I'm writing this post for a couple of reasons.
1. Share some new findings (Research Stuff) related to the dangers of too much sugar.
2. Offer some healthful suggestions (True Health Unlimited's Take) related to sugar intake.
If you like the research stuff, the begining of this post is for you. But, if you'd prefer the take home message without the research stuff, scroll down to True Health Unlimited's Take.
According to a new look at data from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, both men and women need to watch their swigging of sugar-sweetened drinks to reduce the risk of a heart attack.
Previously, women in the Nurses' Health Study who consumed more sugar-sweetened sodas and other drinks were found to be at greater risk of heart disease.
Now results from the Health Professionals study of 42,883 men similarly show that those consuming the most sugar-sweetened drinks (an average of 6.5 per week) were 20% more likely to suffer a first heart attack over 22 years than those skipping sugary drinks.
No increased risk was found for artificially sweetened diet sodas.
Each additional daily serving of sugar-sweetened beverages boosted heart-disease risk by 19%, similar to the 15% added risk found in the nurses study.
The association persisted even after adjustment for high cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure, suggesting that "sugar-sweetened beverages may impact on coronary heart disease risk above and beyond traditional risk factors."
True Health Unlimited's Take
There are two types of sugar to keep in mind. One is natural, the other is added. Natural sugars are found in fruits, vegetables, dairy products, coconuts and sweet potatoes. Added sugars include high fructose corn syrup, table sugar, sucrose, etc. According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), the average American consumes about 87 grams of added sugar per day. The recommendation, however, is for men to have no more than 37 grams per day and for women to have no more than 25 grams per day of added sugar.
So, check out the nutrition facts labels on the side of products you consume and take note of the sugar amounts. Men should aim for <37g/day and women <25 grams per day.
About the Author
Dave Barnas, M.S., CES, NASM-CPT is the owner of True Health Unlimited, LLC in Tolland, CT. He is the lead author of Real Food Therapy Guide, co-author of Y.E.S.-Your Eating Solution, and Fitness True Health Tips. He also co-creates a free "on Inspired Living" newsletter. For free & easy e-mail sign-up, see Free Newsletter on the bottom page of True Health Unlimited's website.