Pakistan has the 4th highest number of adult diabetic patients according to the International Diabetes Federation in 2019.
Here’s another fact:
According to a national opinion poll conducted by PHRC in 2021, six out of ten Pakistani households have at least one person suffering from obesity and/or related diseases.
There are many reasons counting for this startling rate of obesity and Type-II Diabetes In Pakistan but here we will discuss one major cause—intake of sugary drinks.
Yes. Sugary drinks are one of the major culprits that cause these two conditions. This is proved through various studies.
Research has proven that the excess calories in sugary drinks directly affect your health by causing obesity and Type-II Diabetes.
There is one simple solution that can decrease your risk of obesity and Type-II diabetes a great deal. You’ve guessed it right. Just STOP having sugary drinks and live a healthful life.
Let’s quickly understand what sugary drinks are and then we’ll dive in to know the ways to quit sugary drinks and prevent obesity and type-II Diabetes.
What are sugary drinks?
Sugary drinks contain glucose, fructose, cane sugar, brown sugar, and other types of sweeteners that contain fructose.
Sugary drinks include everything from sodas to flavoured milk, fizzy drinks, juices, flavoured milk, energy drinks and many other sweet liquids.
You spend a good amount of money on these sugary drinks that cause various chronic diseases in the long run. Daily consumption of sugary liquids results in deteriorated health and poor living conditions.
Studies have shown that high consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages is one of the major causes of obesity and diet-related NCDs like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, liver and kidney diseases, certain types of cancers, and tooth decay.
How do sugary drinks cause obesity and Type-II diabetes?
All the sugar liquids have extra calories that can’t be processed by the body and thus are deposited as fat. The sugars in the beverages also cause diabetes due to insulin resistance.
Want to know the science behind it?
The “fructose” in the sugary beverages is only digested by your liver. The liver can’t process unlimited fructose and so the excess fructose is stored in the form of belly fat. This adds extra pounds to your overall weight and causes obesity in the long run.
The cells get their energy (glucose) from the blood with the aid of a pancreatic hormone called insulin. When sugar levels are too high in the blood, your cells become immune to the action of insulin and thus don’t absorb glucose. As a result, the pancreas starts producing more insulin and this high insulin level in the blood can lead to diabetes type-II.
Ways to prevent sugary drinks for life
Now that you know sugary drinks are literally poison for your health, let’s look into the ways you can avoid them and start living a healthy life.
Find healthy alternate
Whenever you crave a sugary drink, consciously make an effort to avoid it and rather find a healthy alternative. You can sip unsweetened fresh lime or lemon water instead. I know this seems boring but just start it to drink healthy and you’ll eventually love your lemon water instead of a sugary beverage.
The cherry on the top is that you’ll lose extra pounds by switching to a healthy drink like lime.
Yes. Drink lots of water so that you don’t feel like having any other drink. Take 8 to 12 glasses of plain water daily. This will not only keep you away from sugary drinks but also maintain your overall health.
Go cold turkey
Say NO to sugary beverages once and for all. Promise yourself not to have one even if everybody is drinking it. Going cold turkey is never easy but once you make a decision just stick to it and you’ll get used to it. It’s not impossible.
If you can’t say no to sugary drinks altogether, just start small. Decide not to have sweet beverages for 3 days or so and give yourself a treat when you accomplish your goal. Next, you can make it a week, and then you’ll get used to not having sugary drinks.
Recall the damage sugary drinks do to your health
Whenever you feel like enjoying a sugary beverage, just remind yourself that it’s not good for you in any way. Try a healthier alternative like water, you may add lemon to it or take Qehva, green tea etc.
Sugary beverages contain high levels of fructose that damage your liver functioning and as a result, might cause diabetes type-II and obesity.
The rising number of people suffering from obesity and diabetes type-II is alarming. And one of the major causes is consuming too many sugary drinks. That’s why it’s inevitable to avoid them as much as you can.
Follow the above-mentioned ways to avoid sugary drinks and opt for healthy drinks instead.