Sugar and your heart

Sugar sweetened beverages and other added sugars have long been associated with weight gain and obesity but newer research is finding that too much sugar is not only bad for your waistline, it also may be bad for your heart.
Recommendations from the World Health Organization are to limit added sugars to less than 10 percent of total calorie intake per day, while recommendations from the American Heart Association are to limit added sugars to about 5 percent of total calorie intake per day. Most Americans consume much more added sugars than the above recommendations, with some studies finding an average of 20 percent of total calories coming from added sugars!
Most of these added sugars in the American diet come from sugar sweetened beverages such as soda, sweetened teas, energy drinks and fruit drinks. Recent findings report that just by drinking one soda per day, consumers have a 22 percent higher incidence of elevated triglycerides and lower levels of HDL (good) cholesterol when compared to non soda drinkers. Added sugars are have also been correlated with increased levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase of inflammatory markers in the body.
Reduction of added sugars, particularly from sugar sweetened beverages, is highly recommended for the general population. Not only will this promote overall health, it could decrease mortality risk from cardiovascular disease by 20 percent. So be mindful of the foods and beverages you are choosing on a regular basis. Go for foods and drinks that contain natural sugars (fruits and milk) more often instead of those found in sodas, baked goods, candy, etc.
If you are interested in learning more about nutrition counseling sessions with a registered dietitian at Noble Hospital, please call 413-568-2811 ex: 5671 for more information.

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