diabetes, especially cardiovascular diseases.

According to the study, people who drink sugary drinks have a higher mortality rate of 20%.

Dr. Keith Hopkins of Strive Health in Denver, Colorado, says the results confirm what has been known in this field for a long time.

Hopkins stated that the more research they did, the more they discovered how sugary drinks reduce your time on earth. “I think we knew this in our hearts and souls, but this is adding more data to the armory to get this information out to our patients.”

Drinking sugary drinks can increase mortality risk.

This research was based on two long-running studies: A nurses’ Health Study and Follow-up Study for Health Professionals. Both projects lasted from the 1980s to 2018. This study included 15,486 type 2 diabetics, with 73.6 percent of them women.

The average follow-up period was 18.5 years. Data is updated every 2 to 4 years via follow-up questionnaires.

The risk of death from any cause increased by 8% for each daily serving of sugar-sweetened beverages.

The mortality risk decreased at different rates depending on the beverage substituted for the sweetened liquid.

  • The risk of death was reduced by 26% when coffee was substituted for sweet drinks
  • Drinking tea reduced mortality by 21%
  • Plain water reduced mortality by 23%
  • Low-fat milk reduced mortality by 12%

Dr. Ana Maria Kausel is an endocrinologist with the telemedicine practice at Anzara Health. She says this study shows that hidden sugars can hurt your health.

Everyone thinks of food first. Kausel added, “I always tell them to focus more on the calories in their drinks than the calories they consume.”

Hopkins says that this study shows the impact of diabetes on mortality and overall health.

It’s like walking along a sharp edge. Hopkins explained that if you don’t have diabetes, you are five feet away from the edge. “But if a diabetic is inches from the edge and you smoke, do inappropriate exercise, or eat inappropriately, you are more likely to fall.” This study shows us that we should be more cautious with diabetic patients.

In an accompanying articleTrusted SourceNita Forouhi, Ph.D. professor and program director at the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit of the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, said that the study found “choice of drink matters.”

Forouhi wrote in an editorial that “although the evidence for artificially-sweetened beverages and fruit drinks is less clear, it’s reasonable to shift focus to drinks most likely to be beneficial to health: coffee, water, tea, and low-fat milk.” The new research shows that diabetes doesn’t have to mean being restricted. The study’s findings in this group are similar to earlier studies in the general population.

The Best of the “Healthy” Beverages

The study found that participants who switched to low-calorie cola or other artificially sweetened drinks (ASBs) from sugar-sweetened alternatives saw reduced mortality from all causes and cardiovascular risks. They also noticed a decline when they switched from ASBs to coffee, tea, and water.

Kausel describes the beverage industry’s marketing machine as “infinite.” He also says that a part of the problem is that drinks with high sugar, such as juices and smoothies, are often viewed by consumers as healthy.

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