Even though there is no strong evidence to show sugars cause Type 2 diabetes, high intakes do put extra strain on the pancreas to produce more insulin, exacerbating the underlying problem in those with Type 2 diabetes or at risk of developing the disease.

Anyone with a sweet tooth, who drinks two to three cans of soda a day – containing the equivalent of 16 to 27 teaspoons of sugar, will benefit immensely simply by reducing or even cutting these beverages out.

Are you planning to cut down on the amount of sugar you consume? If so, make sure to take a look at what you’re drinking. Soda, juice, sports drinks, energy drinks, and other beverages contain lots of sugar – and few nutrients our body needs. The sugar in these drinks is also easily absorbed, so it can raise your blood sugar even faster than sugary foods can. Here are the amounts of sugar in some common sugary drinks, along with some alternatives that don’t contain sugar…

1. Soda. A 20-oz bottle of soda can contain up to 82 grams of sugar. Yes, 20 ounces is more than one serving, but many people do drink the whole bottle. And while all sodas contain sugar, fruity varieties like orange soda have even more than colas.

Try instead – diet soda. Diet sodas are sweetened with low-calorie sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose, so they don’t contain any sugar. Low-calorie sweeteners are much sweeter than sugar, so they produce a similar taste in a much smaller amount. The American Diabetes Association states it’s okay to drink these low-calorie sweeteners in moderation.

2. Bottled tea. Regular black or green tea doesn’t have any calories – but beware of bottled tea. Some versions such as cranberry flavored green tea, are mainly sugar and water, and can have as many as 61 grams of sugar in a 20-oz bottle.

Try instead – make your own tea at home. There’s a wide variety of black, green, and white tea and they have lots of flavor with no sugar. You can drink them hot or cold for more variety.

3. Energy drinks. A 16-oz can of energy drink can have up to 62 grams of sugar. It’s not worth consuming this much sugar to get an energy boost – there are better options that don’t contain sugar.

Try instead – coffee and tea are good options for caffeinated beverages with no sugar. Or if you really like energy drinks, try the diet variety for caffeine and vitamins without sugar.

4. Fancy coffee drinks. Coffee drinks seem like they should be healthy but all the added syrups and whipped cream can add high levels of sugar and calories. One 20-oz peppermint chocolate espresso drink at a popular coffee shop has 95 grams of sugar – and lots of fat!

Try instead – regular coffee. Or if you want a sweet coffee treat, have your coffee made with sugar-free syrup and fat-free milk – and no whipped cream.


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