4MV #203 Sugary drinks have 29% higher death rate for diabetics ✔ New Harvard study

published2 months ago
9 min read


All strength to Ukraine 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦

I hope you're able to stay cool.

In Australia, we've had little bad or unusual weather this winter, in contrast to the shocking heat waves in the northern hemisphere.

The long period of intense heat is life-threatening, especially for older adults. Until now I hadn't thought much about the fundamental cause. It turns out that it is all about controlling our core temperature.

Drinking more water has medically proven benefits for maintaining your core temperature in heat waves - see item #2.

If you are diabetic, drinking sugary drinks is not just unhealthy. It significantly increases your risk of premature death - see item #1.

⭑ Cutting out all drinks with artificial sugar is the best choice for diabetics ✔
⭑ The reason heat is more dangerous as we age, and what to do ✔
⭑ Protein supplements have become too expensive. Here's my alternative ✔
⭑ Progressive overload - the key to continue building more strength ✔


01 Ditching Sugary Drinks Tied to Reduced Diabetes Complications

Like tobacco, we know sugary drinks are bad for us but we keep drinking them. However, if you, like me, have diabetes or are pre-diabetic, or if you wish to reduce your risk of developing diabetes, it is crucial that you reduce your consumption of these drinks.

A recent Harvard study analysed health data from over 15,000 middle-aged and older adults with diabetes, spanning an average of 18.5 years, who provided information about their beverage consumption.

The study found that individuals who consumed sugary drinks, such as sugary soda, fruit punch, or lemonade, had much higher health risks compared to those who drank coffee, tea, low-fat milk, or water: up to 20% higher for early death, 25% higher for developing cardiovascular disease, and 29% higher for cardiovascular-related death.

⇒ However, replacing just one daily sugar-sweetened drink with a non-sugary alternative was associated with an 18% reduced risk of early death and a 24% reduced risk of cardiovascular-related death.

The study also revealed that even substituting artificially sweetened beverages, such as zero-sugar sodas, for sugary drinks was linked to an 8% lower risk of death from all causes and a 15% lower risk of cardiovascular-related death.

What this means for you: Choosing zero-sugar sodas as an alternative to sugary drinks is the best choice for diabetics or if you are prediabetic.

Of course, it is healthier for everyone to reduce their sugar consumption, especially highly processed sugar. Overconsumption of highly processed sugar is associated with an increased occurrence of metabolic diseases such as increased abdominal fat, elevated blood cholesterol, and triglycerides.

What does "highly processed sugar mean"? It means high-fructose corn syrup and all other added sugars, including those in industrially processed fruit juices. Juice processing removes or reduces fibre, causing the natural sugar to be absorbed more rapidly and leading to a quicker rise in blood sugar levels.

On the other hand, eating the whole fruit, no matter the sugar content, is usually fine.

⇒ Try to cut out all sugary drinks with added sugar. If that's too big a step, cut out some and try artificial sweetener in other. I can assure you that you don’t want to become diabetic if you can at all avoid it.

Related post: Measuring Your Waist Will Tell You If You Are On Your Way To Diabetes


02 It's True - As We Age, Heat Becomes More Dangerous

I hadn't really thought about this, but in this era of heat bombs, we have to be more conscious of our increased vulnerability as we age.

We become more vulnerable for two main sets of reasons: firstly, just the usual metabolic aging , and secondly, from medical conditions which are common as we age.

Three key metabolic conditions increase the risk of heat-related illnesses:

  • Reduced sweating: Our sweat glands become less active as we age. This means that we cannot cool ourselves down as effectively through sweating.
  • Poor circulation: We have poorer circulation. This means that our blood does not flow as easily through our bodies, making it more difficult to transport heat away from our core.
  • Higher core temperatures: Due to these two factors, older adults are more likely to experience heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke.

Two key age-related medical conditions make us more vulnerable to the heat:

  • Cardiovascular disease: People with cardiovascular disease have more difficulty regulating their body temperature. This is because their hearts are not as efficient at pumping blood, which can lead to heat buildup in the body.
  • Diabetes: People with diabetes are also more likely to experience heat-related illnesses. Diabetes can damage the nerves that control sweating, hence making it more difficult to cool down.

⇒ We have two primary ways of reducing our core temperature: sweating and improving blood flow to the skin. As we age, these mechanisms can become less effective.

What this means for you: Take the heat seriously. After all, it is a leading cause of weather-related deaths. And high core temperature is the primary driver for heat-related injury and death.

It sounds obvious that we should drink more water. But we often don't do it. Medical evidence supports the benefits of drinking more water:

  • Drinking more water in hot weather improves blood circulation. Dehydration thickens the blood, making it difficult to flow through veins. This can cause circulation issues like varicose veins, leg cramps, and headaches. Adequate water intake thins the blood and enhances circulation.
  • Not drinking enough water increases the risk of blood clots, according to a study in "Clinical Nutrition." Dehydrated individuals had reduced blood flow to their legs compared to those who were properly hydrated.

Don't be pig-headed and run your usual 5 km! Limit your outdoor activities, stay hydrated, and stay cool however possible.

Related: ​The Surprising Benefits of Black Tea Daily

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03 My Less Expensive Protein Shake Alternatives

I have two protein shakes daily to ensure that I get enough protein. I am wondering if I can afford it. You may have noticed that the price of protein powder has more than doubled recently.

Apparently, shipping prices are up 5X (and we don’t make any in Australia), and the price of the raw ingredients - Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) and Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) - have more than doubled over the last 12 months.

⇒ What used to cost me $39 is now priced at $69 - it's same stuff, just more expensive.

I've done the research and decided to swap out one of my shakes with a protein supplement and replace it with one with yoghurt, milk and eggs. My calculation shows that the cost per 10g of protein for each option is:

  • Protein Powder: Approximately $2.33
  • Combination of Eggs, Milk, and Yogurt: Approximately $0.76

What this means for you: There are healthy options if you use protein supplements and the price has risen too high. I am planning to have a shake with:

  • 200g of high-protein milk - 14g of protein
  • 200g of high-protein yoghurt - 14g of protein
  • 2 eggs - 12 of protein
  • TOTAL 40g of protein.

Plus, eggs are one of the few foods that naturally contain Vitamin D, and they also provide several other vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B12, Vitamin E, and iodine.

If you are concerned about calories, use low-fat milk and yoghurt. My shake is more than double the calories of one with a supplement powder, except I always add some yoghurt and an egg anyway.

I'll stick with this for a few months and let you know how I go.

Related: How Bananas Benefit Your Bones - And Brain


04 Progressive Overload: How It Builds More Than Strength

Our exercise of the week is...not an exercise, but how to exercise. In particular, how to introduce progressive overload into your exercise routine.

Progressive overload is a fundamental principle in strength training and muscle building. It operates on the premise of gradually increasing demands on the musculoskeletal system, thereby fostering continuous improvements in muscle strength and size.

When strength training, we're stressing our muscle tissue, causing micro-tears. This triggers our body's natural response to repair and rebuild it, resulting in bigger and stronger muscle tissue. We are also pulling and squeezing our tendons and potentially inducing repetitive strain. We call the positive response of our body to these stresses "adaptations".

Our adaptations to progressive overload do more than just build more strength. They build you a stronger overall body, including tendons and joints. This results in better posture and you looking good in the mirror.

Progressive overload is about using different variations of movement, load and timing under tension to continually challenge our body's response. If we don’t do this, our muscle memory develops to the point where the muscles are so good at a fixed routine that they plateau and do not develop further. This can also lead to inflammation and repetitive injury of our tendons and joints.

⇒ The concept of progressive overload extends beyond merely lifting heavier weights or increasing repetitions.

What this means for you: Progressive overload can be achieved through various methods, such as enhancing the range of motion in an exercise, reducing the rest time between sets, or even altering the speed of your repetitions. The objective is to continually challenge your body in a controlled and gradual manner, encouraging it to adapt and become stronger over time.

You could begin with a weight you can lift comfortably for your desired number of repetitions. As this becomes easier, gradually increase the weight or the number of repetitions. But there are many other ways:

  1. Increase Sets: Increase the number of sets you perform for a specific exercise.
  2. Increase Intensity: Make the exercise more challenging by increasing the intensity. This could mean moving faster, jumping higher, or pushing harder.
  3. Increase Frequency: Increase the number of times you perform your workout routine in a week.
  4. Increase Time Under Tension: Slow down the eccentric (lowering) part of the exercise. This increases the amount of time your muscles are under stress.
  5. Decrease Rest Time: Reduce the rest time between sets or exercises. This forces your muscles to work harder and recover faster.
  6. Increase Range of Motion: Perform the exercise with a greater range of motion. This could mean going lower in a squat or bringing your chest closer to the ground in a push-up.
  7. Alter Exercise Sequence: Change the order of your exercises. This can make your routine more challenging as different muscles may be fatigued earlier in the workout.

Mix it up, and get better results. Keep progressing by using progressive overload.

Related: This One Exercise Will Reshape Your Body And Your Brain, If You’re Game

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