A sugar-laden diet may raise your risk of dying of heart disease even if you aren’t overweight. So says a major study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Over the course of the 15-year study, participants who took in 25% or more of their daily calories as sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those whose diets included less than 10% added sugar. Overall, the odds of dying from #heartdisease rose in tandem with the percentage of #sugar in the diet—and that was true regardless of a person’s age, sex, physical activity level, and body-mass index.
Sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas, #energydrinks, and #sportsdrinks are by far the biggest sources of added sugar in the average American’s diet. They account for more than one-third of the added sugar we consume as a nation. Other important sources include cookies, cakes, pastries, and similar treats; #fruitdrinks; #icecream, frozen #yogurt and the like; #candy; and ready-to-eat cereals.
Nutritionists frown on added sugar for two reasons. One is its well-known links to weight gain and cavities. The other is that sugar delivers “empty calories” — calories unaccompanied by fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Too much added sugar can crowd healthier foods from a person’s diet.
Could it be possible that sugar isn’t the true bad guy boosting heart disease risk, but that it’s the lack of heart-healthy foods like fruits and veggies? Apparently not. In this study, the researchers measured the participants’ Healthy Eating Index. This shows how well their diets match up to federal dietary guidelines. “Regardless of their Healthy Eating Index scores, people who ate more sugar still had higher cardiovascular mortality,” says Dr. Teresa Fung, adjunct professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Source: Harvard Health
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