Sugar Increases Your Risk of Dying From Heart Disease

sugarIt’s common sense that consuming mass quantities of sugar is not part of a healthy diet. But come on, how bad can that pound of M&Ms really be for your heart health? According to a new study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine, pretty bad.

All those sodas, cookies, and candy bars add up. According to the report, MOST adults get at least 10% of their calories from added sugar and 10% of adults get 25% of their daily calories from added sugar!sugar trends

The graph at the right puts this into perspective. If you look at just the past 100 years, we have doubled our yearly sugar consumption.   That means the average American consumes the equivalent of five sugary sodas per day!

If It Tastes So Good, Why Is It So Bad?

We are eating a lot of sugar, but why is that so bad? Let’s get the obvious out of the way- you may become an obese diabetic with cancer and rotting teeth. As if that is not bad enough, did you know that you are also doing damage to your heart?

So How Bad Is Sugar For Your Heart?

The JAMA research found that a person drinking just one soda every day is almost twice as likely to die from Cardiovascular Disease. Outside of the unhealthy dietary consequences of sugar, what is the direct effect on the heart? A study by the American Heart Association found that sugar negatively affects the pumping mechanism of your heart. In other words, heart failure.

Why are we so addicted to sugar?

Remember the crack epidemic during the 1980’s? Studies have shown that sugar can induce cravings similar to those of addictive drugs such as cocaine. In fact, the addictive characteristics of sugar appear to be stronger than those of cocaine. This explains why I steal my kids Halloween candy every night after they go to bed. It’s not my fault, I’m an addict!

How can you kick your sugar habit?

The same way you got off the crack! Just kidding (kind of). Breaking your sugar addiction is similar to breaking other substance addictions – you need to acknowledge the problem and get help!

Dr. Mark Hyman, a well known physician, author, and Functional Medicine proponent, recently laid out a 10-step sugar detox program. Check out the full details on his site, but the basics are:

  • Make a decision to quit
  • Quit
  • Don’t drink sugary calories
  • Eat more protein
  • Eat the right carbs
  • Eat the right fats
  • Carry healthy snacks
  • Reduce stress
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Get enough sleep

In other words, be a HeatGeek!

References

Corliss, Judy. “Eating Too Much Added Sugar Increases the Risk of Dying with Heart Disease.” Harvard Health Blog RSS. N.p., 6 Feb. 2014. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.

L.D., Kristin Kirkpatrick M.S. R.D. “10 Things You Don’t Know About Sugar (And What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You).” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 30 July 2013. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.

Fries, Wendy C. “Curb Sugar & Carb Cravings: 13 Tips to Control Your Sweet Tooth.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.

Hyman, Mark. “Top 10 Big Ideas: How to Detox from Sugar – Dr. Mark Hyman.” Dr Mark Hyman. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.

Photo credit: Lauri Andler(Phantom) / Foter / CC BY-SA

Comments

  1. Thank you for some other informative site. Where else may
    just I get that kind of information written in such an ideal approach?
    I’ve a venture that I’m simply now working on, and I have been on the glance out for
    such info.

    • You could start with the American Heart Association (heart.org). There are also other good blogs out there: myheartsisters.org or rehabilitateyourheart.wordpress.com

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