Added Sugar May be Sweet for Your Taste Buds, but it Isn’t Kind to Your Heart
Nutritionists recommend limiting the amount of added sugar in your diet. This is for its known links to cavities, weight gain, and diabetes, as well as the accompanying harmful effects of such conditions. Cardiologists now advise their patients to limit added-sugar due to its detrimental effect on cardiovascular health in general.
Increased Risk of Heart and Cardiovascular Disease
According to a study published in JAMA: Internal Medicine in January of 2014, excess sugar in the diet can greatly increase the risks of forming cardiovascular diseases, such as a heart attack. The research added to the increasing proof that sugar has a negative impact on cardiovascular health.
- Those who had 17-21 percent of their calories from added sugar increased their risk of cardiovascular disease to 38 percent in contrast to people who had 8 percent of their calorie intake from added sugar.
- Those who had over 21 percent of their daily calories from added sugar were at more than double the risk.
How does sugar harm the heart? Scientists and researchers are still unsure of the exact science, but there a few theories. Early research points to sugar as the reason behind increased blood pressure as well as the increase of fats in the bloodstream, both of which are known to increase the risk of heart disease.
No matter the reasons for the heightened risk, it still remains that added sugar should be reduced from your diet. This should allow you to then enjoy improved heart health.
Added Sugar in Foods
What is added sugar? It is the sugars and syrups added to food and drinks as they are prepared, processed and packaged. It includes the sugar found in:
- Sugar-sweetened beverages
- Processed fruit drinks
- Grain and dairy-based deserts
- Bread with yeast
- Ready-to-eat cereals
Many of the products found in supermarkets, restaurants, and cafes have added sugar. It is always a good idea to read the labels, as they will tell you the amount of added sugar in the product.
Recommended Maximum Intake
According to the same study, American adults consume around 22 teaspoons of added sugar daily. This amount is far greater than what is advised by the American Heart Association:
- For women: No more than 6 teaspoons or 100 calories daily.
- For men: No more than 9 teaspoons or 150 calories daily.
To give you a better idea, a regular can of soda has 35 grams of added sugar, which is equal to 140 calories or 8.75 teaspoons.
Suggested Steps to Cut It Out
Cutting out added sugar in your diet will be challenging, especially given how addictive sugar is. Fortunately, a few simple tricks can assist in the job of cutting it out. Thus, this lowers your risk for cardiovascular disease:
- Reduce your consumption of sweetened drinks like soda one can at a time.
- Substitute sweetened desserts such as cake and cookies, with healthier alternatives like fruits.
- Curb your soda habit by adding fruit juice to carbonated water instead.
The Ketogenic Diet
If you want to take things to the next level, and would like to remove all sugars and carbs from your life, then the ketogenic diet is for you. It consists of high amounts of fat and protein, with a high restriction on carbs.
The sooner you cut added sugar, the sooner you will be rewarded with a healthier heart.
For further information, you can call us at 888-719-8448 or visit one of our many Healthpointe locations, such as Los Angeles, and we would be happy to help you.
If you find yourself experiencing any symptoms of heart disease, please call 911 or visit your nearest emergency facility immediately.