When it comes to staying healthy, we all are incredibly conscious of the quantity & quality of the food that we consume. But, it is equally important to consider the health risk factors associated with what we drink in a day. If your daily diet includes a can or bottle of sugar-sweetened beverages, then it’s time to get alarmed.
What are Sugary Beverages?
Drinks with added sugars are called Sugary or Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. Some examples include energy drinks, non-diet soft drinks, soda, flavored juice drinks, etc. These drinks taste sweet, but they are definitely a sour choice for your health. With very little or absolutely no nutritional value, these beverages contain high levels of calories which, when consumed regularly, can lead to some severe health issues like dyslipidemia – a significant risk factor of adverse cardiovascular events.
How do they affect healthy-aging?
According to a recent epidemiological study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, those middle-aged and older adults who daily consume sugar-sweetened beverages were at a higher risk of developing abnormal levels of cholesterol and triglyceride, as compared to those who drank them less often.
Cholesterol is a waxy compound present in our blood and cells, generated by the liver and the food we eat. It is essential to have normal levels of cholesterol in our body as it is crucial in the synthesis of hormones, digestive fluids, and Vitamin D. It is present in two forms, the “good’’ and the “bad” cholesterol. While the good cholesterol (High-density lipoprotein) helps in removing the access cholesterol from your body, the bad cholesterol (Low-density lipoprotein) is extremely unhealthy as it gets accumulated in the arteries forming waxy deposits called plaques.
The study mentioned above examined around 6000 people who were categorized based on the types of beverages they drink along with the frequency of consumption. They were followed for 12 years and were examined at an interval of 4 years on average.
It was observed that a regular intake of these sugary drinks by adults resulted in developing low good-cholesterol levels and high triglyceride levels (a type of fat found in the blood). Abnormal levels of both these compounds in the body lead to a health-condition called dyslipidemia, which in turn increases the risk of getting a heart attack or other heart-related diseases. The study hence concluded that avoiding intake of sugary beverages would help to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol and triglyceride in the adults, thus reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
It has been thus found that the consumption of beverages with added sugars can pose a serious risk to your heart, but it is not the only health condition associated with them. Excessive intake of sugary drinks can also have other harmful effects on the body like tooth-decay, obesity, and diabetes.
Therefore, if you are one of those adults who quench their thirst with these sugar-sweetened beverages and not water, then its high-time to step into reality and cut down on these sweet but unhealthy drinks. If possible, one should also avoid 100% fruit juices and diet drinks and focus on consuming whole fruits which has numerous health benefits to offer. For example, a recent study proved that the consumption of pomegranates can counteract the aging process. To know more about the same, read our latest blog on ‘Stay Young & Live Long with Pomegranates’