High sugar diet increases risk of premature death from heart disease

-by Dena Schmidt

Even if you’re otherwise healthy, consuming too much sugar can dramatically increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death. Researchers from the University of Surrey conducted a groundbreaking study on this subject, and the results should make everyone with a sweet tooth think twice about their dessert and snack choices.

For the study, two groups of men were assessed; one showed signs of high liver fat (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD), the other did not. Members of each group were given either a low or high sugar diet to consume during the study period. The goal was to assess if a fatty liver influenced how sugar impacts cardiovascular health.

Even healthy people risk heart disease when eating too much sugar

For those consuming the low sugar diet, 140 calories or less of sugar per day was consumed; this amount is near the recommended daily maximum for sugar intake and a heart healthy diet. By contrast, the high sugar diet group ate 650 calories worth of sugar per day.

After 12 weeks, the men with a high level of liver fat indicating NAFLD – who ate the high sugar diet – showed changes to fat metabolism associated with an elevated risk of heart attacks, strokes and general cardiovascular disease.  However, even those in good health and with low liver fat showed problems with fat metabolism just as the NAFLD group did. Their levels of liver fat also increased.

These findings are new evidence that links sugar consumption with an altered fat metabolism that can in turn increase risk of cardiovascular disease. While many adults don’t tend to consume very high levels of sugar (daily), many children and teenagers do.

Sugar can “hide” in large amounts in fizzy soft drinks, fruit juices and energy drinks as well as cereals and other foods purporting to be ‘healthy.’ For those interested, this study was published in the Clinical Science journal.

Sugary food alternatives like fruits, vegetables and lentils are part of a heart healthy diet

Fruits and vegetables are an excellent alternative to sugary foods and enhance a heart healthy diet. Keep in mind, when we say “sugary” – we are referring to the highly-processed form of sugar that causes the most harm to human health.

A recent study called the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study published in the journal Lancet determined that eating just four to five servings of a combination of fruits, vegetables and lentils per day reduced the risk of heart disease and early death significantly.

For the research, 135,335 participants age 35 to 70 from 18 countries across the world were assessed over 10 years. At the start, none had heart disease. Researchers found that those who fared the best in terms of avoiding cardiovascular disease and premature death were those who ate an average of four to five servings of fruits, vegetables and lentils daily.

In addition to having a 22 percent lower risk of early death from cardiovascular disease, they also were less likely to have a stroke or get cancer.

Bottom line: never underestimate the negative effects of eating too much sugar and start making better decisions – as soon as possible – about your eating habits, to protect your health today.

Sources for this article include:

ScienceDaily.com

Harvard.edu

News-Medical.net

NaturalHealth365


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