Replacing Sugary Drinks With Water Is A Healthy Choice

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Replacing sugary drinks that are loaded with calories and substituting it with water can significantly reduce body weight and even improve overall health and quality of life.

Replacing sugary drinks due to high sugar content

This, after researchers from Virginia Tech said that replacing even just one of the sugar-loaded beverages can result to significant health benefits.

The study, recently published in the journal Nutrients suggests that by replacing an 8-ounce soda drink, sweetened coffee or energy drinks with an 8-ounce glass of water can significantly reduce risks of contracting diseases like diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases.

Kiyah Duffey, study author and a faculty member of human nutrition, foods and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, points out that there have been numerous studies that came out regarding the high incidence of overweight and obesity due to consumption of these sugar-sweetened drinks.

Water versus soda

“We found that among U.S. adults who consume one serving of sugar-sweetened beverages per day, replacing that drink with water lowered the percent of calories coming from drinks from 17 to 11 percent,” says Duffey. “Even those who consumed more sugary drinks per day could still benefit from water replacement, dropping the amount of calories coming from beverages to less than 25 percent of their daily caloric intake.”

Duffey, together with research co-author Jennifer Ponti – an assistant professor of nutrition from the University of California at Chapel Hill, referenced their baselines from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys covering the periods from 2007- 2012. The study references data from US adults 19 years old and above.

Based on the recent 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, recommends that water should be the primary beverage for regular consumption and not more than 10 percent of the daily calories may come from added sugar found commonly in processed beverages.

Improved health index

Duffey also revealed that the reduction in the daily intake of calories from sugar-sweetened drinks also shows a significant improvement in the individual scores based on the Healthy Beverage Index. This scoring system was developed as an evaluation tool to determine individual beverage consumption patterns in relation to health and diet based on the standards of the Beverage Guidance Panel and Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

This index was also incidentally designed by Duffey last year together with Virginia Tech nutrition researchers Brenda Davy, a professor of human nutrition, foods and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and an affiliate of the Fralin Life Sciences Institute.

The research data shows that high scores correlate to improved cholesterol levels, reduced blood pressure and decreases the risk of hypertension.

It has been reported that 1 in every 3 Americans drink sugar-sweetened beverages and that this is correlated with the increased incidence of ill-health conditions resulting from the immoderate consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.

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