Prevent diabetes by drinking water instead of sugary beverages

Drink lots of water for better health this summer and in the years to come.

The proposed ban on large-size servings of sugary beverages in New York City made national news last week. While controversial, it does bring up the importance of beverage choices.

Drinking plenty of water is especially important during the warmer summer months. Water is essential for our bodies because it is in every cell, tissue and organ in your body – that’s why getting enough water every day is important for your health.

Although beverages that are sweetened with sugars do provide water, they usually have more calories than unsweetened beverages. To help with weight control, you should consume beverages and foods that don’t have added sugars. Examples of beverages with added sugars are fruit drinks, some sports drinks and non-diet soft drinks and sodas.

Healthy people meet their fluid needs by drinking when thirsty and drinking fluids with meals. But, if you’re outside in hot weather for most of the day or doing vigorous physical activity, you’ll need to make an effort to drink more fluids.

Another reason to drink plenty of water is to prevent diabetes. A recent large research study showed the replacement of caloric beverages, such as sugar-sweetened beverages and fruit juices, with non-caloric beverages such as plain water has been recommended for diabetes prevention.

Now that you know how much difference a drink can make, here are some ways to make smart beverage choices, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Choose water, low-fat milk, diet, or low-calorie beverages instead of sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • For a quick, easy, and inexpensive thirst-quencher, carry a water bottle and refill it throughout the day.
  • Don’t "stock the fridge" with sugar-sweetened beverages. Instead, keep a jug or bottles of cold water in the fridge.
  • Serve water with meals.
  • Make water more exciting by adding slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or watermelon, or drink sparkling water.
  • Add a splash of 100 percent juice to plain sparkling water for a refreshing, low-calorie drink.
  • When you do opt for a sugar-sweetened beverage, go for the small size. Some companies are now selling 8-oz. cans and bottles of soda, which contain about 100 calories.
  • Be a role model for your friends and family by choosing healthy, low-calorie beverages.

Enjoy the warmer summer months in Michigan and choose plenty of healthier, low calorie drinks like plain old water every day.

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