So, we all know that sugar is pure, refined evil, right? With links to so many detrimental health conditions – including type 2 diabetes, obesity and certain cancers – we maintain that one of the absolute healthiest things you can do is to quit refined sugar today.
Despite all of the information out there, some people still think that just a can of soda or sweet iced tea a day won’t do much harm. Well, it turns out, unfortunately, that it very well may.
A study published in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association, found that men who drank just one 12-ounce soda or sugar-sweetened beverage each day had a 20 percent higher risk of heart disease than men that did not drink beverages sweetened with sugar.
To arrive at these results, the research team studied just under 43,000 men between the ages of 40 and 75 over a period of 22 years. All of the men were employed in the healthcare field. Every two years, participants answered questions about their diet and lifestyle habits, and also provided the researchers with a blood sample halfway through the study.
After controlling for factors including physical activity levels, alcohol use, and smoking, the researchers found that not only did the heart attack risk of the men who drank a sugary beverage each day rise, so did their blood triglyceride levels, and certain markers of inflammation. Their levels of HDL “good” cholesterol were lower than that of the non sugary beverage-drinking men.
According to study leader, Frank B. Hu, “this study adds to the growing evidence that sugary beverages are detrimental to cardiovascular health. Certainly, it provides strong justification for reducing sugary beverage consumption among patients, and more importantly, in the general population.”
While this study was performed on men, sugar can be harmful to anyone, especially in the excess doses we often guzzle it down in. In order to protect your heart, do yourself one huge favor now – quit the sugar.
Working on quitting sugar, but missing the soda? We’ve got you covered – check out our healthy soda recipes! No sugar, no additives, no increased heart disease risk… and you can whip them up from fresh ingredients at home – yum!
-The Alternative Daily