Gadget: Ice Cream Spoon

Spoon made of aluminum with anodized coating

Shaped to scoop the ice cream in the bottom of the bowl

High Soda Intake May Boost Diabetes Risk, Even Without Obesity

Daily sugary drink tied to 13 percent increased risk over a decade, study finds.

Whether you are slim or obese, if you drink lots of sugary soda or other sweetened drinks you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, a new analysis reveals.

Until now, health experts have thought that sugary drinks and type 2 diabetes were linked because sugar promotes weight gain, and body fat contributes to insulin resistance, which precedes diabetes.

But this new study removed weight as a factor, and still found that every daily serving of sugar-sweetened beverages increases any person’s risk of type 2 diabetes by 13 percent over 10 years.

If this is correct, sugary drinks could lead to 2 million new cases of type 2 diabetes in the United States between 2010 and 2020, the researchers reported in the July 22 online edition of the BMJ.

Type 2 diabetes disrupts the way your body converts sugar from food into fuel, and it causes serious problems if left untreated. About 29 million Americans have diabetes, most of them type 2, the American Diabetes Association says. Many are undiagnosed.

A 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola contains 39 grams of sugar, the equivalent of 9.75 teaspoons of sugar.

That much refined sugar consumed at once causes a spike in blood sugar, which over time can increase insulin resistance even in people who are at normal weight, said lead author Fumiaki Imamura, a senior investigator with the MRC Epidemiology Unit at University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine in England.

“Our body is able to handle it, but cumulative effects over time exhaust the body’s functions and lead to the onset of diabetes,” said Imamura.

These conclusions are based on data from 17 previous observational studies, which researchers combined to create a pool of just over 38,200 people.

Because these weren’t clinical trials, the findings cannot be read as proving a direct link between sugary drinks and type 2 diabetes, the American Beverage Association noted in a statement.

“Even so, our industry is committed to being part of real solutions to public health challenges,” according to the beverage industry statement. “We are helping people manage their calorie and sugar intake by providing a wide range of beverage options, a variety of package sizes and clear, easy-to-read information to help them make the choice that’s right for them.”

Under a new initiative called Balance Calories, members of the American Beverage Association are working toward a common goal of reducing beverage calories in the American diet by 20 percent by 2025, according to the statement.

In the study, researchers found that a daily serving of sugary beverage increased type 2 diabetes risk by 18 percent over a decade, without taking weight into account.

However, after accounting for weight, type 2 diabetes risk associated with sugary drinks only dropped to 13 percent.

About one in five people with type 2 diabetes has a healthy weight, and these findings could help explain why, said Toby Smithson, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with Livongo Health in Chicago, a health technology company that focuses on management of chronic conditions.

“If you can picture an IV of sugar going into your system, that’s what we call a ‘concentrated sweet,’ and that’s what happens when you consume something loaded with sugar,” said Smithson, who also is a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “That concentration can spike blood glucose levels, regardless of your weight.”

Another theory holds that high levels of dietary sugar could affect the “healthy” microbial colonies in your gut, altering digestion in some way that increases risk of type 2 diabetes, said Dr. Steven Smith, an endocrinologist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

The new study also found an association between type 2 diabetes and artificially sweetened beverages or fruit juices. But the associations with diet sodas and fruit juices appeared to be based on shakier evidence, and because of that the study authors decided to avoid drawing any firm conclusions regarding those beverages.

Nonetheless, the researchers said they could not recommend diet drinks or fruit juices as healthier options than sugary sodas.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

My Food

Lunch: Seared Salmon with Couscous and Mango Salsa

Multi-layer Chocolate Cake


Butter, flour, and waxed paper, for coating the pans
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2¼ cups sugar
6 eggs
4½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted 3 times
1½ tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 cups milk
1½ tsp vanilla extract


3 cups sugar
1/2 cup high-quality cocoa powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes
One (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Pecan halves, for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Butter four 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with waxed paper, then butter the paper. Flour the pans.
  3. Using a mixer, cream the softened butter and sugar. When the mixture is light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure the mixture is well blended.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. To the butter and egg mixture, gradually add the flour mixture and milk, alternating between them. Continue to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once the flour and milk are incorporated, add the vanilla extract.
  5. Add 1 cup of batter to each prepared pan and bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until light brown. Remove the layers from the pans and cool on a wire rack, placing the paper side down. Wash the pans. Butter and flour the pans again for the next batch of cakes. Repeat the process until 12 layers are baked.
  6. When all the layers have cooled, make the icing. Combine the sugar, cocoa, butter and evaporated milk in a large saucepan. Bring to a rolling boll, then reduce heat and cool 2 minutes until the icing is thin but spreadable. (This icing becomes thicker as it cools.) Add the vanilla extract.
  7. Remove the waxed paper from each layer. Place one layer of cake on a wire rack and spread with icing. (For easier cleanup, assemble the cake over an edged sheet pan to collect runoff icing.) Add the next layer and ice it. Continue adding and icing layers, then pour remaining icing over the top. Icing that drips down can be used to cover the sides. Garnish with pecan halves, if desired.

Makes 20 servings.

Source: The Oprah Magazine

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