Swapping daily can of Coke for a coffee or tea lowers risk of early death by up to a quarter in diabetics, Harvard study finds
Swapping sugary sodas for tea and coffee could reduce the chances of death among type 2 diabetics by up to a quarter, research suggests.
Making a simple swap was linked to lower rates of early death from cardiovascular disease – such as heart attacks and strokes – and other causes.
Researchers analyzed data from 15,486 people with type 2 diabetes, including information on what drinks they typically consumed.
Swapping sugary drinks for tea and coffee could reduce the chances of death among type 2 diabetics by up to a quarter, research suggests
During an average of 18.5 years of follow-up, some 22 percent (3,447) suffered cardiovascular disease and almost half (7,638) died during this time.
Those who consumed the most sugary drinks were a fifth more likely to die early from any cause, according to the findings.
However, those drinking higher levels of coffee – up to six cups a day – had a 26 percent reduced risk of early death.
Those who preferred tea had a 21 percent lower risk, water, 23 percent and 12 percent for low-fat milk.
Compared with those who did not change their drinking habits after a diabetes diagnosis, those who drank more coffee, tea or water enjoyed around an 18 percent lower risk of dying early.
When it came to cardiovascular disease specifically, sugary drinks were linked to a 25 percent higher risk of developing the condition and a 29 percent higher risk of dying from it.
Coffee and low-fat milk were associated with a lower risk, according to the findings published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
The authors stressed their findings are observational rather than proving cause and effect.
But they concluded that replacing sugary drinks, artificially-sweetened drinks, fruit juice or full-fat milk with coffee, tea, or plain water ‘was consistently associated with lower all-cause mortality’.
Lead author Qi Sun, of Harvard University in the US, said: ‘People living with diabetes may especially benefit from drinking healthy beverages—but data has been sparse.
‘These findings help fill in that knowledge gap and may inform patients and their caregivers on diet and diabetes management.’
She added: ‘People living with diabetes should be picky about how they keep themselves hydrated ‘Switching from sugar-sweetened beverages to healthier beverages will bring health benefits.’
The findings come the day after it was revealed the soup and shake diet can permanently reverse diabetes if people keep the weight off.