Diabetes risk: Sodas worse for you than other sugary foods, study says

Consuming too many sodas can negatively affect your health. In fact, it may increase your risk of diabetes more than other sugary foods, according to a new report.

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Researchers from St. Michael's Hospital and Toronto University in Canada recently conducted a study, published in the British Medical Journal, to determine how different sugary foods affect blood glucose levels.

To do so, they examined 155 previous studies on the topic. The assessments evaluated people with and without diabetes for up to 12 weeks.

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After analyzing the results, they found most foods that naturally contain fructose sugars, like vegetables, fruits and natural fruit juice, do not affect blood glucose levels. However, foods with added glucose, such as soft drinks, breakfast cereals, baked goods and sweets, do have harmful effects.

The team said foods that add excess “nutrient poor” energy to the diet, especially sweetened drinks, may be particularly damaging.

"These findings might help guide recommendations on important food sources of fructose in the prevention and management of diabetes," lead author John Sievenpiper said in a statement. "But the level of evidence is low and more high quality studies are needed."

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The analysts did acknowledge some limitations, including small sample sizes, short follow-up periods and a limited variety of foods. However, they did note their research was in-depth and thorough.

The scientists now hope to continue their investigations and urge more health care providers “to be aware that harmful effects of fructose sugars on blood glucose seem to be mediated by energy and food source.”

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