Sugar and Your Heart -- Sour News about Sweets

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Harvard Medical School

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Sugar and Your Heart -- Sour News about Sweets


Harvard Medical School

  • Added Sugars Add Up
  • How Sugar Boosts Heart Risks
  • How To Cap Your Sweet Tooth

Sugar has always been a target for the "food police," who warn that it leads to tooth decay, diabetes and obesity. So far that's failed to curb America's appetite for sweets. But new research links sugar with an increased risk of heart disease. This may make it harder to stay sweet on sugar.

Added Sugars Add Up

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American consumed the equivalent of 25 teaspoons of sugar a day in 1970. By 2005, that number rose to nearly 30 teaspoons a day. That's an extra 76 calories a day, much of it from high-fructose corn syrup. 

It's no coincidence that America's waistline began to expand during this period, fueling our worrisome epidemic of diabetes.

In addition, Americans increased their consumption of caloric soft drinks by 70% between 1970 and 2000.

So where is the added sugar in our diets coming from? Here are the top sources:

  • Soda
  • Candy and table sugar
  • Cakes, pies and cookies
  • Fruit drinks
  • Ice cream, sweetened yogurt and flavored milk
  • Sweetened cereals and breads
Last updated May 20, 2014


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