A recently released study has important news: “substituting just one serving a day of water or unsweetened tea or coffee for one serving of a sugar-sweetened soft drink or dairy beverage can significantly reduce the incidence of Type 2 diabetes.”

The research results, appearing in the journal Diabetologia, assessed data collected from more than 25,000 men and women between the ages of 40 to 79. The study tracked the participants’ intake of soda, tea, coffee, fruit juice and sweetened milk drinks (those included hot chocolate and milkshakes).

A key finding? Just one serving per day of “either a soft drink or sweetened milk drink increased the risk of diabetes by 14 percent to 27 percent.” However, drinking sweetened tea or coffee did not seem to affect risk. And drinking unsweetened coffee or tea actually lowered the risk.

Nicholas Bakalar writes for the New York Times Well blog:

“We hear a lot about the bad health effects of these drinks,” said the senior author, Dr. Nita G. Forouhi of the University of Cambridge. “We usually give the bad news, but here we have some solutions for what good replacement drinks are: water and unsweetened tea and coffee.”

If you’re interested in learning more about sugar consumption and its impact on human health, you may wish to visit SugarScience, a website collaboratively managed by faculty and researchers from UC San Francisco, UC Davis and Emory University. SugarScience is a definitive source of evidence-based, scientific information about sugar and its impact on health.

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