Heart DiseaseHuman InterestInfectious DiseasesPreventive MedicineWellness


Recently, I reported information that certain amounts of sugar in our diet were tied directly to increased risk of a bad outcome in several metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and in some cancers. If you drink or eat more than 25 gm of sugar per day or have 12oz or more of a sugar-sweetened beverage once a week, you are increasing your chances of getting numerous diseases plus the outcomes of these diseases will be worse. Obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gout, tooth decay, and some cancers have outcomes worsened by excess intake of sugar.

Now to add to that comes the report that for adults with Type II diabetes, “consuming more than one serving of a sugar-sweetened drink per day was linked to a 20% increase in all-cause mortality as well as an increase in cardiovascular disease events and death compared to drinking less than 1 serving per month….Tea, coffee, water, and low-fat milk were associated with lower mortality…..Replacing sugar-or artificially sweetened beverages, fruit juice, or full-fat milk with tea, coffee, or water was tied to lower all-cause mortality.”

The natural history of diabetes, and diabetics, is that any illness, any symptom, or any expression of the disease is worse than the same illness, symptom, or expression in a non-diabetic patient. Diabetics get sicker and stay sick longer than non-diabetics. Diabetes is a multi-system disease in which vascular inflammation is a widespread characteristic and elevated blood sugar, insulin antibodies, and the inability to use dietary sugar for energy are major metabolic defects.

Researchers have recently learned that diabetics who get “moderate to vigorous physical activity in the afternoon had the greatest reduction in blood sugar levels.” They discovered this by evaluating for one year the physical activity and exercise habits of thousands of patients and then comparing their blood sugar levels and degree of blood sugar control. Why afternoon and not morning was not explained, but it was definite that blood sugar levels were better maintained for longer and more consistently. 

The study’s conclusion: “The choice of beverage clearly matters,” and blood sugar control is enhanced by physical activity in the afternoon.

Reference: Medical News in Brief: Swapping out Sugary Drinks Associated with Lower Mortality. JAMA 2023 May 23/30;329(20):1731.

AAFP FamilyMedicine Today. “People with Type II Diabetes Should Exercise in the Afternoon to Manage Blood Sugar, Study Suggests” 2023 May 30.

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