Dangers of Fizzy Drinks for Diabetics – In people with diabetes, the body cannot produce insulin or cannot use insulin effectively. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas and functions to regulate blood sugar levels. There are two most common types of diabetes, namely type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Fizzy drinks or soda are drinks made by adding carbonation to water. Soft drinks generally contain high amounts of added sugar to add sweetness. Soft drinks are also often added with artificial sweeteners or other flavorings.
This article aims to discuss the dangers of fizzy drinks for diabetes sufferers, they need to be careful when consuming fizzy drinks and how to reduce the consumption of fizzy drinks for diabetics. Readers will get information regarding the dangers of fizzy drinks which can increase the risk of diabetes complications.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. There are two main types of diabetes:
– Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin. Insulin is needed to convert sugar in the blood into energy. Type 1 diabetes usually begins in childhood or adolescence.
– Type 2 diabetes most often occurs in adults, although it can appear in childhood and adolescence. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not use insulin properly, which is called insulin resistance.
Common symptoms of diabetes include:
– Frequent urination
– Excessive thirst
– Excessive hunger
– Blurred vision
– Difficult to heal wounds
– Drastic weight loss (type 1 diabetes)
– Weight gain (type 2 diabetes)
Diabetes that is not properly controlled can cause serious health complications such as heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, and nerve damage. Therefore, it is very important for diabetes sufferers to keep blood sugar levels stable.
Why Diabetics Need to Be Careful with Carbonated Drinks
Diabetics need to be careful with consuming fizzy drinks because they contain high levels of sugar. Soft drinks contain quite large amounts of added sugar, either in the form of added sugar or high fructose syrup.
The high sugar in soft drinks can have a bad impact on diabetes sufferers. When it enters the body, sugar will be immediately absorbed and increase blood sugar levels quickly. This sudden increase in blood sugar levels is very dangerous for diabetes sufferers. This can trigger acute complications such as diabetic ketoacidosis. Apart from that, long-term high blood sugar levels also pose a risk of causing chronic complications such as damage to the kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels.
Therefore, diabetes sufferers are strongly advised to limit and avoid consumption of fizzy drinks. It is better to consume healthy drinks low in sugar such as water, tea or coffee without sugar.
Risk of High Blood Sugar
Fizzy drinks contain very high amounts of added sugar. The fructose sugar in fizzy drinks can quickly raise blood sugar levels to levels that are dangerous for diabetics.
Drinking soda can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar because the body easily absorbs liquid fructose compared to the solid form. This can trigger hyperglycemia or high blood sugar levels.
Prolonged hyperglycemia is very dangerous for diabetes sufferers. Complications that can arise include stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, wounds that are difficult to heal, nerve damage and blindness. Therefore, it is important for diabetes sufferers to avoid fizzy drinks to keep blood sugar levels under control.
Risk of Obesity
Fizzy drinks have a high sugar content which contributes to excess calorie intake. One 330ml can of soda can contain around 35-40 grams of sugar, equivalent to 140-160 calories.
Excessive consumption of fizzy drinks can cause excess calorie intake, thereby risking obesity. Obesity itself is known to be closely related to type 2 diabetes. People with obesity have a risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes that is around 7 times higher.
When someone is obese, body fat will accumulate, especially in the stomach area. This visceral fat can cause insulin resistance so the pancreas has to produce more insulin. This excessive insulin production ultimately triggers the pancreas to become exhausted and unable to produce enough insulin, which is the main cause of type 2 diabetes.
Therefore, diabetes sufferers really need to limit their consumption of fizzy drinks to prevent obesity and its complications. By maintaining a normal body weight, diabetes sufferers can more easily control their blood sugar levels.
Risk of Long-Term Complications
Excessive consumption of fizzy drinks can increase the risk of long-term complications in diabetes sufferers, such as kidney, heart, eye and nerve damage.
Fizzy drinks contain high levels of sugar which can cause blood sugar levels to increase drastically. High blood sugar levels that persist for a long time can damage blood vessels and body organs. Common complications include:
- Kidney damage
The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste and fluids from the blood. High blood sugar levels can damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys, causing decreased kidney function.
- Heart disease
High blood sugar levels trigger the accumulation of fat and cholesterol in the heart’s blood vessels. This increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Diabetic retinopathy
Damage to the blood vessels of the retina of the eye which can cause blindness.
Damage to the nerves that causes numbness, tingling, and pain in the hands and feet.
Fizzy drinks clearly exacerbate the risk of these complications. Therefore, diabetes sufferers are strongly advised to avoid or limit the consumption of fizzy drinks to prevent dangerous long-term complications.
Recommendations for Healthy Drinks for Diabetes Sufferers
Diabetics are advised to limit their intake of sweet and fizzy drinks, but there are several healthy drink choices that are safe and recommended, including:
- Plain water
Water is the number one choice that should always be available for diabetes sufferers. Water does not contain calories and sugar, so it is safe to consume without raising blood sugar levels. Water also helps the body’s metabolism and prevents dehydration. Diabetics are advised to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
- Fruit Juice Without Sugar
Fresh fruit juice without added sugar is a good source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for diabetes sufferers. Good fruit choices for juice include apples, oranges, strawberries, melons, papaya, and others. Make sure not to add artificial sweeteners or granulated sugar to fruit juice. Sugar-free fruit juice is safe to consume as a substitute for sweet drinks.
- Low-Calorie Drinks
Low-calorie drinks such as herbal tea, black coffee, and mineral water can be alternative drinks other than water. Choose low-sugar drinks with a calorie content of only around 5 calories per serving. Read the nutrition label to make sure the sugar content is very low. This drink is safe for consumption by diabetics as long as the amount is limited.
How to Reduce Consumption of Fizzy Drinks
There are several ways you can reduce the consumption of fizzy drinks for diabetes sufferers:
- Reduce portions
If you are used to consuming fizzy drinks, try reducing your portions gradually. For example, from 1 large glass to 1 small glass or half a glass a day. In this way, the body can adapt to the reduced sugar intake from soda.
- Replace with healthy drinks
Switching to healthy drinks without sugar such as water, mineral water, unsweetened fruit juice, herbal tea, and low-fat milk is the best way to reduce soda. Drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day is recommended to prevent dehydration.
- Avoid buying fizzy drinks
Don’t buy stock of fizzy drinks at home. When you want to buy outside, try replacing it with healthy drinks such as fruit juice without sugar or mineral water. Avoiding the availability of fizzy drinks can help reduce the desire to consume them.
By applying the method above, diabetes sufferers can gradually reduce the frequency and portion of drinking soda. Health will improve with a regular healthy lifestyle and diet.
Dangers of Fizzy Drinks for Diabetics: These are drinks that diabetics should avoid. Fizzy drinks contain added sugar which can increase blood sugar levels quickly. Apart from that, fizzy drinks can also trigger obesity because they contain high calories.
Long-term complications caused by carbonated drinks include heart disease, stroke, kidney problems, and nerve damage. Therefore, diabetics are advised to avoid or at least limit their consumption of fizzy drinks.
Healthy drinks that replace fizzy drinks include water, mineral water, green tea, and fruit juice without sugar. Another way to reduce your consumption of fizzy drinks is to carry a water bottle everywhere and choose healthy drinks when eating out. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, it is hoped that diabetes sufferers can maintain their health and prevent further complications.