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Replacing One Sugary Drink Daily Significantly Improves Health

Replacing One Sugary Drink Daily Significantly Improves Health

(Copyright AP)

Monday, 15 August 2016 11:47 AM


If you think that a single soda a day doesn't have much of an impact on your health, you may want to reconsider. A researcher at Virginia Tech found that replacing just one sugary soda a day can reduce your weight and improve your overall health.


"Regardless of how many servings of sugar-sweetened beverages you consume, replacing even just one serving can be of benefit," said Kiyah J. Duffey, an adjunct faculty member of human nutrition, foods, and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.


The risks of extra sugar in the diet are well-known and include obesity, cardiovascular disease, and Type 2 diabetes.


In the study, participants, who were adults aged 19 and older, replaced one 8-ounce sugar-sweetened beverage with an 8-ounce serving of water.


"We found that among U.S. adults who consume one serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage per day, replacing that drink with water lowered the percent of calories coming from drinks from 17 to 11 percent," Duffey said.


"Even those who consumed more sugary drinks per day could still benefit from water replacement, dropping the amount of calories coming from beverages to less than 25 percent of their daily caloric intake," she said.


Duffey found that a reduction in the amount of daily calories coming from sugary drinks also improved individual scores on the Healthy Beverage Index — a scoring system designed to evaluate individual beverage patterns and their relation to diet and health.


Duffey developed this index in 2015 with Virginia Tech nutrition researcher Brenda Davy. Their preliminary data showed that higher scores correlate to better cholesterol levels, lowered risk of hypertension, and in men, lowered blood pressure.


A goal of the index is to help people identify what and how much they drink each day, since drinking habits can impact eating habits.


Higher calorie drinks, such as sweetened soda and high-fat milk, have been associated with diets rich in red and processed meats, refined grains, sweets, and starch, according to a 2015 study by Duffey and associates. Lower-calorie drinks, such as water and unsweetened coffee and tea, were associated with alternative diets rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and poultry.


The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that no more than 10 percent of daily calories come from added sugar, and that calorie-free drinks, particularly water, should be favored.
 

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If you think that a single soda a day doesn't have much of an impact on your health, you may want to reconsider. A researcher at Virginia Tech found that replacing just one sugary soda a day can reduce your weight and improve your overall health. Regardless of how many...
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