Nothing sweet about sugary drinks

Most beverage companies add extra sugar to make these drinks tastier. This sugar eventually gets added to one’s diet.
Last Updated : 03 February 2020, 19:30 IST

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Fried food and a sweetened beverage are often teamed up and relished by many. Sometimes people enjoy the drink so much that they end up over-consuming more of it without knowing the repercussions. Most beverage companies add extra sugar to make these drinks tastier. This sugar eventually gets added to one’s diet.

Does sugar increase the risk of cancer?

Ultra-processed foods have proven to cause many chronic diseases, including cancer and an added risk of death.

Consumption of sugary drinks leads to an increase in health issues like diabetes, obesity and hypertension.
Sugary drinks are associated with the risk of obesity which can contribute to cancer.

Diabetes, on the other hand, has an age-old relation with cancer. Diabetes can double the risk of breast, liver, pancreas, endometrial and many other cancers.

Not all sugars are equal

Though fruits are high in sugars, they also contain nutrients that prevent cancer. Milk also has sugars, however the protein it contains is safe for the body.

On the other hand, ultra-processed foods like drinks with added sugar, sweets, candies, cookies and cakes, which have a high-sugar content, are dangerous.

The sugary connection

According to research, an increased risk of cancer is not related to sugar intake. Instead, it is related to how the body responds to sugar. It is called glucose intolerance.

The problem occurs if the body is resistant to insulin, leading to more insulin being produced to overcome this resistance. The increased insulin level in the body is said to help cancer cells to multiply. Making lifestyle changes plays an important role in the well-being of the human body. It is best to avoid excessive consumption of sugary drinks.

In order to stay hydrated, it is best to drink water and an unsweetened drink.

Satiate the sweet tooth by consuming whole fruits. Avoid including saturated fats, trans fat and processed foods in your diet.

Most of the time, people do not think much about their diet, but it plays a vital role in keeping diseases at bay. It is important to be proactive for proper functioning of the body.

(The author is director, surgical oncology, Fortis Cancer Institute, Bengaluru)

Published 03 February 2020, 19:30 IST

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