A recent long term study has found that men who consume more than one 12-oz sugar-sweetened beverage a day had a 20 percent higher risk of heart disease than those who did not drink any sugar- sweetened beverages, The study also found that the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was linked to inflammation and higher levels of harmful fats in the blood.
The American Heart Association has already given its recommendation for not consuming more than 450 calories from sweetened drinks per week which is less than 3 cans of soda. The men in the study, mostly white and from 40 to 75 years old, from 1986 to 2008 were questioned every two years about their eating habits They also provided a blood sample halfway through the study period. The artificially sweetened beverages did not increase the risk of heart attack even when the sugar-sweetened beverages were consumed only twice monthly than twice weekly.
The increased risk for heart disease in the men in the study who regularly drank sugar-sweetened beverages persisted even after the researchers controlled for other risk factors like smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol use and family history of heart disease. The study ultimately finds that there is growing evidence that sugary beverages have damaging affects on the cardiovascular vascular health of those who consume them and provides strong justification to decrease the amount of sugary drink consumed.
Drinking regular or diet soda has previously been linked to diabetes and metabolic syndrome, a precursor to diabetes. Surprisingly, Gardener and colleagues failed to detect an increased cardiovascular risk among daily drinkers of regular soda.
“Unfortunately, it may be that individuals with poor dietary habits do resort in some kind of calorie balancing and continue to eat high-calorie sweet foods but reduce their guilt by drinking diet soda,” said Dr. Howard Weintraub, clinical director of the New York University Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, explaining the propensity to wash down a high-fat meal with low-cal soda.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. While the study noted an association between sugary beverages and heart disease, it did not show cause and effect.
This blog was provided by Jocelyn Stewart. Thanks to DME Supply Group for providing content for the Senior Living Rockies Blog.