Sugar & Heart Disease

According to study out of the journal “Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, research scientist and James J.. DiNicolantonio, PharmD, and James H. O’Keefe, MD, examined the question of whether that focus may be misplaced and ask does sugar have a greater impact on coronary heart disease than saturated fat?”

Additionally, “Consuming a diet high in sugar for just a few weeks has been shown to cause numerous abnormalities found in patients with CHD, such as high total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, oxidized LDL, uric acid, insulin resistance and abnormal glucose tolerance, low HDL, and altered platelet function. The overall effect of consuming a diet high in sugar on these numerous health markers is likely more detrimental to overall health compared to increased consumption of saturated fat, which can increase LDL but at the same time raise HDL.”

The article goes on, “Added fructose — generally in the form of sucrose (table sugar) or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in processed foods and beverages seems especially potent for producing harm. Consuming these sugars can lead to resistance in leptin, which is a key hormone in the maintenance of normal body weight. The overconsumption of added fructose undoubtedly increases the risk for obesity, which is also a risk factor for CHD.

Also, “Excess fructose also markedly increases the risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) — the most common liver disease in the US and a strong independent risk factor for CHD. The association between NAFLD and CHD is stronger than the link between CHD and smoking, hypertension, diabetes, male gender, high cholesterol or metabolic syndrome.”

Interestingly enough, “Sugars occurring naturally in fruits and vegetables pose no increased risk for CHD. The problem is refined sugars — with ultraprocessed foods being of greatest concern. Products with added sugars represent 75% of all packaged foods and beverages in the US and most commonly contain sucrose or HFCS, which seem to raise CHD risk even more than other sugars such as glucose.”

Click here to read more about this study.

Elsevier. “Sugar consumption plays greater role in heart disease than saturated fat.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 January 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160113103318.htm>.

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