What you drink can affect you in many ways.
High fructose corn syrup, which commonly is added to both food and beverages, favors fat metabolism even more that regular glucose.
When we ingest fructose we get less feedback on when we are full, because fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or affect leptin production, both of which are key factors in the regulation of food intake. Fructose may for that reason result in over consumption of calories and lead to weight gain (Bray GA, et al. 2004). By drinking sweet beverages, it is extremely easy to consume more calories than we need. A large container of a sweet beverage may even amount to as many calories as in a whole meal.
Sugar sweetened beverages are also a risk factor for type 2 diabetes (Palmer JR, et al, 2008). This was documented in a study including 43,960 women. These types of beverages are often marketed as healthy juices and natural fruit drinks, with the intention of making the product sound healthy to the consumer.
A recent study showed that when fructose was consumed, the lipogenisis which is the conversion of sugar to fat was twice as great as when it was absent, leading to increased triglyceride levels (Parks E.J. et al, 2008)
I have for a long time observed that when patients change their eating habits from eating high glycemic index meals (which means foods that elevate the blood sugar high), to low glycemic index meals (which are foods which rather stabilize the blood sugar at a good level instead of elevating it really high), both triglycerides total cholesterol, and LDL, the bad cholesterol all go down substantially. The good cholesterol HDL, however, usually goes up.
According to the research referenced here, you need to pay close attention to what you drink because beverages can be a big source of sugar elevating your blood sugar and lead to all the negative effects from that. Not only can it make you gain weight, but it is also a risk factor for diabetes, because it can contribute to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance which is caused by high glycemic index food and drinks (sweets), weight gain, and lack of exercise can lead to diabetes and can put you at risk for many chronic diseases. It affects your eyes, heart, and brain, as well as other tissue, because it affects the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body which again is a risk factor for these types of conditions.
- Bray GA, Nielsen SJ, et al. Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Apr;79(4):537-43.
- Palmer JR, Boggs DA, et al.Sugar-sweetened beverages and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus in African American women.Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jul 28; 168(14): 1487-92.
- Parks EJ, Skokan LE, et al.Dietary sugars stimulate fatty acid synthesis in adults.J Nutr. 2008 Jun; 138 (6):1039-46