A new study shows that too much sugar dramatically increases heart disease risk factors.
It’s hardly earth shattering to learn that too much sugar can make people sick. However, a new study by researchers at Emory University and the CDC is described as the first of its kind to examine the link between the consumption of added sugars and lipid measures, such as HDL-C, triglycerides and LDL-C.
Co-author Dr. Miriam Vos, who is assistant professor of pediatrics at Emory School of Medicine, told the press that:
“Just like eating a high-fat diet can increase your levels of triglycerides and high cholesterol, eating sugar can also affect those same lipids.”
For the study, Vos and colleagues looked for links between added sugar consumption, blood fat levels and cardiovascular risk factors in data on 6,113 adults who took part in the 1999 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
They did not look at natural sugars found in fruit and fruit juices, only added sugars and caloric sweeteners.
Highlights from the study showed:
• People who received at least 25 percent of their daily calories from any type of sweetener had more than triple the normal risk of having low HDL levels than those who consumed less than five percent of their calories from sweeteners.
• Beyond that, those whose sugar intake made up 17.5 percent or more of daily calories were 20 to 30 percent more likely to have high triglycerides.
• The links between sweets and blood fats were independent of the fat and cholesterol provided in high-fat foods and other risk factors for heart disease.
Overall, they concluded that Americans consume an average of 21.4 teaspoons of added sugars daily – about 16 percent of total calories.
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