Apart from impairing learning abilities in teenage kids, regular consumption of sugary drinks increases the risk of heart failure by up to 23%, shows a new study in the International Journal of Cardiology HEART.
The study investigated potential causes of heart failure by analysing data from over 42,000 people over a period of 12 years. The scientists found a clear link between the consumption of sugary drinks and heart disease.
Some drinks you might think are healthy but are not:
You probably think fruit juice would be healthy—it’s made from fruit, after all. Problem is, while fruit is rich in fiber, juice is not. So even if you opt for 100% fruit juice and avoid drinks with added sugar (like cranberry or grape cocktail), they’re still high in the sweet stuff. For instance, a cup of grape juice contains 36 grams of sugar and a cup of apple has 31 grams—not far off from what you’ll find in a can of lemon-lime soda, which racks up 44 grams.
Even though they usually don’t contain a ton of calories, an 8-ounce serving can run you more than 25 grams of sugar—and no, they aren’t healthy just because they’re fortified with B vitamins!
Sweetened iced tea
But syrupy-sweet iced teas contain a wallop of the white stuff, practically cancelling out the health benefits. One popular brand has over 30 grams of added sugar in one bottle.
Flavoured coconut water
Part of the reason coconut water is so hot right now is because it’s packed with electrolytes, like potassium; one 16-ounce container supplies more than 25% of the mineral you need in a day. Electrolytes are minerals that help keep the body’s fluid levels in balance so that the body is hydrated. However, read labels carefully, though. Flavoured versions, like pineapple or mango, can pack more than 30 grams of sugar per 16-ounce container. Some have less because they use calorie-free sweeteners.
Sweetened non-dairy milks
Non-dairy milks like almond milk, cashew milk, and soy milk say they’re better than cow’s milk, but choose the wrong one and you’ll end up with a sugar bomb for breakfast.
You’re probably sipping this as part of an alcoholic drink, not on its own. But if you’re doing it because you think a “gin and tonic” is healthier than a “rum and coke,” you’re out of luck. Twelve ounces of tonic water adds 124 calories and 32 grams of sugar to your glass (that’s 8 teaspoons). Compare that to a cola, which isn’t too far off at 182 calories and 44 grams of sugar per 12 ounces.
If you’re regularly drinking sugary drinks, try to break the habit. Try watered down fruit juice or water with a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange. These are much healthier substitutes.