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Will drinking more water counteract the high sodium in some foods?
I attended a health seminar where you mentioned how important it is to reduce the sodium and not have more than the daily recommended value. You gave a few examples of the amount of sodium in some fast food and chain restaurant meals and how the daily maximum could quickly be reached. If I do have these items will drinking extra water counteract the increase in sodium?

Diet Soda: Same as Water?
My brother thinks that drinking Fresca is the same as drinking water. He is diabetic and takes pills to control his numbers. He is about 30 or more pounds overweight and he drinks about 6 cans of Fresca each day. I told him he could drop at least 15 pounds if he didn't drink so much Fresca.

Are calorie-free water flavorings okay to add to my daily water intake?
There has been a lot of discussion about the flavors you can add to your water for variation. For example: the generic brand of Crystal Light. It only has taste value... nothing nutritional. It does contain aspartame. It is okay to drink this a few times a day with my daily 64 or more ounces of water?


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Sugared soda drinkers more likely to develop type 2 diabetes

A glass of cola with ice

A Finnish study reported in the Journal of Nutrition (2007;137(6):1447-1454) shows a link between sugared soft drink consumption and the development of type 2 diabetes.

Over 4,300 men and women aged 40 to 69 participated in the study, which began in 1966. None of the participants had diabetes at the beginning of the study. Information about their health was collected, including Body Mass Index, smoking status, and their level of exercise, and responded to a detailed questionnaire about their regular diet for the past year. Twelve years later, the researchers were able to identify those participants who developed diabetes through the Finnish national health service.

They found that when they compared the group who drank the most sugared soda per day with the group who drank the least, the relative risk of developing type 2 diabetes was increased by 66%! Since the scientists broke down their results by type of sugar consumed, they could see that fructose and glucose combined had the highest risk of type 2 diabetes. "High fructose corn syrup" is often the second largest ingredient, after water, in sugared sodas.

What this means for you

Sugared sodas like Coca-Cola® and Pepsi® contain about 100 calories per 8 ounces. (Remember that a can of soda is 12 ounces and bottles are 20 ounces!) For some of my patients, simply dropping their three-to-six cans per day sugared soda habit can mean the difference between being overweight and normal weight. Switch to diet soda, or better yet: water.

First posted: May 23, 2007