FOOD, FACTS and FADS

Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

How Bad is Sugar For our Health?

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If it were up to the soda industry, sugar intake can be a part of a healthy diet and poses no direct effects on our health.  Studies are beginning to accumulate that show a different story. Here is a sampling. You be the judge.

CORONARY HEART DISEASE

When 42, 883 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study were analyzed, it was reported that those drinking the most sugar-sweetened sodas (top quartile) had a 20% higher relative risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) than those drinking the least (bottom quartile). Diet sodas were not significantly associated with CHD.

Intake of sugar-sweetened but not artificially sweetened beverages was significantly associated with increased adverse changes in some lipids (triglycerides and HLD), inflammatory factors, and leptin. Leptin is a protein produced by fatty tissue and believed to regulate fat storage in the body.

In another study, young healthy adults were given 0, 10, 17.5, or 25% high fructose corn syrup in sweetened beverages. In two weeks, the results produced increases in blood lipid/lipoprotein risk factors (LDL and triglycerides) for coronary heart disease and uric acid.

NONALCOHOLIC LIVER DISEASE OR NONALCOHOLIC STEATOHEPATITIS (NASH)

One liter of a sweetened drink for six months given to 47 overweight people in a Danish study resulted in an accumulation of more fat in their livers. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease can lead to metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cirrhosis of the liver.

NASH occurs in people who drink little or no alcohol and affects 2 to 5 percent of Americans, especially people who are middle-aged and overweight or obese. It is increasing in children and adolescents, however.

People who have NASH may feel well and may not know that they have a liver disease.

People who have NASH should reduce their weight, control their sugar intake, engage in physical activity, and avoid alcohol.

Here is an interesting study on added sugar in our foods.  It is a small study and might be classified as a pilot study.  It also had only 43 participants, was of short duration (10 days) and did not use a control group.  Nevertheless, the results are intriguing and certainly more studies should corroborate its findings.

CLICK HERE.

FYI: If you want this information and more from the author about the effects of processed food, CLICK HERE.  It is a  video that runs about 13 minutes.

 

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