Drinking soda and other sweetened beverages that add fructose can significantly raise a person’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

A recent study warned that certain types of food that add excess “nutrient poor” energies have harmful effects on the body. The researchers hope the findings can lead to better recommendations and guidelines to lead the public to switch to a healthy diet.

The findings were published in the journal BMJ.

Say ‘No’ To Sodas

The findings were based on 155 studies that looked into the effects of different sources of fructose sugars on a person’s blood glucose levels for up to 12 weeks. Researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto, both in Canada, also checked the studies for biases and certainty of evidence.

The analysis revealed that most foods containing fructose sugars do not have harmful effects on a person’s blood glucose levels as long as they do not have excess calories. Fruits and fruit juices, in particular, offer positive benefits including insulin control for people with diabetes. In contrast, foods that are “nutrient poor,” particularly sweetened drinks, have harmful effects to the blood glucose levels.

Researchers attribute the benefits of fructose from fruits to their lower glycemic index compared to other carbohydrates. In addition, fruits are packed with fiber that slows down the release of sugar and, therefore, improves the blood glucose level.

Fructose occurs naturally in whole fruits and vegetables. It is also added to certain kinds of foods such as sodas, baked goods, breakfast cereals, and other sweets.

A previous study by researchers from the American Diabetes Association found that people who consume sweetened beverages at least once a day have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The study was published in 2010 and involved more than 300,000 participants.

Limits Of The Study

The researchers, however, warned that the paper has its limitations. While there were no biased detected, the studies analyzed all have low certainty of evidence.

Moreover, the sample size was small. They recommend that further research should be carried out to confirm the effects of fructose from different sources to the body.

“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,” the researchers concluded.

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