We all know that refined sugar is best as a rare treat rather than a dietary staple. The staggering prevalence of obesity in the US — as high as one third the population in many areas — offers a regular reminder.
What’s less known is how sugar consumption affects heart disease — the leading cause of death in the U.S. — and a new report shows it doesn’t take much to double your risk.
In a February 2014 study published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers weighed heart-disease risk against sugar consumption. Folks who took in 17-21 percent of their total daily calories as sugar saw a whopping 38-percent rise in heart-disease risk. Worse still, those who consumed 21 percent or more saw their risk more than double.
To put that in perspective: 20 ounces of Mountain Dew soda has 77g of sugar, producing 290 calories. That’s nearly 15 percent of a standard 2,000-calorie daily diet, just by itself. Just a few more grams of sugar from any source easily gets you into the increased-risk category. That’s a big deal.
Are sugar-free sodas the answer? Unfortunately, no, as artificial sweeteners carry their own risks and even natural sweeteners can induce insulin resistance. There’s basically no good way to trick the body — sweet is sweet, and the taste alone has metabolic consequences.
The good news is that information lets you take control of your long-term health. It’s all about choices. Some folks find it easy to reframe their taste for sweet, while many have more complicated relationships with sugar and benefit from external support. If you’d like coaching and targeted suggestions and supplements to ease your transition, book your appointment here.