Soft Drinks Linked to Increased Risk of Insulin Resistance
Carbonated, sugary soft drinks are ubiquitous in American society. They are practically a staple of the American diet. Now, new research is showing that soft drinks- both diet and regular varieties- are very unhealthy and may be linked to obesity, heart disease, and insulin resistance. Results published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association suggest that soft drink consumption could contribute to Insulin Resistance Syndrome, or IRS.
What is Insulin Resistance Syndrome?
Insulin is a chemical secreted by the pancreas. It helps the body's cells process glucose, or sugar. Sometimes the body can develop insulin resistance. This means that the cells require more and more insulin to be able to process the glucose. Eventually this can lead to type-2 diabetes.
Insulin resistance is not well understood, but it is clear that it is aggravated by obesity and physical inactivity. Insulin resistance may be a genetic problem that is triggered by a poor diet and obesity. Obesity can be caused by a poor diet, including a diet high in soft drinks. However, even thin people who consume too much sugar can develop insulin resistance.
Basically, a diet full of unhealthy, high-calorie soft drinks can contribute to obesity, which is a large factor in the development of insulin resistance. It has been proven that people who drink one or more soft drinks per day, regardless of weight, have a 44% higher chance of developing metabolic syndrome than those who consume less than one soft drink per day.
Soft Drinks and Their Role in Insulin Resistance
Studies have shown that fructose used as a sweetener is more dangerous than glucose. Fructose is the main sweetener not only in soft drinks, but in many other artificially sweetened products. Soda accounts for a quarter of all the beverages sold in the US. This is especially prevalent in children's diets.
- 56% of eight-year olds drink soda daily, and 1/3 of teenage boys drink at least 3 cans of pop per day.
It is not a coincidence that this astronomical consumption of soda is occurring at the same time as the obesity epidemic is growing among the nation's children. Peer-reviewed independent studies are confirming that excessive soft drink consumption is a direct contributor to childhood obesity, and obesity is a direct contributor to insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes.
How Can I Avoid Insulin Resistance?
First of all, a healthy diet and plenty of exercise are crucial to maintaining one's well-being. Choose water or natural fruit juices instead of soft drinks.