There are at least 45 good reasons to avoid fizzy drinks (carbonated beverages), says a recent study. We understand soft drinks help you beat the scorching summer heat instantly, but as they say, "shortcuts make long delays"! According to a study, published in the journal BMJ, excess consumption of fizzy drinks is linked to a range of major health conditions. In fact, with one extra sugary drink, there might be an increase in the risk of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart problems and more. The study was conducted by researchers from China and the United States to develop a detailed policy on sugar restriction.
Link Between Soft Drinks And Increasing Health Risks: Researchers Explain:
Fizzy drinks are normally high in sugar, which is known to be "more harmful than beneficial for health". To understand the phenomenon in detail, the researchers conducted an "umbrella review" to evaluate the health impacts of excess sugar consumption. The review included 8601 studies, focusing on added sugar in processed and packaged food, table sugar and other sweetening agents. The researchers excluded natural sugar - found in whole fruits, vegetables and dairy products - from their review.
The evidence of the review suggested that higher consumption of sugar is linked to 45 negative health outcomes. These include high blood sugar, high blood pressure, obesity and weight gain, tooth decay, respiratory issues and depression to name a few.
So, what can you do? Should you give up on your favourite soft drink altogether? The answer is - no! The researchers state that one can limit their soft drink intake to one per week to avoid major health issues. "Reducing the consumption of free sugars or added sugars to below 25 g per day (approximately six teaspoons a day) and limiting the consumption of sugary beverages to less than one serving per week (approximately 200-355 ml a week) are recommended to reduce the adverse effects of sugars on health," the study concludes. Click here for the detailed research.
Natural Sugar Vs Added Sugar: Know Your Sugar:
Sugar is a form of carbohydrate that our body converts into glucose and uses for energy. However, it all depends on the type of sugar you consume. Let's start by understanding what sugar is. According to www.sugar.org, "Sugar is sucrose, a disaccharide made up of two sugars (glucose and fructose) bound together, which occurs naturally in all green plants." This is also known as natural sugar, which is widely found in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. On the other hand, sugar can turn deadly when it undergoes processing to become table sugar or the type used in junk food. Click here to learn more about common myths and facts about sugar.
Here're 5 Healthy Drink Alternatives To Add To Your Summer Diet:
While the aforementioned study recommends limiting the consumption of excess sugary drink, we bring some healthy drink alternatives that can be a perfect option to add to your summer diet. Let's take a look.
1. Coconut Water:
One of the most popular thirst quenchers, coconut water helps you load up on several healthy nutrients and also prevents dehydration. You can have it as is or prepare delicious coolers with it. Here's one such popular coconut water drink for you. Take a look.
2. Fruit Juice:
Summer brings along a range of cooling fruits like watermelon, muskmelon and more. You can enjoy these fruits as is or juice them up for a cooling drink. These summer fruits are also loaded with natural sugar that may help satiate your sugar cravings.
A curd-based cooler, it is loved by one and all. Chaas is cooling, healthy and can be prepared in a number of ways. Click here for some of the most popular chaas recipes.
4. Sattu Cooler:
For the ones looking for something cooling and fulfilling, sattu cooler comes in handy. Made with sattu, water and some basic ingredients, it helps you stay hydrated for all. Click here for the recipe.
5. Aam Panna:
The list of summer coolers can never be complete without a mango drink. Made with raw mango, roasted masala and more, aam panna spells comfort during the summer. Besides, it also loads you up with several healthy nutrients. Click here for the recipe.
Happy and healthy summers, everyone!
Note: The drinks suggestions are not a part of the study
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.