If you drink a lot of soda, you might be able to counteract the negative effects on your body by stepping up your activity levels — a lot. Two new studies have found walking at least 12,000 steps a day effectively wipes out all of the negative changes brought about by the extra sweetening agent — fructose — in sodas.
When the young people move more, their cholesterol and blood sugar levels remain normal, even though they were consuming plenty of fructose — usually in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, The New York Times
People who consume lots of fructose risk developing a variety of health problems, research shows. But the risk drops substantially if those people get up and move around, even if they don’t formally exercise, the two new studies found.
For one of the studies, Amy Bidwell, a researcher formerly with Syracuse University, tracked 22 healthy, college-aged men and women who agreed to drink soda in the pursuit of science. Their results, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, found that after two weeks of fructose loading and relative inactivity, the volunteers had notable negative shifts in their cholesterol and health profiles.
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The second study, published in The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, tracked blood-sugar levels in response to fructose and activity, and found equally striking changes among the young people when they didn’t move much over a two-week period. In fact, fructose left them with signs of insulin resistance, which is typically the first step toward Type 2 diabetes.
But in both studies, walking at least 12,000 steps a day effectively wiped out all of the negatives tied to the extra fructose.
“I don’t want people to consider these results as a license to eat badly,” said Bidwell, now an assistant professor of exercise science at the State University of New York in Oswego. But the data suggests that “if you are going to regularly consume fructose, be sure to get up and move around.”