A Serious Threat to the Heart
A sugar-laden diet increases your risk of dying from heart disease, regardless of your weight.
In a study published by JAMA Internal Medicine, scientists found that participants whose diets included 25% or more added sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those who took in less than 10% added sugar.
The higher the percentage of refined sugar in the diet, the higher the odds of death by heart disease. And this is true irrespective of weight, age, sex, and physical fitness.
The researchers also found that no matter how healthy the participants’ diets are, and how well they comply with the federal dietary guidelines, those who consumed more refined sugar still face a higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
How excess sugar intake harms the heart isn’t well established. One finding reveals that consuming sugary drinks can raise blood pressure, while a sugar-rich diet may stimulate the liver to throw more bad fats into the bloodstream. High blood pressure and fats in the bloodstream are both known to jack up the risk of heart disease.
“A Weapon of Mass Destruction” on the Liver
What do alcohol and sugar have in common? They’re both bad for your liver. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is on the rise, and sugar is mostly to blame. Specifically, sugar in the form of high-fructose corn syrup found in drinks and processed foods.
According to findings, people who consume at least one drink that contains added sugars is more likely to develop to NAFLD than those who avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.
NAFLD affects about 17% to 33% of Americans, a rising problem that rivals the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance.
The take-away? Steering clear of added sugar consumption lowers the odds of having NAFLD.
Higher Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
For every 150 calories of sugar a person takes in a day, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases by 1.1%. The heightened risk is true regardless of the types of food that people eat, physical activity, and alcohol use.
Risk of type 2 diabetes increases especially when people are consuming high levels of animal fat, while also consuming refined sugar. The effect that fat has on our cells prevents insulin from reaching those cells, and instead, raises blood sugar levels.
Link to Tumour Growth and Cancer
Even with an absence of a cause-and-effect relationship, several studies have identified a link between sugar and some cancers.
Added sugars heighten the risk of esophageal cancer
Added fructose, specifically high-fructose corn syrup contribute to the risk of cancer in the small intestine
High intake of added sugars increases the risk of colon cancer (adjusted for factors like obesity and diabetes)
Refined sugar can contribute to the development of breast cancer tumours and metastasis to the lungs.
To manage your sugar intake, experts recommend the following:
Consume refined carbs, like cereals, bagels, waffles, etc.
Binge on sweets like cookies, cakes, pies, and anything else that combines high sugar with high fat – this wreaks havoc on our blood sugar levels.
Swap corn syrup with artificial sweeteners like sucralose and aspartame.
Drink water, and nothing else.
Eat healthy fats, such as omega-3, which can be found in chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseed, virgin olive oil, raw nuts, etc.
Introduce fermented foods to your diet, such as kimchi, kombucha, and fermented vegetables. The bacteria found in these foods can support digestion and detoxification, helping lessen the fructose burden on your liver.