SODAS, JUICE AND OTHER SUGAR-SWEETENED BEVERAGES IN IBD
A European study found that diets high in soft drinks and sugar and low in vegetables increase the risk of developing ulcerative colitis as an adult (Racine and others, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, 2016).
The problem is that Americans eat an incredible amount of sweets and drink more sugar than they realize. Just one 12 ounce can of soda contains 10 teaspoons or 29 grams of sugar. Think you can do better with fruit juice? Apple juice has the same amount of sugar as soda. Even worse, grape juice has 50% more sugar than both drinks. Notably, this is juice without added sugar.
Drinks like sodas, fruit juices, sports drinks, sweet teas, and lemonades are known as sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs). SSBs are considered any liquids that have sugar added, whether it's sucrose (table sugar), juice concentrates, or high fructose corn syrup. These drinks represent 12-13% of the daily calories adults and adolescents consume. That contributes to extra calories added to the diet little nutritional value.
Substitues for SSBs
- Add fruits (lemon, berries, grapefruit, etc.) and herbs (mint, basil, chamomile, etc.) to water
- Dilute fruit juices with water so the sugar is not as concentrated
- Try naturally flavored carbonated or sparkling water (La Croix, San Pellegrino, etc.)
- Drink unsweetened herbal or caffeinated teas
- Substitute for milk or milk alternatives
What about diet drinks?
Want to switch to diet drinks? That's not much better. The sugar substitutes can aggravate IBD symptoms which does not make it a good SSB substitute.
This article, as well as all others, was reviewed and edited by a member of our Medical Advisory Board.
Subscribe Be the first to know