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Consuming Too Much Refined Sugars Could Cause Death from Heart Disease

Consuming Too Much Refined Sugars Could Cause Death From Heart DiseaseConsuming added or refined sugars in copious amounts on a daily basis could be fatal. Adding two teaspoons of sugar every time you consume a cup of coffee or tea or add spoonfuls to your milkshake during breakfast increases your chances of dying prematurely from heart disease. And it is not that only obese people were exposed to death risks resulting from consumption of high amounts of processed sugars.

Even people with normal weights who ordinarily consume 2000 calories every day were at high risk of jeopardizing their health if they drank too many cups of tea or coffee laced with sugars or consumed sweetened colas. A report on a groundbreaking study which appeared in an issue of the ‘JAMA Internal Medicine’ corroborated the above claim. The calories in the added sugars that a typical American consumes each constitute nothing less than 10% of his total calorific intake on a daily basis.

However, one out of every ten Americans takes added sugars whose calorie content makes up 25% of their total calorie consumption. The study which was spread over a 15-year period endeavored to establish a correlation between heart disease and intake rate of added sugars. The researchers came up with findings that were revealing and had substantial evidence to back up their claims.

The study found that participants who received one-fourth of their daily calorie requirement from added sugars were twice as vulnerable to die from a heart attack compared to those who took less than 10% sugar with their meals. Taken as a whole, an individual’s chances of dying from infarction (heart attack) went up concomitantly with a corresponding rise in added sugar intake. This assertion or finding was not affected by an individual’s sex, age, level of physical activity, and weight. A majority of Americans tend to obtain a substantial quantity of added sugar from energy drinks, sports drinks and sweetened colas and sodas which they consume heavily.

Of the total amount of refined sugars that all the Americans consume on a cumulative or collective basis, cold beverages sweetened with sugar represent over 33%. Breakfast cereals, cakes, ice-creams, cookies, biscuits, fruit juices and drinks, caramelized toffees, chocolates, frozen yogurts, and a host of other sweetened food items also accounted for intake of added sugar. Nutritionists, dieticians and health experts always suggest people consume a minimal quantity of added sugars and for good reasons.

Firstly, a high intake of processed sugars increases one’s weight abnormally leading to obesity and causes cavities in the teeth. Secondly, sugar supplies calories to your body that do not have any nutritional value. In other words, added sugars do not contain any mineral, fiber or vitamin. Taking a high amount of added sugar elbows out wholesome and healthy food items from your diet depriving your body of the essential nutrients it needs every day to keep you in the pink of health.

Was there a possibility that researchers involved in the trial may have erred at some stage while carrying out the study implying that added sugar wasn’t as harmful as it was made out to be? Chances of the scientists faltering were negligible as they took note of the ‘healthy eating index’ of the participants. The index was a measure or indicator of the conformity of their diets with nutritional guidelines outlined by the US federal authorities.

Dr. Teresa Fung of the Harvard School of Public Health opened ‘regardless of their ‘healthy eating index’ scores, people who ate more sugar still had higher cardiovascular mortality’. Nevertheless, the researchers have not been able to figure out in what way or ways could intake of excess added sugar could adversely affect the normal functioning of a heart. Dr. Fung advises you to include fresh fruits in your everyday diet without adding sugar if you wish to keep your heart in good health.

Picture Credit: Myriams-Fotos

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