via www.blackdoctor.org – Think you’re losing weight just by eating right? Think again!
If you’re at risk of obesity because of your genes, you may also be more at risk for weight gain from sugary drinks, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
In people with a high genetic risk for obesity, getting a lot of sugar from sugar-sweetened drinks may amplify the genetic effects on obesity.
The study and two others looked at the effects on weight gain of sugary drinks — including sodas, fruit punches, lemonades, or other fruit drinks. The new research should inspire people to give up sugary drinks or consider them an occasional treat. It gives very clear evidence that drinking sweetened beverages even in modest amounts clearly results in increased weight and excess weight.
In a statement, the American Beverage Association countered: “We know, and science supports, that obesity is not uniquely caused by any single food or beverage.”
Now, that may be true. One of anything usually isn’t bad, but its the continued and repeated behavior that gets us into trouble.
To get specific, here are some drinks to avoid if you’re truly trying to lose weight:
1. Latte’s and Milkshakes
Rich in caffeine and a variety of health-promoting antioxidants, coffee-based drinks can be a kind of healthy for you. But once you start ordering your latte with all of the extras in it, it is just as bad (if not worse) than drinking a full-blown milkshake.
If sweetened with added syrup or sugar or flavorings, coffee-based drinks like frappés, caffe lattes, or frozen mochas can contain just as much sugar as soda.
Like soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks, high-sugar coffee drinks can contribute to weight gain and may harm your health. For example, drinking even one of these beverages every day consistently can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
2. Fruit Juice
Although fruit juice is often seen as a healthy drink, most commercial brands contain just as much sugar as soda. Juice also lacks the fiber and other nutrients you’d get by eating whole fruits.
Drinking excessive amounts of fruit juice has been linked to an increased risk of obesity, especially in children.
As such, you should instead aim to quench your thirst with water. You can still enjoy the juicy, sweet flavor of fruit by enjoying them whole. This way, you also reap the benefits of their fiber and other nutrients.
3. Mixed/Blended Alcoholic Drinks (especially Long Island Iced Teas and Pina Coladas)
not thank you after a few of those cocktails.
A pina colada, with its sugar-filled mixer and artificial flavoring, will cost you a minimum of 300 calories (but could cost you up to 600 calories) and more than 30 grams of sugar, Fitness Magazine reported.
Although they may taste good, milkshakes will have you taking in an extra 500 to 1,000 calories more than you burn daily. That results in a 1- to 2-pound gain per week. Milkshakes are an easy and tasty way to add fat around your waistline, so be careful. Restaurant and fast-food versions are usually full of processed sugar and unhealthy fats that can still cause health problems in the underweight.
5. Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are another beverage that seems like a healthy option. However, they’re also something that you may want to leave on the store shelf if you’re not an athlete or are not taking on serious physical activity.
Sports drinks were originally designed to serve a specific purpose of replenishing electrolytes lost in sweat before, during, and after athletic activity. But now, sports drinks and the activities surrounding them have changed.
Just consider the fact that a 12-ounce serving of cola has around 39 grams of sugar, while a sports drink usually includes no less than 21 grams, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. That added sugar may contribute to calories, and an imbalance of electrolytes can add up to water weight. Some sports drinks contain caffeine, which can either boost metabolism and contribute to weight loss, or disrupt sleep and slow down metabolism, leading to weight gain.
Beverage Industry Perspective
Americans are drinking fewer sugary drinks, according to the American Beverage Association. In its statement, it says that calorie intake from sugary drinks declined by more than 20% between 2001 and 2010.
“By every measure, sugar-sweetened beverages play a small and declining role in the American diet,” it says.
The industry group took exception with the new findings. Among the many criticisms:
- The study in children, it says, did not consider physical activity and total calories.
- The genetic study looked only at the 32 known genes linked with weight, but these account for only a small amount of BMI variation, according to the American Beverage Association.
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