Sugar May Increase Risk of Heart Disease
It’s February again—the American Heart Association’s time to bring awareness to heart health. National Heart Month is important because currently heart disease is one of the leading causes of death across the nation. We want to provide the best and most helpful information we can so you can keep yourself and your family healthy and happy.
Now for the not-so-sweet news: new research suggests that a diet rich in added sugars contributes to your risk factor for developing heart disease. Natural sugars, such as those found in fruits and veggies, do not qualify as added sugars. Candies, sodas, and other sweet treats are loaded with refined sugars (sometimes in the form of high fructose corn syrup).
We have a lengthy health-oriented history of sugar’s unhealthy qualities, but this is the first time that added sugar has been linked directly to heart disease. Diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and a score of other diseases have been linked to the sweetener in the past.
What can you do to steer your family’s diet away from unnecessary sugar? Try substitutes when baking and cooking: honey, agave nectar, and stevia are among sucrose options that are healthier than traditional added sugars.
The American Heart Association recommends that women only ingest 100 calories of added sugar a day. For men, the AHA recommends 150 calories only. Splurging aside (who can resist birthday cake?), the 100 calorie benchmark severely limits how much sugar anyone should consume daily. On your next grocery visit, take the time to check labels for how much sugar is in each product you usually buy. Chances are you’ll be surprised at what you find.
What tricks do you have for avoiding sugar? Let us know in the comments!