A Spanish study has shown drinking large quantities of bottled juice drinks can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, but the risk can be lowered if water or fresh juice is drunk instead.
Scientists from the University of Navarra, Spain made these findings after investigating the relationship between type 2 diabetes and different types of drinks.
They asked 17,500 participants to complete a questionnaire about the type of beverages they consume and followed up on their development for an average of 10.2 years.
Overall there were 142 new cases of type 2 diabetes, but the diagnoses were lower in those who had substituted bottled juices for water. There were also fewer diagnoses among those who swapped bottled juice for fresh orange juice.
When bottled juice was replaced with water, the reduction in risk was 25 per cent; when substituted for fresh juice, the risk was reduced by 35 per cent; and when substituted with fresh orange juice, the risk reduction was 44 per cent.
Significantly, a direct link was found between a daily intake of bottled juice drinks and diabetes, with a 33 per cent increase for each additional serving per day of bottled juice.
The researchers wrote: “Our study shows that the substitution of one serving per day of water or fresh juice (specifically fresh orange juice) for bottle juice was inversely associated with [type 2 diabetes] incidence, and that each additional serving per day of bottled juice was directly associated with a higher risk of diabetes.
“A possible health benefit of reducing bottled juice consumption at the expense of water or fresh fruit juice would be recommendable. This type of replacement could be an affordable measure to tackle the diabetes epidemic. However, further longitudinal studies are necessary to confirm these associations.”
It is generally suggested people with diabetes steer clear of fizzy, sugary or energy drinks, unless they are required to treat low blood sugar.
Monitoring sugar levels in juice drinks can be difficult, which is why water is the healthiest and safest option. To give water more flavour try adding a squeeze of fresh fruit.
The research was published in the Journal Plus publication.

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